- 英学史研究 (ISSN:03869490)
- vol.1994, no.26, pp.103-123, 1993 (Released:2009-10-07)
German medicine had overwhelming influence by its theoretical study on the medical circles of Japan from the 10th year of Meiji (1877). It was adopted by the Daigaku-tokoO, the predecessor of the medical department of the Tokyo Imperial University, in 1869, when British medicine, whose supeority in practical medicine was shown by William Willis, was being forgotten in the medical circles, and doctors and students were showing a marked trend toward medical research for research's sake.Kanehiro Takagi, who learned British medicine as a Japanese naval surgeon at the attached medical school of St. Thomas's Hospital in London, insisted on having to change such a trend and make more account of medical treatment in order to deliver patients from their illness. He supposed beriberi, which in those days was thought to be caused by germs, would be caused by lack of some nutriments. He buckled himself down to the work of improving meals of the naval men and at last succeeded in protecting them against beriberi. And since 1884 an outbreak of beriberi had never been seen among the Japanese navy.This paper treats from the viewpoint of the English studies in Japan how much British medicine influenced upon Kanehiro Takagi, one of the naval surgeons in the Meiji era, and also how much British pragmatism infiltrated into the Japanese navy. After all Takagi owed a great deal to British medicine based on pragmatism and it can be said that his success in stamping out beriberi among the Japanese navy was a victory of British medicine.