(P02AB) A Tropical Disease Between Tokyo and Java - Intertwining Histories of Malaria
Part 1Session 1
Wed 09:00-10:30 K10 | 3.05
Part 2Session 2
Wed 11:00-12:30 K10 | 3.05
- William Bradley Horton Akita University
- Andrew Goss Augusta University
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Japanese effort to befriend Afghanistan using quinine produced in occupied Indonesia during World War II
Takashi Sakata Ishinomaki Senshu University
Records of diplomatic communications during the World War II archived in Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR) of National Archives of Japan indicate that Imperial Japan used quinine captured and produced in Java under Japanese Occupation as a diplomatic tool to befriend occupied countries and territories such as Thailand, the Philippines and French Indochina. However, Japan’s response to requests for quinine from axis and neutral countries varied. Japan exerted by far larger effort for neutral Afghanistan than that for axis Bulgaria for the transport of quinine, although Japan offered cheaper price for the latter. This indicates another facet of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia and suggests the importance of Afghanistan for Japan as a buffer country between British India and the Soviet Union.
Our Medicine: Alternative Medicines for Malaria from Local Renewable Resources during the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia (1942-1945)
William Bradley Horton Akita University
While Java was the world’s leading producer of cinchona bark, the vital ingredient for quinine, World War II resulted in both local and widespread shortages of quinine even within Indonesia. There were shortages of many other kinds of medicines and medical supplies as well. Even before the war, cost of medical treatment, availability of medical professionals, confidence in untested traditional medicines, and even suspicion of Western medicine were obstacles to improvement of public health.
In the days after the declaration of independence, with Japanese troops still present in Jakarta, a small 31-page booklet was published by the government publisher, Balai Poestaka. Entitled Obat-obat dari Bahan-bahan Negeri Sendiri [Medicines from Our Own Country’s Materials], if taken at face value, this book’s authors were seeking to find a way for both individual citizens and whole regions to become more medically independent through utilization of local renewable natural resources and traditional knowledge. Included were two recipes for treatment of malaria. This was not a sudden event, as efforts to develop and test alternative medicines for different illnesses were eagerly spread throughout Indonesia, even crossing Japanese administrative borders and dangerous stretches of ocean. This paper will discuss these two medicines, their development, potential effectiveness, as well as this publication itself.
“Chrysanthemum as a Sword: The Malaria War in Japanese Military Occupied Indonesia”
Mayumi Yamamoto Miyagi University
Malaria was one of the most terrifying diseases for the Japanese military during WWII. It was not found in a particular area but was pandemic throughout Japanese occupied territories from China to Timor. Learning from their experience in China, when the Japanese military advanced to Indonesi individual soldiers and units had three “weapons” in their war against malaria: 1) daily doses of quinine pills, 2) insect repellant oils, and 3) mosquito coils. According to a DVG book in 1939, similar practices were also common in the Dutch East Indies, though mosquito netting was the preferred method. Although rarely discussed, mosquito coils or mosquito repelling incense potentially could have been an extremely important tools in avoiding mosquitoes both before and during Japanese occupation period.
Mosquito repelling incense was made of powdered pyrethrum, a kind of chrysanthemum plant, joch?giku in Japanese. It was a folk medicine in European societies, and Serbia produced the best quality. However, in 1895 a Japanese businessman, Ueyama Eiichiro, and his wife developed the spiral shape which burned longer and with less fire hazard, as well as less breaks in shipping. Ueyama’s company exported mosquito quails from 1930, but during WWII production increased due to Japanese military orders. This paper will explore this war and business, as well as to explore the potential function of war in dissemination of such convenient tools to local populations.
Currently, we are in the middle of the war against COVID-19. Despite this misfortune, some businesses prosper, and some technologies, like internet related technologies become more central. For other products, “war” might be a trigger development of new business models.
