This book is an analysis of a small group of Japanese medical students who studied abroad in Germany before World War I and became professors of medicine at the University of Tokyo. Drawing conceptually on Pierre Bourdieu's notion of habitus, Chen evaluates the biographies of these students—in particular, their relationships with German scholars and their contributions to the professional development of medicine in Japan—in order to assess the historical significance of their study abroad. She argues that they evolved an identifiable habitus—associated with, among other things, their research ethos, diagnostic practice, and physical comportment—that decidedly influenced their status within Japanese medicine.

After an introductory chapter on the general sociocultural context of the Japanese students and their training prior to traveling abroad, the narrative turns to the specific practices and experiences of the students. Chen divides the group of students into three cohorts. The...

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