Kusumoto Oine

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  • Born: 1827/4/15
  • Died: 1903/8/27
  • Other Names: 楠本イネ (Kusumoto Ine)
  • Japanese: おイネ (O-ine)

Oine, also known as Kusumoto Ine, was the first female doctor in Japan[1], and the daughter of German Dejima-based physician Philipp Franz von Siebold.

Her mother was Kusumoto Otaki, who may have been a courtesan but who in any case bore a courtesan's stamp in her official papers allowing her access to Siebold in Dejima[2], the Dutch enclave in Nagasaki closed to almost all Japanese but courtesans.

Her father was caught smuggling a variety of items, chiefly forbidden maps (which, it was believed, could fall into the hands of Japan's enemies, such as Russia, which posed a threat on Japan's northern borders), and was sentenced with banishment from Japan on 1829/9/25[3]. He left the country just over a week later, on 1829/10/3, two-year-old Oine and her mother waving goodbye to him from a small boat in the harbor as his ship, the Cornelius Houtman, pulled away[1].

Oine remained in touch with her father during his long exile, and was provided with Western medicines by him and with a training in Western medicine by his students who remained in Dejima[1].

Her father returned to Japan on 1859/7/6, after thirty years of absence. By this time, Oine had married, had a daughter of her own, become the first female doctor in Japan and established a gynecology clinic in Nagasaki. She would see him for the last time in the month of 1862/3, as he was forced to return to Europe once again, and never returned to Japan[1].


  • Lambourne, Lionel. Japonisme: Cultural Crossings Between Japan and the West. London: Phaidon, 2005.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lambourne. p24.
  2. Lambourne. p20.
  3. Lambourne. p22.
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