FYI May 31, 2018



On This Day

1790 – The United States enacts its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790.
The Copyright Act of 1790 was the first federal copyright act to be instituted in the United States, though most of the states had passed various legislation securing copyrights in the years immediately following the Revolutionary War. The stated object of the act was the “encouragement of learning,” and it achieved this by securing authors the “sole right and liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing and vending” the copies of their “maps, charts, and books” for a term of 14 years, with the right to renew for one additional 14-year term should the copyright holder still be alive.


Born On This Day

1827 – Kusumoto Ine, first Japanese female doctor of Western medicine (d. 1903)[1]
Kusumoto Ine (楠本 イネ, 31 May 1827 – 27 August 1903; born Shiimoto Ine 失本 稲) was a Japanese physician. She was the daughter of Kusumoto Taki, who was a courtesan from Nagasaki; and the German physician Philipp Franz von Siebold, who worked on Dejima, an island foreigners were restricted to during Japan’s long period of seclusion from the world. Ine was also known as O-Ine and later in life took the name Itoku (伊篤). In Japanese she is often called Oranda O-Ine (“Dutch O-Ine”) for her association with Dejima and its Dutch-language Western learning. She was the first female doctor of Western medicine in Japan.[1]

Siebold was banished from Japan in 1829 but managed to provide for Ine and her mother and arranged for his students and associates to care for them. Ine’s reputation grew after she became a doctor of Western medicine, and she won the patronage of the feudal lord Date Munenari. She studied in various parts of Japan under numerous teachers, one of whom impregnated her—likely having raped her—resulting in her only daughter; she never married. She settled in Tokyo after the country ended its seclusion, and assisted in the birth by one of Emperor Meiji’s concubines in 1873. Since her death Ine has been the subject of novels, plays, comics, and musicals in Japan.




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