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The Vaccinators – Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the 'Opening' of Japan - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The Vaccinators: Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the 'Opening' of Japan

Ann Jannetta


In Japan, as late as the mid-nineteenth century, smallpox claimed the lives of an estimated twenty percent of all children born—most of them before the age of five. When the apathetic Tokugawa shogunate failed to respond, Japanese physicians, learned in Western medicine and medical technology, became the primary disseminators of Jennerian vaccination—a new medical technology to prevent smallpox. Tracing its origins from rural England, this book investigates the transmission of Jennerian vaccination to and throughout pre-Meiji Japan. Relying on Dutch, Japanese, Russian, and English sources, it ... More

Keywords: pre-Meiji Japan, mid-nineteenth century, smallpox, Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese physicians, Western medicine, medical technology, Jennerian vaccination, rural England, institutional change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780804754897
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804754897.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ann Jannetta, author