A Portrait of the Colonial Intellectuals: Kim Chang-sei and the Shanghai Cosmopolitan's Road
역사와 문화, Vol.23(null) : 449~470, 2012
Kim Chang-sei (1893-1934) graduated from Severance Union Medical College in 1916, and he was the first Korean to become a Doctor in Public Health(DrPH) at Johns Hopkins University in 1925. Dr. Kim opened the discourse on national hygiene and national physical rebuilding, and was also interested in the health care system. However, as a fighter for national independence, he would not collaborate with the colonial government to improve the Joseon people’s health condition. He wanted to become a health director of an autonomous government, but the discourse of autonomy was abolished. Dr. Kim’s journey to Beijing in 1926 offered him an important opportunity to determine what his activity in public health would be in the future. He met John B. Grant (1890-1962) who had taken the lead in public health in China. Dr. Kim wanted to secure his independent health program with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation. He planned hygiene- laboratory-managed health activity to improve the Joseon people’s health condition. Perhaps he needed to prepare a similar plan to John Grant's the First Health Station because John Grant had interviewed him when Dr. Kim asked for financial support. However, the Rockefeller Foundation did not want to support financial backing for individuals such as Dr. Kim and private institutions such as Severance Union Medical College in colonial Korea. As the plan of implementing hygiene laboratories was frustrated in colonial Korea, Dr. Kim looked for cosmopolitan space to secure political liberty and to enable hygiene experiment. Ultimately, he resigned his professorship of Severance Union Medical College in August 1927, and headed for Shanghai in November 1927. The National Revolutionary Army tried to unite China in the Northern Expedition. They aimed at anti-imperialism and anti-warlordism and occupied Shanghai on May 1927. As a field director of the Department of Community Health in 1927, he was responsible for publicity and health education with the Council on Health Education in China. Concentrating on publicity and health education, he broadcast his concerns about government and civilian activities. According to his article in The China Medical Journal in 1928, in which he analyzed bleak condition of public health in Shanghai, he had a solution that would improve this problem. At first, he noted the differences in health administration among the International Settlement, French Concession, and Chinese residences. He argued that if concession authorities, the Chinese government, and voluntary health institutions progressed toward international cooperation, and collaborated with the Nanjing government, they would contribute to international peace. Dr. Kim could not be satisfied with civilian activities, and he tried to participate in the health administration of the Chinese government or the concession authorities. In doing so, he thought to complete his hygiene experiment. Finally, he got his job in the department of health in French municipal concession. As a Shanghai cosmopolitan, he foresaw that the health care system in Shanghai could improve the health condition of residents, while cooperating with concession authorities, the Chinese government, and voluntary health institutions. But he resigned the short-lived position in the concession authorities and voluntary health institutions. He headed for New York to search for new activities, and finally he shot himself to death.