A finely illustrated album of case histories, with 33 careful full-page drawings, heightened in color, and text in manuscript. 26 folding leaves. 8vo (226 x 170 mm.), orig. wrappers (occasional light staining). Genteki KAGAWA.
A finely illustrated album of case histories, with 33 careful full-page drawings, heightened in color, and text in manuscript. 26 folding leaves. 8vo (226 x 170 mm.), orig. wrappers (occasional light staining).
A finely illustrated album of case histories, with 33 careful full-page drawings, heightened in color, and text in manuscript. 26 folding leaves. 8vo (226 x 170 mm.), orig. wrappers (occasional light staining).

Basic Obstetrical Knowledge required by the Master

A finely illustrated album of case histories, with 33 careful full-page drawings, heightened in color, and text in manuscript. 26 folding leaves. 8vo (226 x 170 mm.), orig. wrappers (occasional light staining).

N.p.: ca. 1760.

The father of Genteki Kagawa, Genetsu (or Shigen) Kagawa (1699-1777), is famous for originating the practice of gynecology and obstetrics in Japan. His “San-ron was destined to be the standard authority on obstetrics in Japan for at least a hundred years. That classic work was followed by the San-ron yoku written in 1775 by Genteki (or Shikei) Kagawa (1739-1779), the adopted son of Genetsu, as a ‘supplement’ to the San-ron and to correct the errors in the published work of the elder Kagawa, resulting in a considerable improvement in obstetrical methods.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books With Miscellaneous Notes on Early Medicine in Japan. Part II, pp. 493-94.

Genteki Kagawa is famous for using many unconventional devices for facilitating a successful delivery and was the first obstetrician in Japan to understand that the head of the foetus should be down during delivery. In the 18th century, due to the considerable poverty in Japan, many babies were aborted. Makers and polishers of mirrors also filled the profession of abortionists as they had access to mercury which could be used to terminate foetuses. When the procedure went wrong, women were brought to Kagawa who noticed that the unborn children’s heads were almost always at the bottom of the womb.

This album — an illustrated practical manual — discusses many case histories of complications, special observations, and remarkable occurrences observed by Kagawa during pregnancy and birth; 33 are finely drawn and colored. It was issued by Kagawa as a sort of examination for his disciples, requiring them to demonstrate advanced knowledge of obstetrics before they were granted a license or certificate to practice; it was kept in manuscript as secret or proprietary information. Kagawa has recommended a number of drugs and provided recipes for their manufacture for the health of the expectant mother and to induce childbirth.

A very nice copy. Some worming, occasionally touching image or text, carefully repaired.

Price: $5,000.00

Item ID: 5592

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