31 finely hand-colored mounted drawings with eight fine black & white brush drawings on slips also pasted on. 36 folding leaves of which 20 are text. 8vo (253 x 180 mm.), orig. patterned wrappers, manuscript title label on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan: late Edo].
Gento Yoshiwara (d. 1800), was one of the three most important orthopedic specialists in Japan during the final years of the 18th century, along with Bunken Kagami and Genka Ninomiya. Yoshiwara studied both Dutch medicine in Nagasaki and Chinese medicine, being greatly influenced by the Chinese Dao yin treatment of massage and exercise. Unlike the works of Kagami and Ninomiya, Yoshiwara’s most important work — “Seikotsu yoketsu” — remained in manuscript, as it was restricted to students of Yoshiwara’s school (Ninomiya was a student). Yoshiwara’s trade name or mark was “Kyoinsai.”
Following the 20 leaves of manuscript text, which describe 13 types of treatment in detail, is a series of 31 finely drawn and hand-colored illustrations of treatments and manipulations, including fixing dislocated shoulders, fingers, and jaws; spinal stretching, dealing with hip problems, etc. Many of these treatments have rather fanciful names: “Windmill,” “Bear Hug,” “Bird’s Wing,” “Control the Wind,” “Crane Feather,” “Playing with a Fish,” “Worm,” “Play with a Jewel,” “Tail of the Bird,” “The Snail Method,” “Riding on the Dragon,” “Swallow’s Tail,” etc.
An additional eight smaller, pasted-on black & white drawings show further treatments. A number of pharmaceutical ointments and plasters are described.
In fine and fresh condition (although the outer upper corner of all the leaves has been a little nibbled by a mouse). The scribe of this manuscript has used one incorrect character when spelling Yoshiwara’s name on the first leaf, giving his name as “Yoshio.”
❧ Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, III, p. 152.
Item ID: 6915