12 vols. 8vo (256 x 187 mm.), orig. patterned brown wrappers, new stitching. [Japan]: probably late Edo.
Bajutsu, the Japanese form of military equestrianism, had several traditional schools, the most important of which were the Otsubo, Ogasawara, and Hachijo Schools. The art of military equestrianism required skill in riding and mounted sword-fighting and also included teachings on the care and upkeep of horses. These schools were founded around the 14th century but have their roots in the transfer of knowledge from China in the 7th century. Because of the numerous wars in pre-Edo Japan, there was a comparative scarcity of horses and, therefore, a great need for well-trained and healthy horses to be made available to the samurai soldiers. A considerable demand for skilled veterinary doctors developed.
The Otsubo Hon School, an offshoot of the Otsubo School, was founded by Chikara Sadayasu Saito (1657-1744), in the early 18th century. Saito had learned the secrets of the Otsubo School and incorporated elements of Korean equestrianism, including Korean veterinary medicine. This school was very successful, with 3000 disciples.
Saito was a skilled writer and left many texts on every aspect of military equestrianism, all of which seem to have remained unpublished and are very rare. This collection comprises eight of his veterinary medicine texts:
1. “Otsubo Hon ryu shinryu no maki” [“Introduction to the New School of Otsubo Hon”]. 19 folding leaves. One vol. The text introduces the 15 essential rules, passed down, of horse care.
2. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo taisei den no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: Review of the Horse’s Health”]. Two drawings of a horse in the text. 23; 16 leaves. Two vols. A description of the five organs, six intestines, and meridians of a horse, as well as the pulse, blood circulation, tongue diagnosis, etc.
3. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo yoroku no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: Pharmacological Recipes & Their Use”]. Seven drawings of horses in the text. 22; 17, 23 folding leaves. Three vols. The author provides many recipes and preparations of medicines and describes which medicines should be applied for specific diseases. The medicines include powders, tablets, liquids, and ointments.
4. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo kinkaso no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: Golden Flower Plants”]. 16; 12 folding leaves. Two vols. These volumes are concerned with the treatment of skin diseases, lacerations, wounds, and broken bones. The author provides many recipes and treatments.
5. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo meido yui no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: Acupuncture Treatments”]. Six drawings of horses, several of which show the pressure points. 17 folding leaves. One vol.
6. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo chigusa no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: A Thousand Plants”]. 14 leaves. One vol. A collection of pharmaceutical recipes, based on many symptoms.
7. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo chikuyohin no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: Foods for Horses”]. 17 folding leaves. One vol. A detailed account of appropriate foods for horses, with careful instructions about when to feed them. There is guidance about how to fatten a horse and how to put a fat horse on a diet. A most interesting passage concerns what to feed a horse before it goes into battle.
8. “Otsubo Hon ryu igyo kajitsu shu no maki” [“Otsubo Hon School: Flowers & Fruits for Horses”]. 14 leaves. One vol. This text contains a number of recipes, using flowers and fruits, for medicinal “treats,” stimulants, and sedatives for horses.
With the exception of the first volume, each has at the end a genealogical tree of the various schools of equestrian arts from the first century A.D., beginning with Yamato Takeru, the semi-legendary prince of the Yamato dynasty.
In fine condition, preserved in a chitsu. There is some worming in several of the volumes, occasionally touching characters, but it is not offensive.
Item ID: 8292