Organizer: Tomo ichikawa (Shanghai Jiaotong University)

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Panel Title: Varieties of public health at the colonial cities and treaty-ports in East Asia

Organizer: Tomo ICHIKAWA (Shanghai Jiaotong University)

Chair: Takeshi NAGASHIMA (Senshu University)

Discussant: Mark Harrison (Oxford University)

1) Dr. Yuen Han LAW (Hong Kong Baptist University)

The Enforcement of Western Public Health System in Asian Colonies: Hong

Kong and Singapore as a comparative case studies
2) Yuki FUKUSHI (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature):

Hygienic Behavior: pubilc health rule in early 20th century Shanghai

3) Hideharu UMEHARA and Jörg Vögele (Duesseldorf)

"The "healthiest colony" in China - Public health in the

colonial port city Qingdao (Tsingtau) in the early 20th


4) Tomo ICHIKAWA (Shanghai Jiaotong University)

"Japanese informal sanitation :cholera epidemics and municipality in the

Kobe foreign settlement, 1868-1899"


Yuki FUKUSHI is a researcher of Initiative for Chinese Environmental Issues, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan. She holds a ph.D in Sociology in Hitotsubashi University. She is an author of Public Health and Modern Shanghai: social history of preventive medicine. Her current interest is public health history of modern and contemporary China, especially in rural area.

Tomo ICHIKAWA is a lecturer of history at the school of humanity of Shanghai Jiaotong University. His research filed is the public health history in Japanese treaty ports such as Yokohama, Nagasaki and Kobe focusing on the relationship between the Japanese society and foreign society in these cities. He is also started to research on the history of parasite diseases in pre war/after war Japan.

Law Yuen Han

Since the completion of PhD degree in 2007, Law Yuen Han has been working in the Department of History at Hong Kong Baptist University in different capacities. Her teaching courses include: “History of public health and diseases in modern China,” “Medical culture in modern China (1800- 1945),” and “Twentieth century Hong Kong history.” Her major publications include: “Public Health in Pre-war Singapore: The Development of Hospital Services and Medical Education,” and “Tropical Medicine and Colonial Rule: Anti-Malaria Policy in Colonial Singapore as a Case Study”.

Hideharu Umehara

Dr. phil. Hideharu UMEHARA works at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Institute for History of Medicine as a freier Mitarbeiter. In 2010 Umehara completed his doctoral study on school hygiene in Düsseldorf from 1880 to 1933. This study will be published in 2013 by Klartext-Verlag. Since 2010 he works for the project of his institute “Multiple Modernities in Medicine, the Case of Qingdao under German, Japanese and Chinese Rule”. He has already presented a few results of his researches for this project in some international conferences and workshops.

Jörg Vögele

Dr. phil. Jörg Vögele is Professor of medical history at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Institute for History of Medicine, Germany. Main reseach areas include historical epidemiology (England and Germany), infant mortality in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries and the role of infant nutrition, epidemics, public health and the role of port cities in the epidemiological transition.

This panel focuses on the variety of the public health establishments with a focus on the port cities in East Asia. There are three topics we focus on. The first is "Area". We recognize that different medical and public health regimes depended on location; whether in colonial enclaves or treaty ports controlled by Western countries. The second is "Age". It is well-know that from late the 19th century to early 20th century, medical technologies of bacteriology made very rapid progress. The public health policy in a city was likely to change after medical and scientific advances were recognized. The third point is "Disease". East Asia was pestered by Asiatic Cholera in late19th century and bubonic plague around the turn of the century as well as smallpox throughout the period in question. We argue that the variety of these diseases impacted the performance of the public health at each area. Every speaker examines different areas, ages and diseases. Fukushi focuses on the establishment of the sanitary regulation in the Shanghai international settlement and the city authority consisted of western people who controlled the Chinese residents in this city. Focusing on the relationship between Western and Japanese society, Ichikawa examines the preventive measures taken against infectious diseases by the Hiogo (Kobe) municipal council in this treaty port. Law looks at vaccination against the smallpox epidemics in Honking and demonstrates how British officials institutionalized this measure among the Chinese natives. Umehara traces the changed and unchanged policies of the public health between the German colony and Japanese occupation in Qingdao. The goal of our panel is to examine and compare the diversity of public health establishments in the port cities in East Asia.

Yuki FUKUSHI (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)

“Hygienic Behavior in Modern Shanghai: Sanitary Rules in the Early 20th Century”
Since the open port in 1840s, modern urban construction progressed in Shanghai foreign settlements. In the foreign settlements, sudden Chinese population inflow occurred with the development of commerce and industry. And there were everyday conflicts concerning the behavior on health and cleanliness matter between foreign and Chinese society. Foreign settlement authority settled various sanitary rules to regulate the Chinese behavior for maintain cleanliness of the city. This presentation will explore the diversity of health and cleanliness notion in early 20th century Shanghai society through analyzing prosecution cases of sanitary rules.
Tomo ICHIKAWA (Shanghai Jiaotong University)

"Japanese informal sanitation :cholera epidemics and municipality in the

Kobe foreign settlement, 1868-1899"

In this paper, I examine the establishment of the public health in late 19th Kobe. It is well-known that acute infectious diseases such as Asiatic cholera and bubonic plague broke out almost every year in this period. The background of this was the increase of shipping traffic within the Japanese treaty ports such as Yokohama, Nagasaki and Kobe. Therefore, to control the infectious diseases was very urgent problem in the Japanese port cities.

