At the Naito Museum of Pharmaceutical Science and Industry in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, a color print recalls a scourge that struck the country more than a century ago: “It is named ‘influenza’ which is originated from foreign goods imported . . . at first, there is a high fever . . . “

The print depicts a new flu strain that appeared in Japan in 1890 and spread the following year, infecting people in nearly every household. Doctors and drugstores were overwhelmed, and public bathhouses and other places were deserted, the print said.

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