Objectives : To examine changes in Korean Medicine during Japanese occupation through major Joseoneo dictionaries.
Methods : Based on the Keun Sajeon, published in 1957 by the Korean Language Society, the most recently published among the major dictionaries under Japanese occupation, key Korean Medical terminology in the Joseoneo Sajeon, published in 1920 by the governor-general of Joseon, and the Joseoneo Sajeon, published in 1938 by Mun Seyeong were analyzed. The differences among the dictionaries provided insight into the situation which Korean Medicine was in.
Results : 1) There was a lack of consistency among Korean Medical terminology. 2) Changes in medical policies and legislation were reflected in the Korean Medical terminology without much delay. 3) Korean Medicine was distinguished as a separate category in the Keun Sajeon for the first time. 4) With the exception of Korean Medicine specific terminology, most were explained using 'modern' concepts and ontology.
Conclusions : Modernization lead by the Japanese splintered many areas of Joseon society, and Korean Medicine was no exception. This transition period as reflected in the terminology within the Joseoneo dictionaries show that Korean Medicine went through a process of regulation by changes in medical policies and legislation, while new, modern studies brought in by the Japanese started replacing language and ontology of pre-occupation Joseon. A look into Korean Medicine during Japanese occupation through Joseoneo dictionaries allows us to examine the connection between Korean Medicine and the more broader historical context in which it was situated.