Guide to the Japanese Medical Manuscript Notebooks, 1810-1849 and undated


The sixty-three manuscript volumes in this collection range from 10 to 154 pages, and were created in Japan from about 1810 to 1849, chiefly by medical students. The notebooks usually take one of two forms: transcriptions of lectures and demonstrations, and bodies of knowledge written up as manuals by well-known Japanese physicians of the time, especially Hanaoka Seishū and Takenaka Bunpō. Topics covered include herbal medicines and other prescriptions; treatments for diseases of the eyes and other parts of the head; surgery, particularly for cancers, tumors, and fistulas; breast cancer; smallpox; scurvy; osteopathy; treatment of wounds; suturing; hematology; gynecology and obstetrics; and pediatric medicine. Some notebooks contain black-and-white and color hand-drawn illustrations - many full-page - of surgeries, close-ups of suturing, bandages and wrappings, osteopathic manipulations, and medicinal plants. In most cases, the author or copyist recorded details such the place and time of the lecture and the name of the medical school. There are references in the notes to at least a dozen other contemporary or earlier physicians, and to earlier dates for the work being copied - these range from 1677 to 1796. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Japanese medical manuscript notebooks
1810-1849 and undated
3.5 Linear Feet, 63 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in Japanese

Collection Overview

The sixty-three Japanese manuscript volumes in this collection were created from 1810 to 1849, chiefly by medical students, and document Japanese medical training and practice during the time also known as the Edo period, and the conjoining of Chinese-inspired materia medica with current Western medical practices introduced primarily by the Dutch. The notebooks range in length from 10 to 154 pages, and typically take the form of transcriptions of lectures and demonstrations; in many cases the writer recorded the place and time of the demonstration and the name of the medical school. There are also volumes which represent the collected knowledge of well-known Japanese physicians of the time, especially Hanaoka Seishū but also Takenaka Bunsuke (Nanpō). There are references in the notes to at least a dozen other contemporary or earlier physicians.

The copyists and note-takers signed their names at the end of the volumes; the name Yamanaka Shūsai Hideyuki appears most frequently; also appearing frequently are the names of editors and proofreaders, and corrections and later annotations in red ink are found in a number of the manuscripts. In addition to the contemporary dates, there are many references to the earlier manuscript versions being copied: these dates range from 1677 to 1796.

The topics covered by the volumes range widely, and include: herbal medicine and other prescriptions; treatments for diseases of the eye and other parts of the head; surgery, particularly on cancers, swellings, and fistulas; breast cancer; smallpox; scurvy; osteopathy; the treatment of wounds; hematology; gynecology and obstetrics; and pediatric medicine. There are several volumes containing illustrative drawings, some hand-colored and others are black-and-white; they include detailed images of surgical procedures and close-ups of suturing; examples of bandages and wrappings; osteopathic manipulations; and medicinal plants.

One volume in particular stands out above the rest, consisting of over ninety carefully drawn, full-page, hand-coloured illustrations, nine of which are double-page, displaying patients with dislocated limbs, skin cancer, or requiring sophisticated bandages, as well as illustrations of internal organs and one page with surgical instruments. One of the illustrations is a realistic portrait of Hanaoka Seishū, with a beard and spectacles (probably imported from Holland), showing him excising a cyst from a patient. At the end of the volume, two different explanatory texts in Kanbun (classical Chinese read in the Japanese manner) provide comments in the volume about the diseases and their treatment.

Each codex in the collection is composed of leaves of rice paper, with hand-sewn bindings and soft covers, and calligraphy in black and red ink. Some of the texts are written in Shino Japanese (Chinese reading style) using all Kanji characters, while other texts are in Shino Japanese written in 19th-century characters - the language of the educated class in Japan. At least one volume (Vol. 21) contains Dutch words for medicinal compounds. The script reads back to front; the script is laid out in vertical columns that are read from right to left across the page. In some cases, pages or sections and covers are missing, and some volumes bear traces of insect damage, but for the most part, the volumes are remarkably well-preserved.

