“Imperial Princesses Making Bandages”, Russo-Japanese War, c. 1904.

1900sImperial HouseholdPatriotism/Military
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“Many of the Princesses are in the Ladies’ Nursing Associatiion, a self-supporting auxiliary of the Red Cross Society, founded in Japan by the late Imperial Princess Komatsu.

“… The duties of these society women have taken upon themselves are by no means light.

“The work to be done has all been mapped out in a business-like way. The women are divided into squads, and may volunteer for the branch most congenial to them; beyond that there is no option, and the Princesses work as long and as hard as any of the others.

“Each lady is due at the bandage-room two days a week. The hours are from ten to four, with a few minutes’ intermission for luncheon, which the workers bring with them. The time at which they arrive and leave is taken note of, and also the number of bandages prepared by each. A special costume is worn, so that the bandages may be as antiseptic as possible, and so great is the activity of the workers that the air of the bandage-room is filled with floating lint.

“… All the ladies wear the Red Cross insignia, and the badge of the Nurses’ Association. Besides these, some have achieved the Order of the Red Cross of the First Class … The Viscountess Nire obtained it for going to the front during the war with China [1894-95] to nurse the wounded.”

“The Attitude of the Japanese Women in the War”, by Edwin Emerson, Jr., The Delineator, August 1904

“Imperial Princesses Making Bandages”, Russo-Japanese War, c. 1904.

See also:
HIH Princess Kan-in, President of the Volunteer Nurses Association, 1910.

“Some of the many Associations existing in Japan for the care of the sick and wounded in [the Russo-Japanese War], and the relief of the families of soldiers and sailors, in the field, which have lost their breadwinners include … the Association of Volunteer Nurses. [It] was first organized in the 20th year of Meiji (A.D. 1887) [and] draws its members from the Imperial Princesses, the Court Circle, and the wives of the nobility and gentry. [T]he present General Director and President being H.I.H. Princess Kanin and the Marchioness Nabeshima.

“The members of the Association make it their duty to study nursing so as to be ready for practical service in time of war. During the China-Japan War [1894-1895] the members of the Association made bandages for the use of the Army and Navy Medical Departments, and served as nurses in the Reserve Hospitals in Tokyo and Hiroshima.

“… The Head Office of the Association is at the Red Cross Society’s building in Tokyo, and there are at the present time 32 local Branches in different parts of the country.”

“A Short History of the Japanese Red Cross Society”, from The Russo-Japanese War: Fully Illustrated, No.1 1904

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