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A Rare Medical Book
In the earthquake in Tokyo in 1923, a rare Dutch medical book, Kulm's "Tabula Anatomica," was destroyed. The old volume was the property of Prof. Dr. Matao Nagayo, director and professor in the Tokyo Imperial University. Nearly 150 years ago, in the Tokugawa era, the book was brought to Japan by a Dutch missionary. At that time people here knew very little about European medical science. It was therefore quite an epoch-making event in the medical history of Japan when Dr. Gempaku Sugita and his friends, earnest students of Dutch medical science, went to the postmortem of a criminal held at Kozuka Common, one of the execution grounds, in the suburbs of Edo (now Tokyo) and there studied anatomy, marveling at the exactness of the illustrations in the foreign book. Dr. Gempaku's account of his difficulty in translating the book, with his poor knowledge of Dutch,
JAPAN. JAMA. 1926;86(17):1302–1303. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670430044019