Benjamin Hobson (1816-1873): His work as a medical missionary and influence on the practice of medicine and knowledge of anatomy in China and Japan.

Anand N. Bosmia, Toral R. Patel, Koichi Watanabe, Mohammadali Mohajel Shoja, Marios Loukas, R. Shane Tubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Benjamin Hobson was a British missionary and physician who lived in China for twenty years. He founded multiple hospitals in Southern China and used his knowledge of Western medicine to educate Chinese doctors. He wrote several medical textbooks in Chinese of which the first was the A New Theory of the Body (1851). The illustrations from his book were renditions and originals from William Cheselden's Anatomical Tables (1730) and Osteographia (1733).The Japanese version of Hobson's work appeared in Japan during the bakumatsu period (1853-1867), when Japan ended its isolationist foreign policy and began opening itself to the West. During this time, many books from Europe were translated into Chinese to then find their way into Japan. The Chinese anatomy textbook by Hobson (Quanti Xinlun) was instrumental in introducing Western anatomic knowledge to the Chinese and thereby catalyzing a significant change in the practice of medicine in China. A Japanese translation (Zen Tai Shin Ron) of this text published in the 19th century is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalClinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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