“The Pulse Classic”
Komyakuho zukai [The Pulse Classic].
Seven full-page illus. 31 folding leaves. Large 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (rubbed), orig. block-printed title label on upper cover (label partly rubbed away), new stitching. Kyoto: Hishiya & Katsumura, 1796.
First edition of this very rare book on the pulse; it is a revision of the book — known as “the pulse classic” — written by Wang Shuhe in the third century. Composed of ten volumes and 98 chapters, it is the first work entirely devoted to pulse study in ancient China. It categorized all the pulse conditions into 24 types and described each in detail.
“The pulse lore of Chinese medicine is famous. Among the many treatises on this subject, which found its application in so much of Oriental medicine, was the well-known work entitled Muo-ching, on the theory of the pulse, by Wang Shu-Ho who lived in the Tsin era (265-317 A.D.) compiled from earlier writings, principally those in the Nei Ching, the Nan Ching, the Shang-han-lun and the Chia-i-ching. Wang pretty well summed things up when he said, ‘The different kinds of pulse are easy to understand for the intellect but not so for the finger’…The Muo ching was revised several times by later authors, and was even translated into German by Franz Hubotter.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, Part II, p. 469, note 3.
The handsome woodcuts depict pressure points on the body.
Fine copy. Rare; WorldCat locates only the NLM copy in North America.
❧ Sugimoto & Swain, Science & Culture in Traditional Japan, pp. 85 & 281.
Item ID: 7515