Gōtarō Mikami - Biography

Biography

Mikami was born in the village of Sai on the northern tip of Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. His family had been doctors to the Morioka Domain of the Nambu clan for eight generations in the Edo period. In 1884, accompanied by his father Shikei, he went to Tokyo, where he enrolled at the Mita English School. While studying, Mikami was strongly influenced by the literature scholar, Shiken Morita. He quit school and became a reporter for the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. After his father died in 1893, he resumed his medical studies, enrolling in the Tokyo Saisei Gakusha vocational school the following year. Two years later he passed the two examinations that allowed him to become a medical doctor.

In 1902, Mikami returned to his home village of Sai to devote himself to his medical practice. However, only two years later the Russo-Japanese War began, and Mikami volunteered for the Imperial Japanese Army, where he was assigned to the IJA 3rd Army’s Eighth Division as a medic. In January 1905, he was assigned to a field unit in Manchuria. When his field hospital was surrounded by the Russian army and under threat of attack, Mikami made a crude hand-made flag with the Red Cross symbol from white triangular bandages and pieces of a red blanket. On seeing the flag, the Russians did not attack. Mikami was able to care for the wounded from both sides. The incident was popularized by the Red Cross as tangible proof of the humanitarian Geneva Convention.

After the Russo-Japanese War ended, Mikami commuted between Sai and Tokyo, committing himself to further study and his medical practice. He read a wide variety of books including medicine, politics, religion, history and literature. He mastered French with only a dictionary in order to realize his childhood dream of reading Les Miserables in its original language. He remained active in supporting the efforts of the Japanese Red Cross until his death in 1963.

In 1963, when the International Red Cross celebrated its hundredth anniversary in Geneva, Switzerland Mikami's flag was put on display. Mikami’s Edo-period house in Sai Village has been preserved as a local history museum, and is open to the public from April 29 – October 31 annually.

Read more about this topic:  Gōtarō Mikami

Other articles related to "biography":

Naoko Takeuchi - Biography - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Involvement
... She showed up at the official conference with a fist up, meaning "good luck", in Act Zero ... During the time she worked on PGSM Takeuchi released no new manga. ...
James Branch Cabell - Works - The Biography of Manuel
... A great deal of Cabell's work has focused on The Biography of Manuel, the story of a character named Dom Manuel and his descendants through many generations ... The biography includes a total of 25 works that were written over a 23-year period ... Cabell stated that he considered the Biography to be a single work, and supervised its publication in a single uniform edition of 18 volumes, known ...
Biography - Book Awards
... offer an annual prize for writing a biography such as the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize – Canada National Biography Award – Australia Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography – United States Whitbread ...
Norman Foster, Baron Foster Of Thames Bank - Biography - Present Day
... Foster's earlier designs reflected a sophisticated, machine-influenced high-tech vision ... His style has evolved into a more sharp-edged modernity ...
Virginia Woolf - Bibliography - "Biographies"
... Virginia Woolf published three books to which she gave the subtitle "A Biography" Orlando A Biography (1928, usually characterised as a novel inspired by ...

Famous quotes containing the word biography:

    The death of Irving, which at any other time would have attracted universal attention, having occurred while these things were transpiring, went almost unobserved. I shall have to read of it in the biography of authors.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
    Rebecca West [Cicily Isabel Fairfield] (1892–1983)

    Had Dr. Johnson written his own life, in conformity with the opinion which he has given, that every man’s life may be best written by himself; had he employed in the preservation of his own history, that clearness of narration and elegance of language in which he has embalmed so many eminent persons, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited.
    James Boswell (1740–95)