Korean J Med Hist.  2005 Dec;14(2):101-122.

The Life of Medical Historian Miki Sakae, and the (History of Korean Medicine and of Diseases in Korea)

  • 1Gyeongin National Uinversity of Education, Korea.


Miki Sakae was a Medical historian, who is well known for his studies of Korean medicine. He authored the renowned trilogy which dealt with subjects of Korean medicine and diseases, namely the (History of Korean Medicine and of Diseases in Korea), (Bibliography of Korean Medical Books), and (The Chronological Table of Medical Events in Korea), during the Japanese Occupation period. He was born in 1903 in Osaka, Japan, and graduated from the Kyushu College of Medicine. In 1928 he was assigned to the Gyeongseong Imperial University's College of Medicine as a professor, and also served as Chief of the Suweon Provincial Hospital while he was staying in Korea. During the 18-year period of his stay, he widely collected medical books of Korea and also thoroughly studied them. He returned to Japan in 1944 due to the illness of his father, but continued his studies of Korean medicine, and in 1955 published the (History of Korean Medicine and of Diseases in Korea) for the first time. Following such accomplishment, (Bibliography of Korean Medical Books) was published in 1956, the next year, and finally (The Chronological Table of Medical Events in Korea) was published a few decades later, in 1985. Since the 1950s, aside of continuing to study and author the history of Korean medicine, he had also engaged himself in a joint effort associated with the members of the Medical History Association of Japan (which also included the alumni of the Kyushu College of Medicine) in a group study of Huseya Soteki the first Japanese Experimental Physiologist. He also attempted at establishing an academic branch which could be referred to as Experimental Historical Studies of Medicine, by recreating the experiments of Huseya Sotek with his own son.Later he also expanded his interest and studies to the medical history of the world and also the area of Medical Ethics. But his ultimate interest and passion were always targeted at the Medicine of Korea, and the one consistent position he maintained during his entire life regarding the Korean medicine, was that 'One can only talk about the medicine of China and Japan when he or she is well versed in the medicine of Korea'. And his lifetime achievement, (History of Korean Medicine and of Diseases in Korea) was authored upon the basis established by such conviction and philosophy. First, in this book the perspective of Cultural Transmission, which considers the flow of cultural qualities and assets to be ordinarily flowing from highly developed regions to less developed ones, was firmly maintained.


History of Korean Medicine and of Diseases in korea; Cultural Transmission; Medical Interrelationship of Korea; China and Japan; Dong-ui-bo-gam
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