Basic research on the spread of vaccination in the Kyushu area and the modernization of regional health care


Basic research on the spread of vaccination in the Kyushu area and the modernization of regional health care

 Outline of results

After several failed attempts active vaccine finally arrived in Japan on 11th August 1849. From Nagasaki it quickly spread throughout Kyushu as many Japanese physicians were already well aware of the principles of inoculation and the safety of vaccination compared to variolation. Nevertheless, there were remarkable differences within the domains depending on the local finances and the policies adopted by the ruling clan. During this three-year project a considerable number of related old documents have been discovered and the routes and means of the propagation of vaccination have been clarified significantly. The Saga clan, for example, introduced a well-organized and completely financed vaccination policy. In the Ōmura domain vaccine material from inoculated recipients was collected in all villages in order to maintain uninterrupted vaccination activities. In Nakatsu well-informed physicians brought vaccine from Nagasaki and partly from Saga as well. Two years later merchants financed the establishment of a medical house (igakkan) for further studies and vaccination. In the Fukuoka domain too, a clan physician took the initiative in 1849 until his activities were acknowledged and supported by the clan. During those early years vaccination was maintained by arm-to-arm transfer, but in 1858 Kokura domain physicians experimented with the retrovaccination (cow-human-cow-human transfer) introduced by Galbiati and Troja in 1803. 

The effects of vaccination could be easily observed during the frequent small-pox outbreaks. This deeply influenced the general acceptance of Western medicine and the establishment of regional health care structures. It also stimulated the establishment of networks between rural physicians studying “Dutch-style Medicine” (ranpō-igaku).

Fighting Small-Pox – Vaccination in Kyushu (Tennentō to no tatakai – Kyūshū no shutō). Tokyo: Iwata Shoin, 2018



Small-pox in Kyushu                                                                                           Toshiyuki AOKI


General Background

Small-pox – its global expansion and eradication                                    Tadaomi AIKAWA

On the spread of variolation in Japan                                                          Toshiyuki AOKI

Small-pox in early modern Japan as seen by Europeans                       Wolfgang MICHEL

On the dawn of vaccination in Japan                                                           Toshiyuki AOKI

Reevaluating the beginning of vaccination in Japan                               Toshiyuki AOKI


Special Topics

Small-pox and Nagasaki                                                                                    Tadaomi AIKAWA

Vaccination in the Ōmura Domain                                                                Yūki YAMAUCHI

The small-pox deities of Saga                                                                          Shinji KANEKO

Vaccination in the Saga Domain                                                                     Toshiyuki AOKI, Akari HORI

Medical treatment and vaccination in the territory of Taku                Toshiyuki AOKI

The „Medical School“ of the Chōshū Clan and vaccination                  Ayako Ogawa

Vaccination in the Kokura Domain                                                                Toshiyuki AOKI

Yūshi Takeya and the introction of vaccination by the Fukuoka Clan             Wolfgang MICHEL

Medicine in the Kurume Domain                                                                   Yōichi YOSHIDA

Fighting small-pox in the Nakatsu Domain                                                 Wolfgang MICHEL

Curing small-pox in the Kumamoto Domain                                              Akihide Ōshima

Kenkai Wakayama and vaccination in Miyazaki                                        Ryō UMIHARA

Vaccination in the Satsuma Domain                                                             Shōzō TAMURA

Vaccination as seen in documents of the Kuroe family                          Masahiro IMAJŌ

Vaccination in Amakusa                                                                                    Toshiyuki AOKI


Closing Chapter

On the comparison and evaluation of variolation and vaccination   Wolfgang MICHEL


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