The 25rd GJS Seminar(147th Tobunken/ASNET Seminar)Women as Healers in Early Modern Japan

Date and time: July 21, 2016 (Thur.), 4:00-5:00PM
Venue: 1st Meeting Room (3F), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo
Speaker: W. Evan Young (Assistant Professor, Department of History, Dickinson College)
Language: English

Abstract: Histories of medicine of the Tokugawa period have almost exclusively dealt with the practices and writings of male doctors. The rise of doctoring as a popular livelihood is indeed an important story for our understanding of medicine in early modern Japan, but at the same time it risks obscuring more quotidian aspects of illness and therapy. The amount of time doctors spent with patients was minimal compared to that of domestic caregivers, especially women. This presentation explores two source bases that highlight the key role of women in healthcare: diaries that reveal how families tended to the ill and women’s educational manuals that shed light on moral obligations and expectations of technical medical knowledge. By analyzing domestic records and didactic literature, I aim to re-center the place of women as healers in early modern Japan.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studeis on Asia (IASA), Network for Education and Research on Asia (ASNET)
Contact: gjs[at]