In the last nineteenth century, Japan produced two pioneers in the neurological field. Perhaps Prof. Hiroshi Kawahara's most monumental contribution was the first publication of the textbook of neurology in Japan. He first reported the two-brother cases of bulbar and spinal muscular atrophy of X-linked recessive trait. Kinnosuke Miura, the professor of the University of Tokyo, described the endemic disease of the "kubisagari" (head-dropping). He published a paper of clinical and pathological study on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
In 1902, Miura founded the "Japanese Society of Neurology" together with Shuzo Kure, the professor of Psychiatry of the University of Tokyo. This Society underwent a metamorphosis to an organization mainly composed of psychiatrists, because of a steady increase in membership of psychiatrists. In the mid-nineteenth century, neurological activities were restricted within the departments of internal medicine, psychiatry or neurosurgery.
After the end of World War II, neurology came to receive recognition of the identity. In 1960, Seizo Katsunuma, the professor of Nagoya University, and Shigeo Okinaka, the professor of the University of Tokyo, started anew "the Japanese Society of Neurology", which was independent of the former Society founded in 1902.
In this paper, the outlines of the history and development of the former and the present Japanese Societies of Neurology for these one hundred years are presented.
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