Malaria and language in Indonesia: Public Health education before and after the Japanese occupation
James Collins The National University of Malaysia
This paper will examine the language used in handbooks and ephemera about malaria published in Indonesia before and after independence. Although the focus will be on the comparison of the lexicon and morphosyntax of these texts, as well as the social register(s) used, the intent of the paper is a preliminary exploration of the social history of medical language through the late colonial period into contemporary Indonesia. Our survey will take into account the tone and register of the language used in the selected texts. Moreover, we will consider the historical context of medical advances in eliminating malaria, as they impact the language of the printed materials.
Although the early twentieth century was critical in the development of Indonesia’s national language, certainly the Japanese occupation in the middle of the century marked a watershed in the development of Indonesian. The starting point of this presentation will be a 32-page book, Malaria, printed in 1939 by Balai Poestaka, apparently for the general public. This text will be compared to selected texts published after 1945, especially the 1959 booklet, Basmilah Malaria, published by Departemen Kesehatan R.I. The language of a brief article published during the occupation in 1944 (2604), Nasehat Dokter: Tentang Memberantas Malaria, will also be examined.
Changes in government and ideology often obfuscate continuities. For example, before 1990, most Indonesian monolingual dictionaries excluded numerous Dutch loanwords that remained in widespread use throughout Indonesia. But a systematic study of published texts demanded that those words be included as dictionary entries. By comparing texts published only twenty years apart but divided by war, revolution and independence, this paper will survey changes and continuities in the language of the postcolonial discourse about malaria.
Promoting Public Health and Eradicating Malaria by Flicks: Screening Films in Indonesia during the Japanese Occupation
Kochi Kaoru Kanda University of International Studies
This paper will explore the world of cinema in Java during the Japanese occupation in order to examine to what extent the selection of films screened at that time reflected Japanese military authority’s concerns, especially with respect to medicine and public health, and what was represented as a means of eradicating malaria and promoting public health in those films. A list of screened films is made from cinema programs contained the newspapers published in Java during the Japanese occupation is helpful in showing how important the Japanese military authority regarded the medicine and health among the local people, though in terms of their war efforts. The film “(Eradicating) Malaria” is the 11th most frequently screened film, and “Healthy Body” the 23rd. Both films promote basic scientific knowledge of malaria, the basic ways of avoiding it, and the importance of healthy way of life. The former, even though it was fragmented, describes the distribution system of quinine pills in offices or even in remote villages. Those films were certainly produced as means of propaganda, but it doesn’t mean all the contents are merely fakes but contains some reality. This paper will discuss how and what reality we can read from those propaganda films.
Malaria is a deadly disease which has long plagued Southeast Asia. While some areas remain affected, the 20th century witnessed amazing progress in understanding and finding ways to combat Malaria, through medicine, education, and by targeting the transmitting mosquitos. Indonesia played a critical part in this history, not just because its many victims, but also due to the role of researchers like Swellengrebel, and Java’s role as the primary source of cinchona bark out of which quinine was produced.
The histories of Malaria are not merely the scientific advances of Dutch and Indonesian researchers. Such an important disease naturally produced a number of interlaced histories, but which have rarely been explored, and never brought together. The Cinchona bark produced in Java was important not merely for quinine, but for health tonics and other
medicines, and it was also a part of Japan’s global wartime international relations. Medicines produced during the colonial period and during the wartime period changed—even the variety and dosages of quinine—changes which potentially have important connections to medical supply, distribution, wartime priorities, as well as new public health strategies. Medicine and Javanese quinine was even a part of Japanese “soft-culture” literary publishing, while and
medical education in territories under its control experienced great changes. Too much remains unknown—even the importance of mosquito coils—but with the president of Kincho dying in a plane crash in Singapore in late 1942, we can be sure that “Obat Njamoek Tjap Ajam” was a part of both public health and popular culture.
Centering on Indonesia, this panel will bring together discussions of medical and more “social” aspects of Malaria around the 1940s to deepen our knowledge of the interactions between medicine and society.