Azai Kokkan (浅井国幹)

Kokkan AZAI (1848-1903) was a Japanese doctor in the Meiji period who engaged in the Kampo (traditional Chinese medicine practiced in Japan) Revival Movement. His real first name was Masatsune.

Brief Personal History
The following is Kokkan's brief personal history and brief history of the Law of Doctor Licensing System and the Kampo Revival Movement.

1848: He was born as the first child of Kaen (or Kyuko, the real first name was Masatoshi), the ninth head of the Azai family, the family of doctors of the Owari Domain, in Nagoya.

1866: He became a substitute teacher at the Owari Domain's medical school at the age of 19.

August 1874: The introduction of 'Isei', the doctor licensing system, was proclaimed.

1875: The movement for the continuance of Kampo doctors started. September 1875: Six Wise Men of Kampo including Sohaku ASADA presented 洋方六科 (six subjects of Western medicine).

1876: The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that passing examinations of the six subjects of Western medicine would be necessary to start medical practice (except that Kampo doctors were allowed to continue working in their lifetime without passing the examination).

February 1879: Kaen and his son, Kokkan took the lead in establishing Aichi Hakuaisha (Hakuaisha literally means "philanthropic society"; it was the predecessor of the Japanese Red Cross Society).

February 1879: National Medical Licensing Examination was started.

March 1879: Gyoko YAMADA and Sohaku ASADA (the second), former members of Edo Medical School, established Onchisha (literally means "society of the revival of wisdom"; it promoted the continuance of Kampo).

April 1879: Getting permission by the government, Kokkan established the Imperial Kampo Medical School in Nagoya.

October 1879: Kokkan sent each Onchisha of different prefectures a letter saying he would like them to unite one another and cooperate with Tokyo Onchisha.

1881: Imperial Kampo Institute was founded in Kanda. Kokkan was elected the third chairman in the Onchisha National Convention.

November 1882: Due to Kokkan's efforts, Aichi Hakuaisha, Tokyo Onchisha, Kyoto Sanikusha, and Kumamoto Kyousha united for the common purpose.

1883: The Institute of Chinese and Japanese Medical Science (later Tokyo Onchi School) was founded with donations from members all over Japan. The director: Kokkan, the deputy director: Gyoko YAMADA. After the foundation of the Institute, they repeatedly petitioned for the continuance of Kampo doctors, but their requests were refused every time.

October 1883: 'Law of Doctor Licensing System' was enacted by Dajokan fukoku (proclamation by the Grand Council of State).

1884: 'Examination Regulations on Practicing Medicine' and 'Regulations on Doctor Licenses' came into force.

January 1887: Onchisha was dissolved due to the deaths of influential leaders and the increase of unpaid membership fees due to inactive petition activity.

1891: Kokkan formed the imperial medical community with 3,000 fellows across the country. They started the political campaign for the first Imperial Diet.

1895: 'Bill to Amend the Regulations on Doctor Licenses' submitted by Kampo doctors was rejected by a margin of 27 votes in the eighth Imperial Diet.

1900: He went back to Nagoya.

1903: He died at the age of 55.

Literary work
"Azai-shi Kakei Taisei" (The Complete Genealogy of the Azai Family) written by Kokkan AZAI; its reprinted edition was published by Iseisha in 1980.

[Original Japanese]