Learning the Pressure Points Through Song

Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on first leaf “Utaibon Jushikeimyaku ron” (“The Theory of the Fourteen Meridians in Song”).

19 folding leaves. 8vo (240 x 168 mm.), orig. wrappers, stitched as issued. [Japan: early Meiji].

This is a beautifully written manuscript, signed at the end “Shobei Izutsuya,” a member of the three-generation Kyoto publishing house of the 18th and 19th centuries. The text is most remarkable, a series of verses of the genre known as Ben’yo utaibon. These were traditional noh songs but with new lyrics. Singing noh songs was a common hobby amongst the intelligentsia of Japan, and the tunes were familiar to many. These new lyrics — sung in a rhythmic “sing-song” manner (like Westerners memorizing out loud the multiplication tables) — were used as mnemonic devices for studying other disciplines. In this case, the new lyrics are all concerned with the fourteen meridians of acupuncture and their pressure points.

The lyrics are written here in a mixture of hiragana and kanji. On the left side of the lyrics are the names of each pressure point in kanji as a guide to the contents of the sounds of the lyrics.

In fine condition.

Price: $3,250.00

Item ID: 6842

See all items in Acupuncture, Japan, Japanese, Medicine, Music
See all items by