Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oishi Seinosuke

I received a patron query today all the way from Kyoto, Japan, about an early graduate. Oishi Seinosuke graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1895, just one year after Esther Pohl Lovejoy. Unlike Lovejoy, Oishi has left almost no trace in the collections here at HC&A. He is listed as a student in the annual announcements for the 1893-94 and 1894-95 sessions, but is not listed in the directory of licensed Oregon physicians published in 1898. We had no folder for him in our Biographical Files, nor a card for him in the Obituary File.

The patron who contacted us has written a short biography of Oishi, which is available on the web. It's a fascinating read, especially since so many of our other early graduates seemed to go on to become political activists of one stripe or another--Lovejoy and Marie Equi are two examples. That Oishi was driven to extreme acts and eventually put to death for his beliefs is tragic; that he is remembered and celebrated to this day is a testament to the power of the past. To aid in the transmission of historical knowledge to future generations of researchers, I have started a Biographical File on Oishi; perhaps someday we'll be able to add even more information as it comes to light.

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