The history of German medicine has undergone intense scrutiny because of its indelible connection to Nazi crimes.
What is less well known is that Meiji Japan adopted German medicine as its official model in 1869.
In Doctors of Empire, Hoi-eun Kim recounts the story of the almost 1,200 Japanese medical students who rushed to German universities to learn cutting-edge knowledge from the world leaders in medicine, and of the dozen German physicians who were invited to Japan to transform the country's medical institutions and education. Shifting fluently between German, English, and Japanese sources, Kim's book uses the colourful lives of these men to examine the impact of German medicine in Japan from its arrival to the pinnacle of its influence and its abrupt but temporary collapse at the outbreak of the First World War. Transnational history at its finest, Doctors of Empire not only illuminates the German origins of modern medical science in Japan but also reinterprets the nature of German imperialism in East Asia.