This book analyzes the impact of Western medical knowledge on Japan during the last-half century of the Tokugawa era, tracing the global transmission of Jennerian vaccination—Western technology that utilizes cowpox vaccine to prevent smallpox—from its origins in rural England to Japan. For thirty years, deliberate efforts to export cowpox vaccine to Japan failed because of Japan's refusal to open its ports to foreign ships. The book describes the strategies of Japanese ranpō physicians who, in collaboration with the Dutch, forged a social network that supports Jennerian vaccination to alleviate smallpox, Japan's devastating disease.
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