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Vortrag: „Pioneering Female: Japanese Female Physicians in Germany during the Meiji Era“ (Wen-Wei Lan, M.A.)

29. Juni 2023 @ 18:00 - 20:00

In the late nineteenth century, Japan underwent a period of significant transformation marked by political and social changes. One key aspect of this transformation was the introduction of compulsory education by the Meiji government in 1872. While compulsory education primarily targeted on men to bolster national security, women were encouraged to acquire practical skills for motherhood and marriage.

Another crucial point to promote this transformation is that the government sought to revive a strong nation by acquiring knowledge and technological advancements from Western countries. They sent students to the United States and European countries. During the 1890s, the number of Japanese students who chose to study in Germany significantly increased and reached a zenith. Given the growing body of literature on overseas students, a lacuna in existing research on the experiences of female Japanese medical students who pursued medical education in Germany has remained. This study addresses the gap in the literature by examining the experiences of two pioneering female Japanese medical professionals, Dr. Urata Tada and Dr. Fukui Shigeko, who pursued their medical studies in Marburg. They were noteworthy students who traveled to Germany in the early twentieth century. After earning a medical degree, they served as physicians and focused on intensive medical training to establish a foundation for their future careers. After returning to Japan, they opened their own clinics and became trailblazers in their field.

This study aims to examine on the motivations that drove female Japanese physicians to choose Germany as their educational destination, a choice that challenged societal expectations and traditional gender roles. Through my research, I analyze the unique circumstances that allowed Dr. Urata and Dr. Fukui to succeed despite the limitations placed on female students in German universities, which ultimately rendering them to successfully study and earn MD degrees at Marburg University. This research offers a deeper understanding of female education in modern Japan and spotlights the marked contributions of female Japanese physicians during the Meiji period to medical education and practice.

Wen-Wei Lan, a Ph.D. student affiliated with the Japan Center, is dedicated to studying the history of education, gender, and knowledge transfer in Japan. Her doctoral research centers around female education during the Meiji era. Before joining LMU, she obtained her M.A. in Japanese Studies at the National Taiwan University and worked as a research assistant at Academia Sinica.

Der Vortrag findet in Präsenz statt. Ort: Japan-Zentrum der LMU, Seminargebäude am Englischen Garten, Oettingenstr. 67, 80538 München, Raum 151.


29. Juni 2023
18:00 - 20:00
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