Chomei eiseiron [Theory of Longevity of Life & Hygiene]. Shisho MOTOI.
Chomei eiseiron [Theory of Longevity of Life & Hygiene].
Chomei eiseiron [Theory of Longevity of Life & Hygiene].
Chomei eiseiron [Theory of Longevity of Life & Hygiene].

How to Live a Long Life

Chomei eiseiron [Theory of Longevity of Life & Hygiene].

Many woodcuts in the text. 31; 35; 36; 25 folding leaves. Four vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers (a little tired & faded), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Osaka: Shohikaku (Okuda Yasuke), Preface dated 1812, Afterword in fourth volume dated 1797.

First edition, including the rare fourth volume, of this most uncommon yojo text. In the Edo period, “a number of health manuals and annotated texts that digested and transmitted complex and difficult medical knowledge became available to the general public…

“The notion of ‘cultivation of life’, known as yojo in Japanese (yangsheng in Chinese), has its ultimate origins in ancient China, as the pursuit of a higher and more sophisticated way of life through managing the body and mind. The knowledge and practice of yojo began to be transmitted to Japan around the seventh century CE. In the Edo period, yojo took shape as a phenomenon that became an everyday concern for many people, and crossed social class lines.…Yojo texts are usually written in simple language, and are aimed as much at non-medical lay people as at medical professionals. In most cases the authors are medical professionals or at least have substantial medical knowledge. Being manuals of popular practical medicine, these texts often cover such topics as hygiene, dietetics, basic physiology, nursing, medicine, first aid, and simple remedies. The author set out to produce books with a broad popular appeal, and so they suited their style and content to a mass audience, and tried to make them relevant to the everyday lives of their readers.”–Keiko Daidoji, “What a Household with Sick Persons Should Know: Expressions of Body and Illness in a Medical Text of Early Nineteenth-Century Japan,” SOAS thesis (online resource), in which the author discusses this work at length.

Motoi (active 1797), was the author of several other works on popular medicine (yojo). The present work is concerned with increasing longevity and quality of life, through good nutrition, moderate consumption of food and alcohol, encouraging good digestion through the balanced pairing of foods, encouraging an active sexual life, avoiding excessively seasoned foods, never spitting, maintaining a calm and modest attitude, frequent bathing, and the use of acupuncture.

The fourth volume, with the title Hiden chojuho [Secrets for Longevity], is rarely present. It is concerned with infections (ascariasis) in the small intestine of children caused by parasitic worms. The text also discusses tuberculosis in children, smallpox, and apoplexy in adults. There are a number of woodcuts in the text depicting the worms and children suffering from worm infections. The author offers a number of pharmaceutical recipes to rid the body of the worms.

Very good set. The title-page in Vol. I is somewhat dampstained, with fading of text.

Price: $2,950.00

Item ID: 7361

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