William Willis (physician)

William Willis (physician)

Infobox Person
name = William Willis

caption = Doctor William Willis
birth_date = 1837
birth_place = Ireland
death_date = 1894
death_place =
other_names =
known_for = Foreign advisor to Meiji Japan; ["Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi" p63]
occupation = doctor, foreign advisor to Japan
nationality = British

William Willis (1837–1894) was a British physician (medical doctor) who joined the British mission in Japan in 1861.


Willis was born in Ireland in 1837, and studied medicine at Glasgow, Scotland. He volunteered for an assignment at the British legation in Edo, Japan in 1861, where he served as medical officer under Sir Harry Parks. During the unsettled years at the end of the Tokugawa bakufu and Meiji restoration, Willis treated the British nationals wounded in the Namamugi Incident and the Bombardment of Kagoshima.

Willis later participated to the Boshin war as the head of medical operations for Satsuma domain During the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, he set a military hospital in the temple of Shōkokuji (相国寺 [ [http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%9B%B8%E5%9B%BD%E5%AF%BA Shokokuji Temple] ] ) in Kyoto, not far from the frontline. He continued to support the medical operations of the Satsuma side throughout the Boshin War. ["Saigo Takamori and Okubo Tshimichi", p63. ISBN 4309760414)]

Willis was later appointed professor and clinical chief of the "Igakko" (later the faculty of medicine of Tokyo Imperial University.

In 1870, Willis resigned to become head of the hospital and medical school in Kagoshima at the invitation of Saigo Takamori. The institution later became the medical department of Kagoshima University. With the outbreak of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, he returned to Tokyo.

Willis returned to England in 1881, and later spent time with his great friend Ernest Satow in Bangkok, Siam.


See also

* Anglo-Japanese relations
* Hugh Cortazzi 1985, "Dr. Willis in Japan, 1862-1877: British medical pioneer" (London: Athlone Press) ISBN 0-485-11264-7

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