Although this stimulating book has already been discussed in numerous journals since its publication in 2007, the subject—vaccination—remains an issue that is no less relevant today as the presence of recurring life-threatening epidemics such as Ebola shows. Based on personal letters, government reports, and other historical records, Jannetta's work narrates the worldwide transmission of Jennerian vaccination from its discovery in rural England to Tokugawa Japan with a view to reveal the channels in which this new knowledge was transferred and adopted (4). While Edward Jenner's new vaccination method was quickly disseminated and applied in other countries within a couple of years, the introduction of the vaccine encountered some major obstacles in Japan that were responsible for the country-wide reception taking almost thirty years. The reasons for this delay, she argues, lie in the geographical position of Japan beyond the major world...
The Vaccinators: Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the “Opening” Of Japan
Regina Huebner is interested in concepts of healing from a cultural-historical perspective with a primary focus on early modern and modern East Asia. After teaching at a Japanese university and working as a non-medical practitioner in Germany, she is presently preparing a research project on medical self-help manuals of early modern and modern Japan, which was also the topic of her PhD she recently received from the University of Cambridge, UK. She further holds a MA in Japanese studies from Tuebingen University (1991), Germany, and is also a licensed nonmedical practitioner specializing in acupuncture.
Regina Huebner; The Vaccinators: Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the “Opening” Of Japan. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 March 2016; 10 (1): 93–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-3128518
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