This disease was first noticed in Japan after the 2nd world war. Two decades later while working at the Tokyo Red Cross Medical Centre in Japan, Tomisaku Kawasaki, noticed in about 50 children from 1961-1967 who presented with a distinctive clinical illness characterized by fever and rash, which was then thought to be a benign childhood illness. There were sudden deaths reported in children less than 2 yrs of age, who had recovered or were in the process of recovery.
Post-mortem reports found that death was caused due to serious complications involving the heart, causing large thrombosis and MI. Kawasaki disease is now recognized worldwide. While it is more common among the Japanese, we now know that it occurs in all racial groups, primarily in children fewer than 5 years of age.