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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 17(2); 2008 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2008;17(2): 191-203.
경성제대 의학부의 체질인류학 연구
Physical Anthropology Studies at Keijo Imperial University Medical School
Ock Joo Kim
Seoul National University College of Medicine, Department of Medical History and Medical Humanities, Korea.
Medical research during the Japanese Colonial Period became systematic and active after the Keijo Imperial University Medical School was established in 1926. Various kinds of research were conducted there including pharmacological, physiological, pathological and parasitological research. The Keijo Imperial University was give a mission to study about Korea. Urgent topics for medical research included control of infectious diseases, hygiene and environmental health that might have affected colonizing bodies of the Japanese as well as the colonized. The bodies of Koreans had been studied by Japanese even before the establishment of the University. The Keijo Imperial University research team, however, organized several field studies for physical anthropology and blood typing research at the national scale to get representative sampling of the people from its north to its south of the Korean peninsula. In the filed, they relied upon the local police and administrative power to gather reluctant women and men to measure them in a great detail. The physical anthropology and blood typing research by the Japanese researchers was related to their eagerness to place Korean people in the geography of the races in the world. Using racial index R.I.(= A%+AB%/B%+AB%), the Japanese researchers put Koreans as a race between the Mongolian and the Japanese. The preoccupation with constitution and race also pervasively affected the medical practice: race (Japanese, Korean, or Japanese living in Korea) must be written in every kind of medical chart as a default. After the breakout of Chinese-Japanese War in 1937, the Keijo Imperial University researchers extended its physical anthropology field study to Manchuria and China to get data on physics of the people in 1940. The Japanese government and research foundations financially well supported the Keijo Imperial University researchers and the field studies for physical anthropology in Korea, Manchuria and China. The physical anthropology research was actively conducted hand in hand with imperialistic expansion, and driven by zeal for measuring the body.
Key Words: Keijo Imperial University Medical School. Medical Research, Physical Anthropology, Constitution, Race
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