Progress of medicine in Japan.
--The introduction of foreign customs into Japan
has induced the Japanese to overcome their horror at the mutilation of the dead by dissection.
A letter from Japan
"How earnest is the desire for improvement is clearly shown in this, that in spite of all the deep-rooted prejudices against touching and mutilating a dead body, the authorities at last gave way to the much pressed request of the Dutch
physician, and permitted the dissection of a criminal who had been beheaded for some great crimes.
Yet, in order to prevent any possible popular demonstration, the body was dissected on a high rock, of difficult approach, all paths leading to it being guarded, in addition, by soldiers.
A story, also, was invented by the authorities, to quiet the feeling of the people.
It was said that, as the cholera had been raging so much amongst the inhabitants, the Dutch
physician thought it necessary to look in to one of the bodies of the Japanese, to see if there be not some peculiar formation in the interior, causing this great liability of taking the fatal disease.
Furthermore, it was stated that the criminal who thus did, even after death, a good thing for the sake of his countrymen, should receive a burial in sacred ground, and have a tablet erected, both of which honors are generally denied to criminals."