Ideology and Disease: Cholera, Policy and Identity during the Sino-Japanese War

Photo of 1930s Underwood typewriter next to a candle

By Roberto Padilla, The University of Toledo History


During the Sino-Japanese War the Japanese army medical bureau employed medical protocols based largely on their ideological import. The result was a failed system of testing that prevented the early identification of a cholera epidemic that swept through the warzone. Near the end of the conflict the epidemic also spread to Japan.

Key words: cholera, “Asiatic cholera,” Meiji Era, ideology, reform, Germ Theory, epidemic, Catarrh, quarantine, medical knowledge, disease and military.

Edited by Birgit Schneider.

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