Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on label on upper cover “Me [or] moku den ichi ryu” [“Information on Ophthalmology passed down from the Iesato Ichi ryu school”]. OPHTHALMOLOGY.
Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on label on upper cover “Me [or] moku den ichi ryu” [“Information on Ophthalmology passed down from the Iesato Ichi ryu school”].
Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on label on upper cover “Me [or] moku den ichi ryu” [“Information on Ophthalmology passed down from the Iesato Ichi ryu school”].

Manuscript on paper, entitled in manuscript on label on upper cover “Me [or] moku den ichi ryu” [“Information on Ophthalmology passed down from the Iesato Ichi ryu school”].

Brush & ink drawings, in black & red ink, of the eye in the text. 82 folding leaves. 8vo (208 x 130 mm.), orig. persimmon-juice-stained wrappers, new stitching. [Japan but perhaps in Iga Province (today’s Mie Prefecture)]: after 1615.

This is an early and rich manuscript on Japanese ophthalmology, quite probably prepared in Iga Province at the Iesato Ichi ryu ophthalmological medical school. The Iesato Ichi ryu was founded in the 1580s in Iga Province. It based its education on Chinese teachings and experienced great success; students eventually spread out and established schools in Kyoto, Osaka, and the greater Kansai area.

The index at the beginning gives an excellent idea of the contents:

1. relationship between the eyes and the five organs;

2. symptoms of diseases derived from the colors of the eyes (accompanied by a series of illustrations of eyes);

3. complete knowledge of ophthalmology;

4. six important ingredients for medications (which include oysters, minerals, and ground shells);

5. detailed instructions regarding the application of these medications to the eyes;

6. long-steeped herbal medicines (with measurements and recipes);

7. medicines to wash eyes;

8. ointments (“finger medicines”) for the eyes, with recipes;

9. prohibited and recommended foods. Forbidden are river fish, fried foods, mochi, tofu, unripened plum, scallions, ginger, chestnut, garlic, bamboo shoots, eggplants, shark, poultry, and much more (the list is long). Encouraged are: dumplings, glutinous foods, burdock, dried vegetables, sugar, persimmons, white-fleshed fish, and much more;

10. the important knowledge ophthalmologists must have to treat patients successfully (this list is long);

11. medicines to treat “eyes with stars” (eye floaters);

12. treatment for infected eyes;

13. medicines for irritated eyes;

14. cataract and glaucoma treatment;

15. various medicines, which include ingredients, measurements, recipes, applications, etc. A number of medicines are classified by their nature: liquid, powder, ointment, etc.;

16. eight secret treatments; and

17. more recipes for medicines.

At the end, there are addenda with a list of items “always good to have at hand” and ten recommendations to eye patients that include: find a good doctor, take medicine according to instructions, go to the doctor early, no sex, avoid strong emotions to prevent crying, don’t think too much, eat modestly, and spare no expense on drugs. This is followed by a list of foods to avoid each month and more pharmaceutical recipes.

Very good copy. There is a little worming at end, touching a few characters.

❧ There are two quite informative articles about the Iesato ryu in the journal Ken’i kai tsushin, Vols. 108 (5 Sept. 2014) & 186 (27 Oct. 2020).

Price: $5,500.00

Item ID: 7395

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