Item ID: 10099 San’iku zensho 産育全書 [Complete Book on Obstetrics]. Sansetsu 水原三折 MIZUHARA.
San’iku zensho 産育全書 [Complete Book on Obstetrics].
San’iku zensho 産育全書 [Complete Book on Obstetrics].
San’iku zensho 産育全書 [Complete Book on Obstetrics].

The Most Comprehensive Work on Obstetrics Published in Japan before Perry

San’iku zensho 産育全書 [Complete Book on Obstetrics].

Numerous woodcut illus. in the text. 12 vols. 8vo, orig. semi-stiff wrappers (wrappers a little soiled), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Kyoto, Edo, Osaka & Nagoya: various publishers, 1850.

First edition and a complete set of this finely illustrated book, the most comprehensive work on obstetrics published in Japan before the arrival of Admiral Perry and Western influences. “In 1850 Sansetsu or Gihaku Mizuhara (1782-1864), whose real given name was Yoshihiro, published his definitive work on obstetrics entitled San’iku zensho (sometimes referred to as Jyunsei-an san’iku zensho) in 11 volumes [actually 12 volumes], divided into three sections plus an appendix volume. The first section [Gaihen; External Care], comprising the first seven volumes, was on general obstetrics with text and illustrations describing placentation, monsters, the use of massage in obstetrics, obstetrical examination per vagina and per rectum, (primitive) positions for delivery, preparation of the patient for delivery, and post-partum care of the mother. There is an interesting illustration showing the Japanese equivalent of the ‘birth-stools’ (obstetrical chairs) in common use in medieval Europe…

“The second section [Naihen: tangen zuketsu; Internal Care: Illustrated Usages of Obstetrical Forceps], comprising volumes 8 to 10, was an amplification of Mizuhara’s earlier atlas, the Sanka zushiki (1837), and described additional obstetrical instruments with illustrations showing them in use. Of special interest was an ingenious mechanical contrivance for the forceful extraction of the fetus if it got ‘stuck,’ and an illustration of that device which replaced, so to speak, the physician who prior to the development of that infernal machine had often found it necessary to lay on the floor and pull with all his might in the opposite direction whilst pushing with his bare feet planted squarely against the buttocks of the patient with her thighs abducted and externally rotated and her knees in flexion. A series of illustrations in this section of San’iku zensho showed the progressive events or stages in the birth of a baby presenting the feet first, one of these drawings being the original of that chosen by Dr. Ruhräh to illustrate his translation of Fujikawa’s history of medicine in Japan. The management of the placenta was shown…

“Volume 11 [Shikenho; Prescriptions Used in Practice] forms all of the third section and treated entirely of prescriptions, in particular those found useful in obstetrical practice…

“The fourth part [Vol. 12] was in the form of an appendix [Betsu furoku inki zuhen; Addendum of Illustrations], with illustrations of female sex anatomy, innervation of the pelvic region, structure, and blood supply of the placenta, and the visceral connections of the umbilical cord in the newborn. San’iku zensho was one of the last Japanese obstetrical writings produced in the period following the ‘reforms’ instituted by Genetsu and Genteki Kagawa, and is probably the most representative treatise — certainly it was the most comprehensive — on the state of obstetrics in Japan prior to the reopening of that country to Western influences.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, II, pp. 498-99.

Very good set. A few minor defects to the wrappers.

Price: $8,500.00

Item ID: 10099