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  • Rizhi Taiwan yiliao gongwei wushi nian 日治臺灣醫療公衛五十年 [Fifty Years of Advancement: A Collection of Taiwan’s Medical and Public Health Records under Japanese Colonial Rule] ed. by Hsiu-Jung Chang 張秀蓉
  • Hsiu Jane Chen 陳秀真
Hsiu-Jung Chang 張秀蓉, ed., Rizhi Taiwan yiliao gongwei wushi nian 日治臺灣醫療公衛五十年 [ Fifty Years of Advancement: A Collection of Taiwan’s Medical and Public Health Records under Japanese Colonial Rule] Taipei: Guoli Taiwan daxue chuban zhongxin, 2012. 598pp. NT $700.

Since the 1990s many scholars have taken up the history of colonial medicine in Taiwan, but aids offering information about the available archival materials, manuscripts, and book collections remain scanty. A notable exception is the three-volume compilation of sanitation-related government materials from the colonial period produced by Xu Xiqing 許錫慶 (2000, 2001, 2003). Complementing that work is Rizhi Taiwan yiliao gongwei wushi nian, an ample compilation of Japanese-language archival documents concerning the administrative, research, and legal practices of the Japanese officials and physicians who erected a public health system. Hsiu-Jung Chang has selected and arranged a series of Chinese translations, constructing a historical picture of colonial medicine in Taiwan.

The book is divided into three main sections. The first is largely a translation of Taiwan iji eisei nenhyō 台湾医事衛生年表 (A Chronology of Medical Practice in Taiwan), an informative timeline compiled in 1946 by Horiuchi Tsugio 堀內次雄 (1873–1955) and Maruyama Yoshito 丸山芳登 (1885–1959). Horiuchi oversaw government-run health care in Taiwan between 1895 and 1945. Maruyama was in Taiwan between 1908 and 1947. Their work, meant as the foundation for a book that was never written, took the form of a table of documents narrating medical and public health events in chronological order. The postwar Taiwanese government had appealed to Horiuchi and Maruyama to take on the chronology due to their experience as important actors constructing and establishing a system of Western medicine and public health in colonial Taiwan. However, the chronology ended up as a display of Horiuchi’s personal and somewhat arbitrary choices rather than a presentation of major events in the field. While such topics as medical administration, laws, and personnel were addressed, no descriptions or background information were provided. [End Page 253]

The second part of the book consists of a translation of Nihon ryō jidai ni nokoshita Taiwan no iji eisei gyōseki 日本領時代に遣した台湾の医事衞生業績 (Advances in Public Health during Japanese Colonization of Taiwan), a book written by Maruyama Yoshito in 1957. Maruyama offered insights on demography, a variety of diseases, and the medical facilities established during the colonial period. He frequently cited articles published in Taiwan yixuehui zazhi 台灣醫學會雜志誌 (Journal of the Taiwan Medical Society), the island’s most important medical journal. He presented research on marriage, birth, death, and population growth, as well as anthropological studies. Furthermore, Maruyama divided the diseases presented into three categories: notifiable infectious diseases, illnesses that occurred with high frequency in Taiwan, and all others. He also described medical facilities constructed by the Japanese colonial regime, medical schools and research institutes, the administration of official policies on hygiene and epidemic prevention, pharmaceutical manufactories, sewage transport and processing facilities, and so on. Maruyama’s book offers historians an overview of the expansion of medicine and public health in Taiwan under the Japanese colonial regime.

The third section of Rizhi Taiwan yiliao gongwei wushi nian focuses on regulatory laws and rules, providing relevant archival documents. However, the materials selected consist mainly of excerpts from public announcements and speeches delivered by prominent Japanese colonial bureaucrats, such as Gotō Shinpei 後藤新平, Tagaki Tomoe 高木友枝, and Horiuchi Tsugio 堀内次雄. For example, readers are offered the first speech delivered by Yamaguchi Hidetaka 山口秀高 (1866–1916) as director of the first medical school established by the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan, and the public announcements issued to mark the inauguration of Taiwan Igakukai 台湾医学会 (Medical Society of Taiwan) and Taiwan iji zasshi 台湾医事雑誌 (Medical Journal of Taiwan). Another document translated for this collection is the first annual report of the Taipei Hospital. In addition to presenting the voices of Japanese colonial physicians and colonial medical bureaucrats, the editor has also selected documents that illustrate how Taiwan’s medical progress was represented at the International Hygienic Exhibition held in Dresden in 1911 and the Hygiene Exhibition presented in Shizheng sishi nian Taiwan bolanhui...


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