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A Medicated EmpireThe Pharmaceutical Industry and Modern Japan$
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Timothy M. Yang

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501756245

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501756245.001.0001

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Medicinal Infrastructures and Medical Missionaries

Medicinal Infrastructures and Medical Missionaries

(p.105) 4 Medicinal Infrastructures and Medical Missionaries
A Medicated Empire

Timothy M. Yang

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes how Hoshi Pharmaceuticals created spaces for medicinal consumption through its franchise distribution network and how it attempted to mold individual retailers into on-the-ground proselytizers of modern medicine. It elaborates on the discussion of patent medicine as consumer commodities and as vectors of a purportedly civilizing and democratic culture of self-medication. In the early twentieth century, drugstores were not simply places to buy medicines — they were contact zones for a variety of globally circulating goods and ideas. The chapter then investigates how companies like Hoshi helped lay the groundwork for a medicinal culture of self-care through an infrastructure of retailers. Hoshi Pharmaceuticals prized loyalty above all else, but this did not guarantee that its retailers would dutifully impart the company's prescribed messages.

Keywords:   medicinal consumption, franchise distribution network, retailers, modern medicine, patent medicine, self-medication, drugstores, Hoshi Pharmaceuticals

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