Nine double-page & 19 full-page illus. in fine brush & various colors of wash. 18 folding leaves & one page (the pasted-down endpaper). 8vo (272 x 197 mm.), orig. wrappers (each leaf finely backed with supporting paper, upper outer corner of lower wrapper renewed). [Japan]: mid-Edo.
A most handsomely illustrated manuscript depicting various scenes of joint manipulation to many parts of the body. The images are finely painted and in fresh bright condition.
Manipulative therapy has a long history in Japan. “Healing of the sick through rubbing of the body was known to the earliest Japanese physicians, who brought the art to a high state of development. Massage was early (pre-Nara period) linked with the treatment of fractures and bandaging, and remained one of the chief factors in the care of the body, sharing with mineral baths, acupuncture, gymnastics, and ‘deep breathing’ in the preliminary development of physical therapy in Japan…The achievements and learning in the practice of massage also contributed to the establishment in the latter part of the 17th century of the ‘Seikotsu-Jutsu,’ which was a system of treatment for fractures and dislocations.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, II, pp. 484-85.
The illustrations are finely painted in a rich palette of colors and with delicate shading. In every scene, a practitioner is shown, and oftentimes an assistant or two, manipulating a patient. There are illustrations of neck and jaw adjustments; manipulations of the spine, shoulder, arm, wrist, leg, knee, hip, etc.; and also scenes of corrections of dislocated shoulders. Interestingly, the practitioner and his assistants have Chinese appearances.
The album also contains images of corrective bandaging of the head, back, and neck. There is also an image of a child bandaged after surgery to correct a cleft lip.
Very good copy. There is some worming to the images, finely repaired.
Item ID: 7058