Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on label on upper cover “Oranda kowa bassui” [“Excerpts of Translations of Dutch Medicine”]. DUTCH MEDICINE IN JAPAN.

Early Dutch Medicine in Japan

Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on label on upper cover “Oranda kowa bassui” [“Excerpts of Translations of Dutch Medicine”].

13; 14; 23 folding leaves. Three parts in one vol. 8vo (237 x 170 mm.), orig. gray wrappers (discolored, some unimportant worming), new stitching. [Japan]: on final leaf, in trans.: “given to Itakura on 9 February 1675.”

A very early manuscript concerning the transmission of Western medical knowledge to Japanese doctors. We learn from the end of each part that the information on Dutch medicines presented here was given by Dutch doctors to Sosetsu Yamamura, who, in turn, gave it to Un’an (or Munekatsu) Takahashi, who wrote the present manuscript. Takahashi then gave this manuscript on 9 February 1675 to Itakura.

The first part is entitled “Oranda kowa bassui” [“Excerpts of Translations of Dutch Medicine”] and gives in katakana the Dutch names of a series of ingredients for medicines, along with their translations in Japanese, written in kanji and katakana. The ingredients include oils and essences derived from plants, fruits, woods, insects, animal organs, and minerals.

Parts II and III both have the same title: “Oranda den nanko ho” [“Dutch Ointments and Methods of Treatment, passed on”]. In these two parts we find the names of the medicines and the diseases they could cure, very exact recipes with ingredients, instructions, measurements, methods of application, and results.

Very good copy, preserved in a chitsu.

Price: $6,500.00

Item ID: 7389