Medical Business at the Close of the Colonial Era
Fri 14:00-15:30 Room 0.18
- William Bradley Horton Akita University
- Sandra Khor Manickam Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Save This EventAdd to Calendar
- Japanese Army distribution plans for Indonesian quinine resources, 1940-1942 Takashi Sakata Ishinomaki Senshu University
- Medicines and Advertisements in Indonesia, 1930s to the post-war era William Bradley Horton Akita University
R. Ogawa and Japanese Patent Medicine Business in Dutch East Indies
Meta Sekar Puji Astuti Hasanuddin University
In the Dutch East Indies (DEI) in the mid-1910s, Ogawa Rihachiro was well regarded as the “King of Medicine” (Radja Obat in Indonesian). Ogawa, like many other prosperous Japanese merchants in Java, got his start as a Japanese peddler. Prior to developing a profitable company, these Japanese peddlers were mostly peddling patent medicines. Thousands of Japanese medicine peddlers flourished in Southeast Asia by 1913, according to Dutch archives (Post 1990; Astuti, 2011; 2017). They mostly provided the commodities to karayuki-san (Japanese prostitutes) who needed them for daily hygiene. Such as djintan, peppermint, minyak kayu putih (eucalyptus) oil, salves for teeth and headaches, flu, and other ingredients were included.
- Rises and Falls of Japanese Insecticide Business in mid-20th Century Indonesia Mayumi Yamamoto Miyagi University
Selling medical modernity: Medicine, drugs and poison in Malaya’s medical landscape
Sandra Khor Manickam Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
This paper will consider the various parties in the medical landscape of Malaya and their role in promoting or selling their forms of medical modernity to consumers. Studies of medicine in Malaya has often focused on governmental service to the population or in order to maintain the health of a workforce under colonialism. An often overlooked aspect of the practice of medicine in Malaya was the competition between “legitimate” doctors and their wares, and those considered to be unqualified doctors and quack medicine. The formation of a colonial medical service and the establishment of a medical school in colonial Malaya increased the supply of Western-/colonial-trained doctors, pharmacists and other medical practitioners in Malaya. At the same time, local medical practices and drugs were still in use through medicine men and women, and midwives. New patent medicines and drugs also came onto the market and were aggressively advertised in English-language newspapers, often to the dismay of the colonial-trained doctors who branded such products as “quackery”. This paper approaches the different medical practitioners in Malaya as suppliers of medical services and products, and as representatives of a way of being modern, civilized and scientific, each trying to increase their market-share among the population.
During the early 20th century, great advances were made in medicine. Some of these advances were based on the availability of tropical products, like the bark of the cinchona tree as a source of quinine for malaria treatment. Hospitals and medical expertise expanded greatly everywhere in Southeast Asia during this period, both based on local need and experience, and global knowledge. Local medical knowledge and practices often continued in Southeast Asia, such as the use of Indonesian jamu, and sometimes were modernized with new production and marketing techniques. New medicines and chemicals developed or produced by large companies overseas like IG Farben dramatically altered the public health landscape. While WWII was a dramatic political break, as was the independence of new states, the impact on public health is potentially a separate issue. What is clear is that whether on a small scale or on a global level, business activity was a major part of medicine in Southeast Asia.
This panel asks presenters to prepare a research paper on a subject of their choice which illustrates some element of business involvement in this shifting health-scape in Southeast Asia immediately before WWII, during the war, or in the immediate postwar period. Additionally, presenters will be asked to consider the proposition that the end of the colonial era and World War II reduced local participation and innovation in the health sector, relating it to their own research topics.