Planning of Sanitary and hygiene system based on the “Biological principles”
In 1898, Gotō Shimpei, who had studied medicine in Germany, conducted a thorough westernized survey on the environment and the human habits in Taiwan, not only to understand the fundamental reasons for the prevalent cholera, plague, and malaria, but also to understand the bad habits or customs that could lead to healthcare problems (Liu, 2006). Shimpei developed a series administer policies and urban planning strategies, in an attempt to address the questions that how the Japanese, and their healthcare systems could adapt to the new environment.
In the urban planning field, according to the germ theory, Shimpei recognized the importance of well-planned infrastructure to the healthcare condition in Taiwan. He
planned to improve the sewage systems and built a public hospital so as to fundamentally improve the sanitary and healthcare condition within the congested city. Shimpei built a military style Taipei hospital on the northeast area within the original city wall, occupying the originally vacant lot in the city, while improving the road system that connects the hospital to the rest of the city (Fig 1). He has also improved the sewage system by constructing a series of open and enclosed drainage in the city (Fig 2, 3&4), along with the construction of main roads.
To ensure the quality of water supply. Large number of wells were constructed, and a water reservoir was constructed in Keelung. Along with the supervision of slaughter house and heavy industries (Chang and Ramon, 1963), the water supply system was greatly improved thanks to Shimpei’s thorough planning.
To conclude, Shimpei did not forget to incorporate his considerations on the hygiene condition while planning for the other facilities and infrastructure in the city, which then proved to be greatly improving the hygiene condition in Taihoku (Allen, 2012).
Regarding the administer field, the colonial government had set up a sanitary police force, not only to address to the bad habits of the Han Chinese residents there, but also to nurture a group of medical students who would later become the local leaders (Liu, 2006). Shimpei also carried out a series of education policies to rectify the old customs that caused healthcare problems, such that the hygiene condition could be improved from the fundamental sources.
All in all, the hygiene condition in Taihoku was greatly improved thanks to Shimpei’s policies and urban planning based on the studies of local diseases and customs. Not only was the healthcare condition improved, the colonial rule was also strengthened.
Shiyung Liu, 2006. Building a strong and healthy empire: the critical period of building colonial medicine in Taiwan.
Jan van Bremen，Akitoshi Shimizu, 1999. Anthropology and Colonialism in Asia: Comparative and Historical Colonialism. Published by Routlege Curzon.
Joseph R. Allen, 2012. Taipei: City of Displacements. Published by the University of Washington Press.