Manuscript on paper, entitled on manuscript title-label on upper cover of Vol. I “Keido kuketsu” [“Acupuncture Meridians Explanation Passed on by Word”]; title at beginning of Vol. I text: “Jushikei keibiki no ben” [“Drawing the Fourteen Meridians”]; title on label of upper cover of Vol. II “Keido furoku” [“Illustrations Appended with Text Additions”]. ACUPUNCTURE DRAWING MANUAL.
Manuscript on paper, entitled on manuscript title-label on upper cover of Vol. I “Keido kuketsu” [“Acupuncture Meridians Explanation Passed on by Word”]; title at beginning of Vol. I text: “Jushikei keibiki no ben” [“Drawing the Fourteen Meridians”]; title on label of upper cover of Vol. II “Keido furoku” [“Illustrations Appended with Text Additions”].

Manuscript on paper, entitled on manuscript title-label on upper cover of Vol. I “Keido kuketsu” [“Acupuncture Meridians Explanation Passed on by Word”]; title at beginning of Vol. I text: “Jushikei keibiki no ben” [“Drawing the Fourteen Meridians”]; title on label of upper cover of Vol. II “Keido furoku” [“Illustrations Appended with Text Additions”].

Vol. I with a number of small text illus. & Vol. II with 18 full-page drawings (several using blue, brown, & red ink as well as black) & one diagram. 48; 19 folding leaves. Written throughout in one fine & legible hand. Two vols. 8vo (255 x 182 mm.), orig. wrappers (Vol. I in blue wrappers; Vol. II in drab brown wrappers), new stitching. [Japan]: at end of the vols.: “copied in 1734 & 1735.”

A most unusual manuscript, on a topic we have not yet encountered: this is, amongst other subjects, very largely concerned with how to accurately draw meridians and acupuncture points and how to label them on acupuncture models, in scrolls, and in manuscript books.

The first examples of acupuncture models originated in 11th-century China when life-size human acupuncture figures were cast from bronze. “The metal walls of the figures were pierced with small holes corresponding to the principal loci for acupuncture and moxibustion, then covered with wax, filled with water, and used for the examination of medical candidates from the central and provincial colleges. If they located correctly the acu-points which they suggested needling (as the result of their diagnoses), drops of water would appear, otherwise they would fail their test.”–Lu & Needham, Celestial Lancets. A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxa, p. 131.

Models produced in 13th-century China, also made of fine bronze, had the names of the acu-points marked in characters of gold. Smaller models were also created. Later, they gradually began to be made of paper or wood, which emphasized the ribs and projection of the bones for locating meridians and acu-points and were usually marked with them.

In the 17th century, Japanese physicians replicated these figurines, making them from materials that were easier to model, such as wood, sometimes covered with papier-mâché. They depicted the loci appropriate for acupuncture. These models oftentimes had the meridian lines drawn on them in various colors.

The anonymous author relates how to use various colors — silver, black, orange, gold, red, purple, gray, pink, navy blue, and greenish blue — to represent the various meridians of the body. The manuscript also discusses how to depict the measurements between acupuncture loci based on the body’s bone structure. There are also explanations of how to label each acupuncture point.

At the end of Vol. I, there is a most interesting professional “family tree” of acupuncture teachers and their disciples. The initial “father” of the tree of doctors is Toan Aeba (1615-73). The other prominent doctors on the tree include Sanpaku Ajioka (1643-1705), Shuhaku Asai (1643-1705), Doetsu Ihara (1649-1720), and, most importantly, Ichiku (or Ippo) Okamoto (1654-1716).

The second volume contains many illustrations regarding acupuncture, measurements, correct labelling, and, in adjacent notes, comments on acupuncture theories as presented by prominent Chinese and Japanese doctors including Katsu, Ba, and Zhang (their writings are mentioned).

There are a number of most interesting contemporary annotations in red ink making comparisons between doctors’ theories.

In fine condition. Wrappers rubbed.

Price: $7,500.00

Item ID: 6809

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