Many woodcut illus. in text. 33; 19; 20; 29; 26; 14; 12 folding leaves. Seven vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers (rather rubbed, some marginal worming in Vol. V & minor worming in Vol. VII), orig. block printed title label on each upper cover, new stitching. Osaka: Okada Saburoemon kanko, 1699.
First edition of this very rare book on acupuncture and moxibustion, the taking of the pulse, and traditional Chinese medicine. This was one of the three most important works of clinical medicine of the Edo period. The text clearly describes taking the pulse of patients, both of adults and children. The nine tools used at that time for acupuncture are described and illustrated (several of them are still in use today).
The present work is an elaboration of the influential work on moxa and acupuncture “Shinkyui bassui, by an unknown author or editor, published complete in five volumes in 1685. This treatise refers to an earlier Chinese work, unnamed, but probably meaning the Rei-su (or Ling-shu), traditionally ascribed to the famous Chinese physician-emperor, KO-TEI (or HWANG Ti). The detail available in Shinkyu bassui, especially regarding descriptions and instructions for use, is impressive — no less than 22 sections consider the following aspects of moxa and acupuncture: theory; relationship to the pulse; stomach; other internal organs; treatment (which was differentiated by sex); the ‘philosophy’ of acupuncture; cautions in the use of acupuncture and moxa; the preparation and use of moxa cones; how to remove needles (including a separate section on needles which are broken off in the skin); how to twist the needle; how to hit the needle (with a mallet); how to use the needle with a tube; the use of needles (with a separate section on their use in the treatment of boils); on the names of spots (not the ‘right spots’) where — with extreme caution — acupuncture and moxa can be used (regarded as ‘secret’ spots, not for the use of beginners in the art); how to measure for location of sites to apply treatment; on needles in general; on names and lengths of bones; and, finally, on interrelations among nerves.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books…Part II. Acupuncture and Moxibustion…, p. 476.
Okamoto (active 1685-1733), was a late-17th-century Japanese author who wrote a series of popular explanations of contemporary medical works and earlier medical classics. He came from a family of physicians.
Very good set.
Item ID: 5646