about "ICHUSHI"

Message from the President


Japan Medical Abstracts Society (JAMAS) is pleased to announce the 120th anniversary of its founding. I have served as President for 13 years, during which time I have also served as President of the Japan Academic Association for Copyright Clearance (JAC), Auditor of the Japan Reproduction Rights Center (JRRC), and Chairman of the Medical Terminology Management Committee of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences. I have been fortunate to have worked in areas where these four organizations overlap with each other, and this has allowed me to see the overall picture of medical information in Japan. For example, the thesaurus that classifies terms in the Medical Terminology Dictionary of the Japan Medical Association is based on the thesaurus of the Ichushi-Web, and the works covered by the Japan Academic Association for Copyright Clearance overlap with the Ichushi-Web. It is important for these four organizations to continue to work in a complementary manner by separating their activities from each other.

Ichushi-Web also contains old information from 1903 to 1983 named OLD Ichushi. By searching the bibliographic information in OLD Ichushi as digitized materials, you can jump to the linked "National Diet Library”, and you can now read the abstract as an image file on the "Ichushi Archive".

The quality of the literature database depends on the content of the published literature, but newer literature is not always correct. The Ichushi, which started 120 years ago, is a milestone in the development of science, and the incorporation of the OLD Ichushi has made it possible to access valuable original papers. The incorporation of OLD Ichushi is an epoch-making event.

Although it is up to users who read the bibliographic information on the journal to judge the quality of individual articles, all of us at the JAMAS are committed to maintaining the unbiased quality of abstracts of articles.

The 120-year-old Ichushi, first published in 1903, has evolved from a print edition to a CD-ROM version and then to a Web version, and we will continue to respond to further developments in the way databases are communicated.

Yousuke Seyama, M.D., Ph.D.
March 2, 2023

Profile of the President


"Igaku Chuo Zasshi (ICHUSHI)" is a bibliographic database that was established in 1903 and is being updated by the Japan Medical Abstracts Society (JAMAS), a non-profit and non-governmental body. Ichushi contains bibliographic citations and abstracts from more than 4,000 biomedical journals and other serial publications published in Japan. The online version, "Ichushi-Web", was started in April 2000 and is now accessed by almost all medical, dental, nursing, and other health-sciences schools and institutions nationwide and by many individual scientists, healthcare professionals, and consumers.


Founding of JAMAS and Shiro Amako

Shiro Amako
Shiro Amako (1865-1930)

The history of indexing and abstracting service of medical literature started in 1879, with the first publication of Index Medicus in the United States. JAMAS was established 24 years later, in 1903, as a journal modeled after Centralbratt fur die Gesamte Medicin, which is a German medical abstracting journals. JAMAS is the second oldest continuing medical literature indexing and abstracting publication, following Index Medicus.

The first issue of ICHUSHI
The first issue of ICHUSHI

The first president of JAMAS, Shiro Amako, MD (1865-1930), graduated from Hiroshima Medical School. After helping found the Geibi Medical Society (now the Hiroshima Medical Society), he started his own practice in Yanaka, Tokyo, in 1903, and founded JAMAS the same year. During the early year of his practice, he had a close relationship, both as a doctor and a freiend, with Soseki Natsume, a famous novelist who lived in the same town. "Amagi-sensei" in "I Am a Cat" was supposedly based on Shiro Amako.

The first issue of ICHUSHI archived in "NDL (National Diet Library) Digitized Contents"

Continuance of Business

Fujiro Amako
Fujiro Amako (1892-1972)

Fujiro Amako, M.D., Ph.D. (1892-1972) son of Shiro Amako, took over the business of JAMAS. He kept on publishing ICHUSHI even during the Second War. After he passed away, each of Mototaka Murakami, M.D., Ph.D. (1914-1989), Tsuneki Shinohara, M.D., Ph.D. (1929-2010) and Yousuke Seyama, M.D., Ph.D. (1941-) succeeded this business as a chairman of the Board.

Increased Amount of Information and Release of CD-ROM Version

In 1903, the year JAMAS was founded, only 1,865 articles and 64 journals were indexed. As medical science advanced, the number of articles continued to increase. By the 1980's, the number of articles exceeded 200,000 and the number of journals exceeded 2,000. To make efficient use of such an enormous amount of data, the "Ichushi CD", a CD-ROM version of JAMAS, was released in 1992.

The Internet and JAMAS

"Ishu-Shi Web", the Internet-based retrieval service, started in 2000.

Organizational Transition

Given the highly public nature of its operations, in 2002 Japan Medical Abstracts Society (JAMAS) became a nonprofit organization recognized by the Japanese government.

About Ichushi-Web

Ichushi Web
Ichushi Web

"Ichushi-Web" is an exhaustive collection of Japanese biomedical literature. The number of citations in the database increases by more than 400,000 per year and now exceeds over 15 million citations.

Source of Data

Data in the "Ichushi-Web" are collected from a wide range of sources, such as journals published by academic societies, professional journals published by medical publishers, bulletins released by schools, and research reports published by public and private organizations and institutions.

Manual Indexing Based on the Thesaurus

Trained indexers attach keywords that are relevant to the subject contents of each article, based on the "Thesaurus for Medical and Health-related Terms". The "Ichushi-Web" allows highly accurate searches using these keywords.

"User-friendly Search" and "Advanced Search"

"Ichushi-Web" is designed so that accurate search results can be obtained even when the search is performed with a method similar to that used by Google and other search engines. Users wanting a more precise search can use advanced search functions, such as accessing the thesaurus.

Summary of our Service

User Fees

"Ichushi-Web" is a service targeting corporate and institutional clients, such as universities, hospitals, and private companies. "Ichushi-Web" can be used for a fixed annual fee (starting at 275,000 yen [including Japanese consumption tax].


Please contact a sales agent or JAMAS for more information.

NPO Japan Medical Abstracts Society
2-5-18 Takaido-higashi Suginami-ku, Tokyo