Jin Season 1 – Episode 2 Synopsis

Episode 2: The tragedy of saving lives


Jin learns that the identity of the mysterious man is Sakamoto Ryoma, who is called the hero of the final days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and is speechless at the news. He wonders if Ryoma had been that unidentified man at the hospital? That would mean that he was not murdered* and travelled through time to 2009 … ?

Having saved the lives of Kyotaro and Tae, Jin is plagued with apprehension and doubt.

“I may be changing history by continuing to practice medicine here.
Keeping alive someone who should have died is changing that person’s destiny.
That may mean killing someone out there who should live.
If I take a mere step, the destiny of someone may change.
Perhaps I … should actually disappear from this place now.
If I cannot do that …
I should at least …
hold my breath and live inconspicuously as much as I can.
Until the day I can return …

Meanwhile, a deadly infectious disease called cholera is about to ravage Edo once again. Fearing that Edo will become a city of death, Ogata Koan, the head of the Western Medicine Institute, visits the Tachibana residence when he hears about Jin’s mastery of advanced medical treatment techniques from Saburi Yusuke. Ogata bows, asking Jin to teach him how to treat cholera. However, Jin who has started to worry that he may change the destinies of people by living in this era, lies that he does not know about this illness called cholera.

Then, on a visit to Tae’s house together with Saki, Jin sees Kiichi vomit severely and collapse. Jin maintains that he does not know how to treat cholera even as he watches the little boy suffering right before his own eyes … Saki realises that Jin had been feigning ignorance when he unwittingly lets slip that it is a contagious disease. Jin feebly explains that there is a line that he cannot cross even if he knows about cholera. In the face of Saki’s demands to know the reason why he, as a doctor, will not save the life of an innocent child, and the sight of Kiichi curled up in pain, Jin’s earlier resolve gives way. Spurred into action, he explains the method to combat the spread of cholera to Tae’s neighbours. Then he starts dissolving salt and sugar in water to make what is termed oral rehydration solution (ORS) in modern medicine in order to replenish the fluids Kiichi has lost as a result of the vomiting and diarrhoea.

Saki tries to help but Jin pushes her to leave, knowing that Ei will be distraught if another member of the Tachibana family catches cholera. So, Saki reluctantly returns home and starts praying before the family altar. But she soon grows restless and frustrated with her helplessness. Prayer could not pull her father from the brink of death back then and yet she is praying now when there is a way to fight cholera. Making up her mind to join in the battle against the disease, she hurries to summon Ogata’s help.

At that moment, Ryoma and his compatriot, Inaba, are launching an assassination attack on Katsu Kaishu which somehow seems to go awry. Is Ryoma deliberately foiling the attempt? Then Inaba suddenly collapses and vomits. A worried Ryoma hurriedly carries him away in search of Jin.

Ogata and his men arrive with Saki in the district of Nagaya where Jin has been treating Kiichi and other patients stricken with cholera. Jin, who is reaching his limit because of the strain of caring for them, is appreciative of Saki’s gesture. Ogata wants Jin to tell him the method for treating cholera before he will honour his request. Jin explains at length but Ogata says that he can only trust Jin if he knows where he learnt this knowledge and Jin is unable to reply. Dissatisfied, Ogata turns and walks away. Jin goes on his knees to beg Ogata to help him. Then, Yamada Junan, one of Ogata’s aides throws up and collapses … Cholera has struck again.

At that moment, Ryoma appears with Inaba. Having witnessed the scene between Ogata and Jin, Ryoma loudly mocks the doctors from the Western Medicine Institute, who recoiled in fear from Yamada, as he entrusts Inaba to Jin … Then Ogata grasps Yamada tightly and carries him over to Jin, “Please save him. For the sake of our country, our field (of medicine).”

*Sakamoto Ryoma was a real figure in history who was instrumental in setting the stage for the Meiji Restoration in 1868. However, he was assassinated in 1867 at the age of 33, never seeing the modern Japan that he had struggled to build.

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About jadefrost

This blog contains information and musings on current and upcoming Japanese dramas but is not intended to be comprehensive.
This entry was posted in Fall 2009 Dramas, Jin Series, TBS/MBS. Bookmark the permalink.

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