Anesthesia, department of anesthesiology and anesthesiology--why has anesthesiology not been accepted socially in Japan?
Matsuki A.
Department of Anesthesiology,
Hirosaki University
School of Medicine.
Masui. 2000 Feb;49(2):195-200.


An incorrect Japanese terminology of "Masuigaku [symbol: see text]" has been used widely to express "anesthesiology" or "anaesthetics" [symbol: see text] since the first Department of Anesthesiology was established in Tokyo University in 1952. The reason why the nomenclature "Masui-gaku" is wrong is as follows: Japanese nomenclatures for clinical medical sciences should include a Chinese character "Ka [symbol: see text]" such as "nai-ka-gaku" for internal medicine, "ge-ka-gaku" for surgery and "gan-ka-gaku" for ophthalmology. Accordingly the name "Masui-gaku" is erroneous to mean "Anesthesiology" and it should be "Masui-ka-gaku" [symbol: see text]. Thus a big confusion has occurred among lay people as well as many physicians in medical field. "Ma-sui" is etymologically a Japanese word which Dr Seikei Sugita coined when he translated a Dutch edition of J. Schlesinger's monograph on ether anesthesia in 1850. "Ma [symbol: see text]" means analgesia or loss of regional sensation and "Sui [symbol: see text]" means loss of consciousness. Most people consider that "Ma [symbol: see text]" is originated from "[symbol: see text] (Hemp, Asa)" or "[symbol: see text] (Marihuana, Taima)", however, this is definitely incorrect and "Ma [symbol: see text]" of "Ma-sui" has no direct relation with the pharmacological effect of hemp. Thus the misuse of "Masui-ga-ku" might have caused serious academic and social confusions, such as misunderstanding of anesthesiologists as comedical technicians, leading to a poor social acceptance of anesthesiology and anesthesiologists for these fifty years in Japan. To correct this confused situation I would like to ask our colleagues to use correctly these nomenclatures.
Seishu Hanaoka
Inhaled anaesthetics
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
Chloroform anaesthesia
A thalamocortical switch?
Anaesthesia and the spinal chord
History of anaesthesia apparatus
Consciousness, anaesthesia and anaesthetics
First use of anaesthetics in different countries
Anaesthesia: mutants in yeast, nematodes, fruit flies and mice

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World