12/05 (Tue)

Opening Hours 9:00-17:00

Miyoshi Tokusaburou Papers-Feelings and Memories Traveling through Time
Miyoshi Tokusaburou Papers, one of the figures in Traveling in Time Exhibition, includes personal papers and commercial operating documents. Among these archives, personal papers, which are 96 in total, include memoirs, personal correspondence, photographs taken in Taiwan, and inventories of personal collections. Commercial operating papers are the documents which were created while he was running the branch shop of Tsujirihei in Taiwan from 1899 to 1903. There are 49 commercial operating papers in total. These papers are important sources for the research into Miyoshi Tokusaburou’s commercial activities and public service in Taiwan. In addition, we can also learn Mr. Miyoshi’s turning point in his life and his special relationship with the government at that time. Hence, these historical documents are invaluable. 
Bubonic Plague, Cholera and Influenza in the History of Communicable Diseases in Taiwan(1895-1920)
Bubonic Plague, Cholera and Influenza in the History of Communicable Diseases in Taiwan(1895-1920)

Author: Ou Yi-han |Staff member at the Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History
Photo: Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History

From 1895 to 1920, Taiwan faced large-scale outbreaks of communicable diseases such as bubonic plague, cholera, influenza, malaria, and smallpox. In particular, the bubonic plague epidemic was closely related to the development of public health in Taiwan. In the 1920s, American scholar Charles E. A. Winslow defined public health as the “science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical and mental health and well-being.” Through organized efforts of society and engagement in environmental sanitation, personal hygiene education and provision of medical care, the spread of diseases can be properly prevented and treated, the standard of living of every member of society can be ensured and enhanced, thus realizing the goals of national health and quality longevity.

Herein, the natural conditions and social customs of Taiwan prior to the establishment of the public health system are first introduced. The process of how health policies and medical administration were institutionalized by the colonial government in response to outbreaks of communicable diseases is then described. Finally, outbreaks of bubonic plague, cholera and influenza in Japanese colonial Taiwan are presented along with the government’s response and the public’s perception of the epidemic. As of 16:00 on October 30, 2021, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached 45 million with the death toll reaching 1.18 million. From the past to the present, the battle against germs and infections has been unending.

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