Written in Part & Edited by a Woman

Sanka shinan [Instructions in Obstetrics].

Numerous woodcut illus. in the text. 46; 50 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. green wrappers (upper wrapper of first vol. & lower wrapper of Vol. II rather abraded), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers (Vol. I label largely perished), new stitching. Kyoto, Osaka, & Edo: 1826.

First edition. “In 1823 [sic, based on the third Preface dated 1823] appeared a two-volume work giving instructions in obstetrics entitled Sanka shinan by Shuisei Omaki. Included in that work was a discussion of normal and abnormal births, various methods of delivery, etc., with treatment for prolapse of the uterus. Examination of the placenta was stressed. Several illustrations showed various positions of the fetus in utero, the small figures of the fetus drawn as charming little Japanese children with well-developed hair (of the head) already trimmed in a contemporary style.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, II, p. 496.

This book appeared after the author’s death in 1824 and was edited by Hoyuu Morisaki, Omaki’s female assistant, who added a number of observations of her own on the prevention of miscarriage, breech babies, methods of arresting bleeding in the mother, etc. We learn from the text that Morisaki had five women in training under her. After the publication of this book, she became a famous midwife in Tokyo. This seems to be the first book in Japanese medicine to have been written or edited by a woman.

Fine set. The woodcut illustrations are very finely printed.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 7011

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