The building that is now home to the NTU Museum of Medical Humanities was built in 1907 during the Japanese colonial period, and formerly housed the Faculty of Medicine of NTU's predecessor, Taihoku Imperial University. Located on the College of Medicine campus, the beautiful European neoclassical-style building was designed by JuroKondo, a renowned architect at the time.
While the museum presently displays cherished artifacts and plays an important role in educating the public about the history of medical studies and culture in Taiwan, the building itself has served in numerous capacitiesfor over a century, bearing witness to many historically significant events. The museum was once a teaching facility and an administrative center as well as a venue for academic and social activities for the nation's medical community and a base for the reform of the medical education system in Taiwan.
The museum offers nine exhibition rooms and maintains three permanent special exhibitions: "Evolution and Humanity," "Where are Taiwanese People From?," and "Prof. Takeo Kanaseki and the Physical Anthropology Research of the NTU College of Medicine." The "Evolution and Humanity" exhibition explores the evolution of the human brain from the perspectives of evolutionary biology and psychology, giving visitors a deeper understanding of the gradual development of our species' mental capacity.
The exhibition, "Where are Taiwanese People From?," focuses on research conducted over the course of the university's history concerning the origin and evolution of people in Taiwan. Much of this research resulted from Prof. Takeo Kanaseki's establishment of physical anthropology studies at the NTU College of Medicine. Following the founding of the Department of Anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine of Taihoku Imperial University, Prof. Kanaseki and dozens of his students went on to develop the systematic study of physical anthropology in Taiwan, pioneering physical anthropology research in Taiwan. While Kanaseki returned to Japan following World War Two, his students, including Chin-Chuan Yu, Tsu-Li Tsai, and Hsi-Kuei Tsai, remained in Taiwan to pursue their research and teaching careers in the field they had helped establish in Taiwan.
The museum also features exhibitions on the study of tropical medicine and snake venom research, which were also introduced into Taiwan during Japanese colonization. The snake venom research exhibition not only shows snake specimens and provides information on how to identify poisonous snakes, it also demonstrates the different physiological effects of snake hemotoxins and neurotoxinson humans.
Another exhibition celebrates the Father of Pharmacology in Taiwan, Tsung-MingTu. Tu, who was the first Taiwanese doctor of medical sciences, served as a professor at the Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan’s School of Medicine beginning in 1922, studied pharmacology and snake venom, and remained an educator for more than 70 years.