Keisuke Ito


The country of japan has produced some really notable inventions as of late and gave come up with a lot of ground-breaking studies and research but this is nothing new. In fact, japan has been on the forefront of discoveries since several decades back and can flaunt some of the best and the brightest in science. One of those men happen to be the noted Keisuke Ito whose works with smallpox, medicine, and natural science are some things the country is extremely proud of and the world can be thankful for. Keisuke Ito made his discoveries and innovations at a time when technology wasn’t as advanced as it is now and this just makes him all the more remarkable.

Early life of Keisuke Ito

The name Keisuke Ito is one that is given a lot of respect in the medical field and it is also quite revered in several scientific fields of study. After all, he was a noted physician and naturalist but what most people fail to be aware of is that the name “Keisuke Ito” wasn’t the one that he was born with. No, when he was born in Nagoya city back in the year 1903 or Kyowa 3 as, he was known by another name entirely which was Gofuku-cho. His father’s name was Gendo Nishimaya and he happened to be a doctor himself which leaves no doubt as to why Keisuke Ito, or Gofuku-cho developed an interest in medicine. From a very early age, he learned he was already learning about his father’s profession and brushing up on Confucianism and medicine with the help and support of his father.

But a mind such as his wasn’t to be contained in just those two subjects; he also developed an interest in botany. He was a very talented young man and in the year 1820 or Bunsei 13, his career as a medical practitioner started and the best part was, he was only 18 years old at the time. It is safe to say that his earliest education came from his father and from his own talent and brains but he could not be contained and the year he turned 19, he left his home town and moved to Kyoto where he studied European sciences.

In the year 1827 or bunsei 10, Ito turned 25 and this was when he travelled to Nagasaki to study under another famous name and his teacher is the acclaimed Phillip von Siebold whose work as a medical practitioner was what brought him to japan in the first place.

The works and accomplishments of Seisuke Ito

It was often said that von Siebold was had a collection of Japanese flora that was really quite impressive at that time and his legacy does lie in his botanical discoveries. It was only fitting that young Keisuke Ito would learn and flourish form him. So great was his learning from von Siebold that his time under the teacher was the turning point in his flourishing academic career. It was on his 27th birthday that he had the honor or issuing his first publication which was a translation with the title tasei Bonzou Meiso; a book about plant names and their Japanese and Chinese translations. his writing career didn’t stop there and he went on to publish 17 more books two of which are very well-know and they are Nippon Sanbutsishu and Nippon Shokobutsu zusetsu Soubu.Those books were indeed glorious works but weren’t his greatest contribution to his country because it is his work with smallpox that really made him stand out from the pack.

In the year 1852, Keisuke Ito was already in his 50’s but he wasn’t done with the medical field just yet. In fact, it was the year that he produced his best work in the form of a smallpox vaccine. It was that year when he was given an order by lord of the Owari clan to have a look at the methods for vaccination that were used to deal with smallpox which was a big problem in the world and in Japan. Keisuke was up to the challenge and came up with a special vaccination method for use in Japan and despite all his studies and books, it was the development of the vaccine that became known as one of his best works and his greatest achievement in his medical career. As part of his work for the Lord, he contributed medical treatment in the area o Owari and even worked hard to promote the natural sciences in the area.

On the year 1868 or Meiji 1, Japan saw abolition of the clans and in their place, prefectures were put up. It was during this time that Ito began to talk about and placed emphasis on how important Western medicine was and how there was a need for a medical school. He, along with some ardent supporters, managed to convince the Aichi Prefecture of this need and they agreed. So it happened that the first ever medical school was put up in what was the former Supreme Court building that used to belong to the Nagoya clan. Interestingly enough, this was the very beginning of the Nagoya University.

In the year 1881 or Meiji 14, Seisuke Ito was made a Professor at the University of Tokyo and this was where he studied and obtained his Ph.D. in the year 1888 or Meiji 21. He had the honor of becoming the first ever director of the gradate society and this was a position that he held with honor and pride. In the following years in the year 1901 or Meiji 34, he was once again given a great honor and was made Professor Emeritus; he was also bestowed with the honorable title of baron. Sadly, this was also the same year that he passed away at the ripe old age of 98 but it can be said that he really did accomplish a lot even in his advanced age and was indeed a man worthy of praise and a place in history.