Women cross the Diag in the 1950s with a banner for Sorosis, the professional women’s club. Click the photo for a larger version. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

This month in history (67 years ago)

If not the first, Tomo Inouye was one of the first female doctors in Japan, and the first Japanese woman to attend or earn a degree from the University of Michigan. She enrolled at the U-M Medical School, made American friends, and earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1901. She returned to Japan, opened a medical practice in Tokyo, and served as a school physician. In 1945 during World War II, her home and practice were destroyed by bombing. She wrote in November 1948 to her U-M classmates: “All my pictures, books, instruments, specimens and everything were completely burned to the ground through that terrible bomb.” Inouye recalled that at their graduation, a fun photo was taken of her — the shortest in the class — with Dr. Albert Noordewier — the tallest. “Please kindly remember me to any of the classmates with my best regards,” she wrote.

— Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.