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Saga Medical Center Koseikan


400 Nakabaru, Kase-machi, Saga-shi, 840-8571

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Saga-Ken Medical Centre Koseikan is one of few Japanese hospitals that have over 180 years of history and tradition.

The History of Koseikan

Naomasa Nabeshima
Public Interest
Incorporated Foudation
Nabeshima Hokokai

In 1834, Naomasa Nabeshima, the 10th feudal lord of Saga, founded a medical school with student accommodation in Hachimankoji, Saga City. Naomasa inscribed the name "Koseikan" himself with calligraphy on a signboard and had the signboard displayed at the student accommodation, thus marking the beginning of the history of Koseikan.
The name Koseikan comes from the 1st section of the Shujing, the Chinese Book of History, “the Virtue of valuing human life for all."
Kokudo Koga, a professor at the Saga Han Kodokan School, argued for the necessity of medical education in his work, Gakusei Kanken, in 1806, and advocated for physician knowledge saying, “Without learning, it is impossible to become a good doctor." These words became the principal for the establishment of Koseikan as an institution that outlines the importance of education in order to train and inspire physicians. At the time, Koseikan played a pioneering role in medicine in Japan having administered Japan's first smallpox vaccine (bovine smallpox), introduced a medical profession licence system, and issued medical practitioner licences (physician licences). Tsunetami Sano, who founded the Japanese Red Cross Society, also received his medical practitioner license and officially became a physician.
In 1858, it was relocated to Mizugae in Saga City and was officialty unified under the name of Koseikan. In 1896, it became Saga Prefectural Hospital Koseikan and provided advanced, unique medical treatment and education as a flagship hospital in community medicine for a long period of time.
In 2010, Koseikan became a Local Incorporated Administrative Agency and in 2013, it was relocated to Kase-machi in Saga City under the new name Saga-Ken Medical Centre Koseikan and equipped with a complete range of medical functions to provide the latest advanced medical treatment.

Important Dates for Koseikan

1806Kokudo Koga commissioned to write Gakusei Kanken by the 9th feudal lord of Saga, Narinao Nabeshima.
1830Naomasa Nabeshima became the 10th feudal lord of Saga and began the reformation of the domain's administration.
1834Medical school and student accommodation was built. Naomasa's calligraphy was displayed, thus launching Koseikan.
1849Ryoei Oishi administered the smallpox vaccine to Naomasa's son, Junichiro

Painting of smallpox vaccination

1851Inauguration of Saga domain medical profession licence system, issue of list of names of medical professionals with licences, and delivery of medical practitioner licences.

Original medical profession
licence name register

1858Relocated to Katatae (now Mizugae) in Saga City and were unified under the name Koseikan.
1860Otamagaike Vaccination Institute, established by Genboku Ito, a court physician, became the School of Western Medicine of the Tokugawa shogunate.
1877Tsunetami Sano's Hakuaisha, precursor to the Japanese Red Cross, was established.
1879Overseas doctor employed (Donitz, Germany), who taught German medicine

Donitz Family

1883Became a first-class medical school
1888Became Saga Public Hospital
1896Became Saga Prefectural Hospital Koseikan
1899Establishment of nurse training school affiliated with Prefectural Hospital Koseikan
1968Designation as clinical training hospital
1998Palliative Care Ward (15 beds) established.
2010Transitioned to a Local Incorporated Administrative Institution
2013Relocated to Kase-machi, Saga city, and became Saga-Ken Medical Centre Koseikan
2014Celebrated its 180th anniversary

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Local incorporated administrative agency Saga-Ken Medical Centre Koseikan
400 Nakabaru, Kase-machi, Saga-shi, 840-8571
TEL:0952-24-2171 FAX:0952-29-9390