Kobe had a specific system as the Japanese treaty ports. From 1869, the opening of this port, to 1899, this city had maintained its autonomy from the western diplomats and the staffs of western companies. This form of self-government in the foreign settlement did not exist in other Japanese treaty ports except for the very early stage of Yokohama and Nagasaki. Because of this autonomy, in order to take preventive measures against acute infectious diseases, the Japanese side and the foreign settlement had to adjust their measures. In addition to this, the variety of the adjustments were aimed at not only on the medical and hygienic problems but also the border of the law when isolation was necessary, the expense division of disinfection and inoculation and the land ownership if hospitals and cemeteries need to be built.

As a result, this paper demonstrates that the overwhelming influence of the foreign society was gradually absorbed by the Japanese side in Kobe. The key point of this phenomenon was not the administrative system in the treaty port but the high standard of the Japanese medical doctors. In this way, the superiority of the public health in the foreign society lapsed before the treaty revision and the abolition of the foreign settlement in 1899.

Law Yuen Han (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Vaccination Campaigns and Colonial Rule: Anti-Smallpox Policy in Colonial Hong Kong (1842-1941)”

Smallpox, being one of the most common diseases in colonies around the world, was no doubt an infectious and fatal disease. In general reaction, colonizers everywhere attempted to come down with the best solution to controlling smallpox, aimed not only at protecting the economic benefits extracted from their colonies, but also to defend the health of their troops and administrative personnel.

In Hong Kong, smallpox came to be the leading cause of deaths during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The practice of variolisation, to which a pledget of smallpox crust was inserted into one’s nostrils to produce lasting immunity to the disease, had long been a Chinese practice. However, the vaccine proved to be expensive and barely affordable to the poor who comprised a considerable portion of the colony’s population. Dr. Morrison, the Colonial Surgeon in 1851 pin-pointed the unsanitary habits of the Chinese community as the main factor contributing to the prevalence of the problem. Thus, the British government enforced a number of anti-smallpox measures, including the establishment of a smallpox hospital to isolate diagnosed patients; imported steamers and ships were also quarantined. Later, an English doctor, Edward Jenner successfully discovered that cowpox lesion could be used as inoculation to smallpox and it proved to be the most effective yet least expensive method to eliminate the deadly disease. To step up the campaign, the government further established a vaccine institute to produce lymph vaccine in order to meet colonial needs. Vaccination campaigns were introduced to hospitals, both Western and Chinese like Tung Wah Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital.

In terms of vaccination acceptance, the reaction amongst the Chinese community was better than the foreign community. Some scholars’ rooted this to the possibility that the Chinese perceived the new vaccination as similar to traditional variolisation, and the same vaccination campaign was prompted in South China. Although vaccination became more common, smallpox was still widespread, though occasionally, in the 1930s. Some countries then restricted the entrance of Hong Kong immigrants; Hong Kong’s economy, reputation and sound image all came to be affected in turn. In response, the government took to educating the mass the advantages of vaccination, enacting compulsory vaccination on new born babies and inspecting strictly cases of imported smallpox. In light of the above developments, this paper examines the enforcement of the government’s vaccination campaign, further demonstrating how the vaccination came to be accepted in the Chinese Community, thus shedding light on the reaction of the Chinese on the campaign.
Hideharu Umehara / Jörg Vögele (Düsseldorf University)

“The healthiest colony in China: Public health in the colonial port city Qingdao (Tsingtau) in the early 20th century”

The port cities were central hubs of national and international trade and transport networks around 1900, which developed in the 19th century. At the same time they were gateways for disease and epidemics. In (East) Asia, port cities played an even more pronounced role. They often were the main, and in Japan even the single inlet into the country and its hinterland. In China, Japan and Korea the so-called "treaty-ports" served as bridgeholds for European colonialism.

This paper focuses on the port city of Qingdao (Tsingtao) in the early 20th century, which was initially an East Asian model colony and seaport of the German Empire, subsequently occupied by Japan and extended to an Japanese colony and finally passed into Chinese hands. The paper will outline the changes in healthcare in Qingdao in a longitudinal analysis from the German to the Japanese period. In this example, the following key aspects of medical history in East Asia during the investigation period of the early 20th century are analyzed:

・Measures to control epidemics,

・transfer of knowledge between indigenous and foreign physicians,

・establishing national and international health care.

Through this session the paper will contribute to comparative studies about public health in East Asian port cities in this period. At the same time we will discuss also the historical background regarding questions on international and intercultural transfer of medical knowledge.

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