Gyuka satsuyo [Compendium of Bovine Medicine]. TORINSHI.
Gyuka satsuyo [Compendium of Bovine Medicine].
Gyuka satsuyo [Compendium of Bovine Medicine].

The First Book in Japan on Veterinary Medicine

Gyuka satsuyo [Compendium of Bovine Medicine].

Numerous full-page woodcut illus. 31 folding leaves. Oblong 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers (some minor worming well-repaired), orig. block-printed title label on upper cover, new stitching. [Osaka?]: Bairindo, Preface dated 1720.

First edition of the first book published in Japan on veterinary medicine (Bairindo was a publisher from the 17th century through the 19th century; Princeton dates their Bairindo edition as “1755?” based on a hand-written note laid-in. The Japanese Grand Union catalogue does nothing to clarify. Osaka is assumed to be the place of publication because there is a printed note in the text stating the woodblock carver was located in that city). The first edition was published in 1720 and there is also an 1800 edition; all editions are extremely rare.

In spite of its isolation, Japan experienced frequent and serious outbreaks of rinderpest in the 17th and 18th centuries. This book was written following an epizootic which destroyed 8800 cattle in Kagawa Prefecture in 1718. Torinshi “described a disease tachi, which appears synonymous with rinderpest, as highly fatal and intensely infectious. The symptoms, including rough hair coat on the back, swollen eyelids, redness of the conjunctiva, purulent lachrymal discharge, and corneal opacity, were illustrated.”–Spinage, Cattle Plague: A History, p. 492.

The book is divided into two parts. The first is concerned with diseases of cows; it provides many case histories and accounts of treatments using herbal medicines. Each woodcut of a diseased cow has the name of the disease with visible symptoms. Facing each illustration on the opposing page is the prescribed remedy. The woodcuts depict the animals in considerable agony. Acupuncture points are depicted.

The second part is devoted to horses and their symptoms and diseases. Again, acupuncture points are depicted.

Nice copy of a rare book; WorldCat lists no copy of the 1720.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 6426

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