53 folding leaves. 8vo (240 x 170 mm.), orig. wrappers. [Japan]: from the inscription at end (in trans.): “Hisamatsu copied in May 1874 from the copy belonging to Ryoma Kurokawa, who copied on 9 December 1850 at Hanaoka’s school.”
Seishu Hanaoka (1760-1835), is remembered as the greatest surgeon in the history of Japanese medicine in the pre-Meiji period. His importance is closely connected with his success in general anesthesia, which he developed and used as early as the middle of the 1790s. Hanaoka performed the first surgeries ever done with general anesthesia in the world, preceding those in the West by nearly 40 years. He operated on cancers of the breast and oropharynx, successfully operated on hydroceles and anal fistulas, and performed certain kinds of plastic surgery. He removed necrotic bone and performed amputations of the extremities.
“Hanaoka, born into a family of doctors, studied Dutch surgery and Chinese medicine and was fascinated by the possibility of combining the two. He succeeded by re-creating the lost Chinese anesthetic Mafeisan [J. mafutsuto] for use in Western-style surgery. The development of Mafeisan was not easy. The main ingredients, datura and wolfsbane, can be lethal. The members of Hanaoka’s family who volunteered as test subjects suffered terribly: his mother died; his wife lost her eyesight. The eventual success of the method, however, brought him wide recognition and many patients…Students sought Hanaoka from all over the country, and he gladly took them into his school, Shun-Rin-Ken (‘House of Spring Woods’), which trained more than a thousand doctors. Despite Hanaoka’s large following, he left no records of his procedures, and information is scarce on his methods, including the exact recipe for Mafeisan.”–Hiroo Yamagata, Hidden Treasure. The National Library of Medicine (ed. by Michael Sappol), p. 200.
Practicing in today’s Wakayama Prefecture, Hanaoka published nothing and closely guarded the secrets of his trade. He required each student to submit a nondisclosure agreement signed in blood. The surviving lecture notes written by his students are the most immediate access we have to his important discoveries and techniques.
This manuscript is divided into three parts. The first, entitled “Koyaku benran” [“Manual of Ointments”], provides about 32 pharmaceutical recipes. Many of the titles of these recipes are written in katakana, indicating they are Western formulas. Part II is entitled “Gan san ho” [“Pills and Powders”] and contains about 75 recipes for pills and about 90 for powders. These seem to be all Japanese recipes, written in kanji. Part III, which is entitled “En tan bu” [“Pastes”], describes in detail about 28 recipes.
The final two pages contain illustrated instructions on how to stitch wounds.
Item ID: 8303