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Dr. Ogino Ginko: Google Doodle honors the first female doctor licensed to practice Western medicine in Japan



ogino ginko 171st birthday 荻野 吟子 google doodle

Google Doodle celebrates the 171st birthday of Dr. Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子), the first licensed and practicing female doctor of Western medicine in Japan, on April 4, 2022.

Who was Dr. Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子)?

Dr. Ogino Ginko 荻野 吟子
Dr. Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子)

Ogino was born Gin Ogino on April 4, 1851, in Tawarase, in the Musashi territory (present-day Kumagaya city, Saitama prefecture). Dr. Ginko was the Japanese first woman to become licensed to practice Western medicine. As the first female to go to Kojuin, a private medical school for men, she opened the door for women to go to esteemed medical schools in Japan.

Ogino Ginko was Japan’s first female doctor of Western medicine. She lived a life loaded with battles, accomplished a flash of popularity, and afterward discreetly withdrew into history. She advocated for the rights, safety, and health of women and today ought to be recognized as an activist and role model to that large number of balancing who they want to be and who society believes they can be.

Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子) got married in 1867 at 16 years old, in an arranged marriage, to Kanichiro Inamura. Ginko soon divorced her husband in 1870, after having contracted gonorrhoea. Her divorce has been an oppressive step in her life.

In 1873, Ogino Ginko moved to Tokyo to continue and finish her basic education at the school of Yorikuni Inoue, graduating in 1879 with full honors. This progression is profoundly noteworthy as just 15 out of 74 female students from the school figured out how to finish the journey. It is in 1880 that Ginko enters the medical school of Kojuin, accordingly becoming the first female student of the institution.

Subsequently, Ogino Ginko went into Tokyo Women’s Normal School (present-day Ochanomizu University), which was around then a private medical academy with an all-male student body. Despite all the prejudices and much difficulty, she figured out how to graduate in 1882.

Still, it was just because of a series of petitions that she was at last permitted to take her medical practitioner’s examination in 1885, with full grades. Soon after, she opened the Ogino Hospital in Yushima, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology to help ladies in their female battles.

In that same year, Ogino Ginko became the first registered woman physician in Japan.

Dr. Ogino Ginko graduated around 1882. Around then, students who had attended officially-recognized schools were licensed to practice upon graduation. Ogino had attended a private school and thus would have to pass a licensing exam.

Her male classmates handily applied for the two-part test, yet Ogino, who had gone to a similar school, was denied two times. Yet again she battled for two long years, enrolling the assistance of Ishiguro and getting support from Takashima Kauemon, a famous businessman, to persuade the Sanitary Bureau to permit her to take the test.

Dr. Ogino Ginko introduced female doctors as part of the modernization and westernization of Japan that was continuous around then. She contended that the licensing system, in general, was unfair, as the schools that licensed students upon graduation were closed to women, and it was a lot more straightforward for men to go to these schools than to take the test.

She likewise proposed that the nation required female doctors to treat diseases that women probably won’t be comfortable bringing to a male doctor precisely as had happened to her in her early life. To address the absence of precedent for female doctors, she alluded to an old law that illustrated training for female physicians in the Nara period imperial court.

At long last, Dr. Ogino Ginko was permitted to take the exam, passed the two parts in 1885, and became the first woman licensed to practice Western medicine in Japan. She then, at that point, opened her clinic in Tokyo, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Her distinction developed, as did her patient burden, yet she actually consented to serve as both a health educator and school doctor at the Meiji Women’s School in Tokyo.

Dr. Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子) also served as a staff doctor at the girls’ school of Meiji Gakuin University, continuously pronouncing for equality between men and women. During this period Ogino Ginko fell nearer to the Christian church and she reorganized her schedule to devote her extra opportunity to intentional work and church.

In 1890, Dr. Ogino Ginko married a Protestant clergyman and utopian visionary, Yukiyoshi Shikata, with whom she adopted the child of her husband’s sister after the latter had died during a troublesome birth in which Ogino Ginko attempted to help as an obstetric. After the marriage, she went with her newly found family to Hokkaidō in 1894, where she ran a medical practice.

In 1908, after the death of her husband, Dr. Ogino Ginko got back to Tokyo, where she continued running a hospital. Here in Tokyo, she was especially moved by the raising masses of new female doctors and women interested in female health that in 1889 she established, however, she likewise became a professor of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Also, Dr. Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子)was designated secretary of an association working for ensuring women’s health.

Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子) became one of the most important figures of the Meiji time frame under the scientific aspect. Outside of medicine, she took on the more extensive battle for women’s rights, which was tied to her conversion to Christianity and she likewise advocated for women in Japan to acquire the right to vote.

Dr. Ogino Ginko (荻野 吟子) died of atherosclerosis on June 23, 1913, in Tokyo, at 63 years old. Her body is buried at Zoshigaya Cemetery in Tokyo.

Ogino Ginko was one of the first women to practice medicine not as an assistant, but rather as a physician by her own doing. The narrative of her life is a motivation to those tracking down their way today.

On April 4, 2022, Google featured a Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Dr. Ogino Ginko’s 171st Birthday.

The present Google Doodle artwork honors Dr. Ogino Ginko’s legacy and her commitment to gender equality in Japan.


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