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September 2022

Uisahak. 1992 ; 1(1): 92-7.

[Studies on the history of psychiatric diagnosis of the western and the eastern medicine with special reference to the papers presented at the 16th Taniguchi Symposium on the Comparative History of Medicine East and West]

Rhi BY.

Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Korea.

Scientific papers on the history of psychiatric diagnosis presented at the 16th International Taniguchi Symposium for Comparative History of Medicine-East and West which was held in 1991 in Japan were briefly reviewed and discussions and comments interchanged in this meeting were introuduced with some personal appreciation that the meeting was excellently organized and enormously successful. Particularly, the papers of medical historians and the expert in specific area like Indian medicine from North America and Europe were highly instructive. The informal gathering in the evening had offered a fascinating original report such as an old documentary film about Imu, a Japanese culture bound syndrome. One very important point was raised in this review that the comparisons between the Medicine-East and the West, particularly the translation of the Eastern medical descriptions of mental illness into the modern Western pschiatric terms should be very cautiously carried out, because by the crude identification of one medical system with the other system the uniqueness of the illness in a specific time and in a specific place might easily be overlooked. For both Japanese and Korean traditional medicine share with Chinese traditional medicine and yet they preserve their uniqueness, a small group study for comparative East Asian medicine was suggested for the more elaborated clarification of medical terms.

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