Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-6zkrn Total loading time: 1.515 Render date: 2023-02-06T01:17:28.876Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

VI.9 - Diseases of the Modern Period in Korea

from Part VI - The History of Human Disease in Asia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2008

Kenneth F. Kiple
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Get access

Summary

Medical Missionaries

Except for the addition of cholera, the diseases of Korea of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century differed little from the ones prevailing in earlier times. In fact, Westerners who came to Korea in the 1880s and 1890s thought that the illnesses found in Korea were generally the same as those in North America. George W. Woods, for example, a surgeon aboard the U.S.S. Juniata of America’s Asiatic Squadron, reported that he knew of no diseases peculiar to Korea, but he was struck by the almost universal presence of smallpox and malaria. Woods, who spent almost 3 months of 1884 in Korea, was one of the first Americans to visit the peninsula (Bohm and Swartout, Jr. 1984).

Medical missionaries, upon whose observations we rely for much of this essay, tended to believe that Korean medical knowledge was entirely borrowed from China and that the history of real medical work in Korea began in September 1884, when Horace N. Allen of the Presbyterian Mission came to Seoul. Medical missionaries soon realized that foreign doctors could best establish a claim to medical superiority through surgery. Among the operations Allen performed were excision of the ankle, knee, shoulder, and wrist; amputation of fingers, arms, legs, cancers, and tumors; dissection of scrofulous glands; enucleation of the eyeball; treatment of cataract and pterygium; and closure of harelip. One of the most frequently performed minor surgical operations was for fistula. One Western physician, Oliver R. Avison, blamed this apparently common condition on the Korean custom of sitting on the floor instead of on chairs (Avison 1897).

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1993

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Avison, Oliver R. 1895. Cholera in Seoul. Korean Repository II.Google Scholar
Avison, Oliver R. 1897. Disease in Korea. Korea Repository IV.Google Scholar
Bohm, Fred C., and Swartout, Robert R. Jr. 1984. Naval surgeon in Yi Korea: The journal of George W. Woods. Berkeley, Cal.Google Scholar
Busteed, J. B. 1895. The Korean doctor and his methods. Korean Repository II.Google Scholar
Clark, Allen DeGray. 1979. Avison of Korea: The life of Oliver R. Avison, M.D. Seoul, Korea.Google Scholar
Gibbons, Boyd. 1988. The South Koreans. National Geographic 174.Google Scholar
Hall, Sherwood. 1978. With stethoscope in Asia: Korea. McLean, Va.Google Scholar
Hay, Woo-keun. 1970. The history of Korea, trans. Kyung-shik, Lee, ed. Mintz, Grafton K.. Seoul, Korea.Google Scholar
Henschen, Folke. 1966. The history and geography of diseases, trans. Tate, Joan. New York.Google Scholar
Hirsch, August. 1883. Geographical and historical pathology, Vol. I, trans. Creighton, Charles. London.Google Scholar
Kim, Tu-jong. 1966. Han’guk uihaksa (A history of Korean medicine). Seoul, Korea.Google Scholar
Lee, Ki-baik. 1984. A new history of Korea, trans. Wagner, Edward W.. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
Miki, Sakae. 1962. History of Korean medicine and of disease in Korea. Japan. [In Japanese].Google Scholar
Osgood, Cornelius. 1951. The Koreans and their culture. New York.Google Scholar
Simmons, James Stevens, et al. 1944. Global epidemiology: A geography of disease and sanitation. Philadelphia.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×