In the years after 1868, when Japan's long period of self-imposed isolation ended, in nursing, as in every other aspect of life, the Japanese looked to the west. This book tells the story of 'Florence Nightingale-ism' in Japan, showing how Japanese nursing developed from 1868 to the present. It discusses how Japanese nursing adopted western models, implementing 'Nightingale-ism' in a conscious, caricature way, and implemented it more fully, at least on the surface, than in Britain. At the same time Japanese nurses had to cope, with great difficulty, with traditional Japanese attitudes, which were strongly opposed to women being involved in professions of any kind, and, as the book shows, western models did not in fact penetrate very deeply.
Aya Takahashi is Associate Professor at the International Student Center, Hokkaido University, Japan.