Friday, November 5, 2010

Japanese and American Physicians (The Friend, August 1860)

Japanese and American Physicians (The Friend: August 1860, Page 61, col. 3.)

An interesting interview occurred, a few days since, between Dr. Hillis, Superintendent of the Columbus (O.) Lunatic Asylum and the physicians of the Japanese Embassy. The following colloquy took place:

Dr. Hill –How many insane persons have you in Japan? Very few.

Have you separate hospitals for them? We have four hospitals in Jeddo for the sick, with separate wards for the insane.

Do you use force or violence in their management? We do not, but have strong rooms and guards.

Do you ever bleed insane patients? Never.

Are idiots and lunatics kept in the same hospitals? They are, but in different wards; we have but few-not more than twenty in all; there may be some in private hospitals.

How many sick do you average in your hospitals? From fine to eight hundred, but all poor.

Here the Japanese doctors became interrogators, and inquired:

How many insane?

Dr. Hill: We have three hundred in my hospital.

How many of these are insane? All.

This reply astonished the inquisitors, who raised their hands, and looked at each other.

What medicines do you use? Wines, quinine and other stimulants.

Have you hospitals for dumb and blind? Yes, but separate.

Have you medical gardens? None of importance.

The Japanese here remarked that they would like to get the seed of our plants of every description for the imperial gardens of Jeddo, and they were informed these would be furnished them by the National Agricultural Society. They were also told that they would have an opportunity to inspect the Asylum of the Insane before leaving Washington, which appeared to gratify them very much. –Med. And Surg. Rep. of Philadelphia.

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