The Modern Epidemic: A History of Tuberculosis in Japan
Through a historical and comparative analysis of modern Japan's epidemic of tuberculosis, William Johnston illuminates a major but relatively unexamined facet of Japanese social and cultural history. He utilizes a broad range of sources, including medical journals and monographs, archaeological evidence, literary works, ethnographic data, and legal and government documents to reveal how this and similar epidemics have been the result of social changes that accompanied the process of modernization. Johnston also shows the ways in which modern states, private organizations, and individual citizens have responded to epidemics, and in the process reexamines the concept of the epidemic itself, showing that epidemics must be thought of not only in medical and biological terms but in political, social and cultural terms as well.
Harvard University Asia Center