Manuscript on paper, entitled on label and first leaf of Vol. I: “Kyusei iko” [“Collection of Theories of Treatments by Moxibustion”].

Some illus. in the text. 86; 64; 57 folding leaves. Three vols. 8vo (237 x 164 mm.), orig. wrappers (some worming), orig. manuscript title-labels on upper covers, new stitching. [Japan]: on final leaf of third vol.: “1786” & “1791.”

A most unusual manuscript: a collection of texts, both Chinese and Japanese, entirely devoted to moxibustion, its theories, and its practices. Most Japanese manuscripts and books include acupuncture along with moxibustion. What is particularly interesting to us about this manuscript is that many of the texts by these authors seem not to have been published but passed on by word of mouth.

Moxibustion, or the burning of moxa, comes under the rubric of counter-irritation. It is the process burning of a combustible plant, usually mugwort, on or against certain areas of the skin.

The anonymous editor of this manuscript has included texts by Chinese doctors, including Tshui Chih-Thi (Liyan Zhen, ca. 670) “a high official (Vice-President of the Imperial Secretariat), who had a deep interest in medicine and wrote a treatise on the cure of tuberculosis-like diseases by moxa.”–Lu & Needham, Celestial Lancets, p. 177. Other writings are by Sun Ssu-Mo (Simiao Sun) in the Sui and early T’ang; Chang Chung-Ching (Zhongjing Zhang) of the Han (see Lu & Needham, pp. 177-78); and the great naturalist Shizhen Li (1518-93), whose treatise on the materia medica of moxibustion appears.

The Japanese doctors whose texts on moxibustion are present include Ippo Okamoto (active 1685-1733), Sakuan Ogawa, Seitei Furubayashi, Gengai Ogino (1737-1806), Tokumoto, Sanki Furukawa, Morihisa, Ryoan Terajima, Kitayama, Sasaki, Ryozan Goto (1659-1733), Matsuoka, and Gentatsu Matsuoka (d. 1747).

Vol. I has 109 chapters on the theories behind moxibustion, treatments, and recipes. The editor distinguishes between Chinese and Japanese theories. The Japanese Kai family’s technique of moxibustion is described; it is a record of moxa treatments found to be effective in a variety of conditions (see Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, Part II, pp. 477-78, for an account of a Kai family “secret” manuscript and its contents owned by Dr. Mestler). There are substantial passages on the use of moxa for treating teeth.

Vol. II consists of about 90 chapters, covering pressure points and the uses of moxa on children. Vol. III consists entirely of case histories.

The illustrations depict how to determine moxa points on the body, images of the spine, etc.

There is some worming here, including worm “trenches.” However, no character is completely obscured, and all the texts are legible.

Price: $4,250.00

Item ID: 6814