Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Educational Lecture 3

Neurology in Japan before World War II

Akira Takahashi, M.D.1)

1)Emeritus Professor, Nagoya University

Modern Western medicine was introduced into Japan by a Dutch doctor Pompe van Meerdervoort in 1855. A German physician EOE von Balz devoted himself to educating medicine at Tokyo Medical School, the predecessor of the present University of Tokyo for 25 years. Hiroshi Kawahara and Kinnosuke Miura, pioneers of Japan Neurology, received their education by him. Kawahara first described X-linked bulvo-spinal muscular atrophy, and published the first Japanese textbook of clinical neurology in 1897. In 1902, Miura and others founded the Japanese Society of Neuro-Psychiatry, the forerunner of the present " Japanese Society of Neurology ". Both Seizo Katsunuma, Professor of Nagoya University, and Junnjiro Kato, Professor of Tohoku University, succeeded Miura's neurology. Miura investigated into the cause of beriberi, but ended in failure. Hasegawa's proposal at the Diet in 1894 that the Japan Government should found an independent department of neurology in the University of Tokyo was unfortunately rejected. There was no foundation of independent institute, department and clinic of neurology before World War II. Consequently Japanese neurology was on the ebb at that time.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (351K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 53: 926|929, 2013)
key words: Japanese neurology, beriberi, Kinnosuke Miura, Hiroshi Kawahara, World War II

(Received: 31-May-13)