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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 2(2); 1993 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1993;2(2): 178-196.
개명기의 동의와 동의학강습소
Oriental Medical Doctors and the Oriental Medicine Training Institute During the Era of Enlightenment
Chang Duk Kee
The medical system of the Koryo Kingdom was maintained by the Chosen Dynasty without much change. In the meantime, with the tide of enlightenment surging into the Korean Peninsula. Western medicine was introduced into this land and began to be recognized as a reliable, new healing art. At that time, Western medicine was highly valued by court officials and some upper-class people. However, the greater part of the general public preferred Oriental medicine on account of their long tradition and failed to understand the importance of Western medicine. With the Kabo-Kyongjang(Reformation), Korea, in imitation of Japan, began pursuing the policy of enlightenment. Meanwhile, Japan drove China out of Korea and later succeeded in Russia's encroachment upon the Korean Peninsula. By so doing, Japan actively began interfering in Korea's national affairs, politically, diplomatically and militarily. Japan applied to Korea the same, even harsher, method that it used at the time of the Meiji Restoration and began to encroach upon Korea's sovereignty. Under the circumstances, the medical circle in Korea was not free from the influence of Japan, either. By a method even more cold-hearted than that it adopted to estrange Oriental medical doctors from their society at the beginning of the Meiji restoration Japan suppressed Korean Oriental medical doctors and removed then from the Korean officialdom. The Japanese authorities showed favor only for a small number of western medical doctors, and in accordance with the policy of the Tonggambu, reorganized or newly established governmental and public medical organizations as they desired. Furthermore, Japan, which already had an excess of medical doctors, had a large number of their medical doctors migrate into Korea as a means of invasion. The policy of priority for Western medical doctors resulted in relegating all Oriental medical doctors in Korea to the status of medical people with a limited licence called "Uisaeng". The government authorities did not permit the creation of research and educational organizations for Oriental medicine. Moreover, they attempted at disunity and self-destruction in the circle of Oriental medical doctors in Korea. However, as all Korean people did at that time, Korean Oriental medical doctors demonstrated patriotic spirit in the movement of maintaining and restoring Oriental medicine in Korea. Nevertheless they were powerless and eventually had to submissively obey the Japanese policy of adopting Western medicine only as a means of "protecting and improving" the health of the people. In this situation, Korean Oriental medical doctors were farced to acquire knowledge on Western medicine through seminars and lectures at teaching institutes, which led to the emergence of medical doctors peculiar to Korea called "Uisaeng". Some traditional-minded Oriental medical doctors hid themselves among the public mass and conducted medical practice under the sign "Shinnong Yuop". Japan still refuges publically at the governmental level or otherwise to acknowledge that its culture originated from Korea. However, general tourists as well as students who tour Korea under the guidance of their teachers are fully convinced that the origin of their culture is Korea by the time they return home. Some Japanese are unwillingly to admit that Koreans taught medicine to their ancestors. It is true that Japanese preceeded Koreans in importing Western medicine. However, they still treasure numerous Oriental medical books authored by Korean scholars, are engaged in the study and research of the abstruse principles of Oriental medicine, and apply the results of their research to the development of new medicines. At the end of this articles, the author wants to reach the following conclusion : In an excessive indulgence in importing new culture from Europe, Japan exterminated Oriental medicine in its land at the time of Meiji Restoration, defining it as unscientific. Likewise, it suppressed Oriental medical doctors in Korea including "Yuui" terming them together "Uisaeng", in disregard of Korean tradition and scientific principles of Oriental medicine. This was done under the pretext of improving the sanitary environment but the reform of the medical system was part of the Japanese colonial policy. It is noteworthy that the Japanese policy resulted in the continued existence of Oriental medicine in the form of folk medicine peculiar to Korea in which Oriental medicine is blended with Western medicine. From this, it is presumed that the Japanese "Uisaeng" system conversely opened a way for the restoration of Oriental medicine in Korea.
Key Words: Oriental Medical Doctor, Tonzehakkyo uikyo, Taehan uisa chonghapso, Choson uisa yunchanhae, Choson uisa kangkuhae, Choson hanuisahae, Junson uihae, Junson uisaenghae, Tongsu uihak yunkuhae, Hansung medical traing institute, Pyongyang uihak kangsuphae
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