Treatment of Venereal and Internal Diseases

The Mysterious Japanese Doctor in Semipalatinsk

Saryarka cover

As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, a great wave of awakening surged through Kazakh intellectuals, sparking a passionate quest for knowledge. This outpouring of intellectual zeal led to an explosion of new magazines and newspapers being published in Kazakh, heralding the dawn of a new era in sharing culture.

However, what these intellectuals wrote went beyond only spreading knowledge. Soon, a variety of publications emerged, covering topics like business, society, politics, art, and humor. Qalam invites you to explore snippets from Kazakh publishing culture and history compiled by historian Abai Myrzagali, offering a glimpse into the important issues of the past.

The Saryarqa newspaper, famous as a herald of important social issues, was launched in Semipalatinsk in 1917, coinciding with the founding of Alash, the Kazakh political party and liberation movement. It was published on a weekly basis in Semipalatinsk from 1917 to 1919. During its brief existence, several prominent Kazakhs took on the role of editor-in-chief, including Rayimjon Marsekov, Khalel Gabbasov, and Alikhan Bukeikhanov. Following its ban in 1919, the newly founded Qazaq tili (Kazakh language) newspaper took its place.

The newspaper frequently addressed national questions, reported on riots and congresses, advocated for relief for the starving population, and even provided updates from the battlefield. However, amidst these serious topics, one could also find commercial offers of a more mundane nature, such as the advertisement that follows. It was placed by a mysterious Japanese doctor with a name that appeared somewhat Korean in its Kazakh spelling. In 1918, except on Sundays, he offered a broad range of medical services, both traditional and alternative:

A Skillful Japanese Doctor


Pulse diagnosis and treatment of venereal and internal diseases

Appointments available daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointments on Sundays

Location: Rukavishnikov House, situated at the intersection of Aleksandrovsky and Ust-Kamenogorsk streets in Semipalatinsk

—in Saryarqa, December 1918

Japanese doctor's ad

Japanese doctor's ad


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