Surgery Today

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 395–402 | Cite as

The Dawn of Surgery in Japan, with Special Reference to the German Society for Surgery

  • Yoshio Mishima
Review Article


During Japan's period of isolation, Philipp Franz von Siebold came to Nagasaki as a doctor with a Dutch trading company in 1823. He used many kinds of apparatus to examine patients and taught practices such as paracentesis and tumor resection. After the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government elected to establish a medical educational system based on the German system, and to invite two prominent German dosctors to teach in 1869. In 1881, Julius Karl Scriba came to Japan as a teacher. He worked at the University of Tokyo for 25 years. He was the clinical coordinator and trained many surgeons who later became leaders in modern Japanese surgery. In 1898, Sankichi Sato and Tsugishige Kondo founded the Japan Surgical Society. The foundation of the Japan Surgical Society and the government's centralization of the University of Tokyo were major milestones, because from then on, graduates of the university led the way in surgery in Japan. The University of Tokyo has since contributed enormously not only to the development of surgery but to the foundation of surgery-related fields.

Key words

Isolation Siebold Scriba Japan Surgical Society University of Tokyo 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshio Mishima
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor Emeritus of SurgeryMedical and Dental University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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