All titles are taken when possible from the covers or from section headings; approximate translations in English provided by library staff and are in brackets. In the case of missing titles, a title was supplied from content by library staff. Titles and significant names are also given in Japanese characters, and some older calendar dates are also given in modern Western dates. Illegible or untranslatable text is indicated by blank lines.

Volumes are arranged in this collection guide in two series: sets of notebooks, and single volumes. The items in the sets are linked by common themes or bodies of knowledge, and range from two to eleven volumes. They include collections of works by one physician, as well as sets of manuals and lecture notes on topics such as obstetrics and gynecology, metallurgy, opthalmology, pox and skin diseases, and others. Single volumes are housed after the sets.

All titles are taken when possible from the covers or from section headings; approximate translations in English provided by library staff and are in brackets. Titles and significant names are also given in Japanese characters.

Each volume has been assigned a unique institutional identifier.

Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

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[Identification of item], Japanese Medical Manuscript Notebooks, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Multi-volume sets

37 Volumes

The notebooks gathered in sets are linked by common themes or bodies of knowledge, and range from two to eleven volumes. They include collections of works by one physician, as well as sets of manuals and lecture notes on topics such as obstetrics and gynecology, metallurgy, opthalmology, pox and skin diseases, and others. Single volumes are listed after the multi-volume sets.

All titles are taken when possible from the covers or from section headings; approximate translations in English provided by library staff and are in brackets. Titles and significant names are also given in Japanese characters. Each volume has been assigned a unique institutional identifier.

Hōdoku benkai / 方読弁解 一, undated

This set of five notebooks is a copy of one of Dr. Futei Fukui's most famous works, a guide to medicinal compounds containing herbs and minerals for various illnesses: neuralgia, gout, beriberi, stitch, gonorrheal infection, intestinal torsion, and others. All the notebooks contain an index. Volumes 3 and 4 have extensive insect damage. Fukui was a doctor in Kyoto but he was called to Edo by the shogunate in 1790.

Hōdoku benkai, Vol. 1 / 方読弁解 一
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-01
Hōdoku benkai, Vol. 2 / 方読弁解 一
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-02
Hōdoku benkai, Vol. 3 / 方読弁解 一
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-03
Hōdoku benkai, Vol. 4 / 方読弁解 一
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-04
Hōdoku benkai, Vol. 5 / 方読弁解 一
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-05

Seibidō hōmoku / 済美堂方目, undated

2 Volumes

These two large manuscript notebooks are each 93 pages long and their content is the same. Both volumes contain guidelines for making medicinal compounds in the form of pills and powders. There is a 16-page index which lists medicinal compounds for various illnesses. Both volumes are missing their covers. Seibidō / 済美堂 is the name of a medical practice of Dr. Takenaka Bunpō (1766-1836) / 竹中文輔, a doctor in Kyoto, who studied surgery and smallpox treatment.

Seibidō hōmoku / 済美堂方目
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-06
Seibidō hōmoku / 済美堂方目
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-07

Seibidō gansan hō / 済美堂丸散方, 1829, 1848

2 Volumes

Both volumes also contain guidelines for making medicinal compounds in the form of pills and powders. At the end of the first notebook, there is a signature, probably of a medical student, Yamanaka Hideyuki / 山中秀之, dated Kōka tsuchinoe saru [1848], March. At 71 pages, the first volume covers more ground than the smaller one, which has 37 pages, but the contents are very similar. The second volume bears this note: "Bunsei 12 [1829] April by Yamanaka Hideyuki / 山中秀之 at Seibidō juku [a medical school]."

Seibidō hōmoku / 済美堂方目
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-08
Seibidō hōmoku / 済美堂方目
Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-09

Shunrinken ke shaku / 春林軒家 尺の中に日, 1827-1828

7 Volumes

This set of manuscript notebooks (six plus a related volume) contains lectures by Hanaoka Seishū / 華岡青洲, and may have additional sections related to other physicians or medical lecturers. Shunrinken is the name of the medical school whose founding physician was Seishū.

Gansan hō tsuki kōhō [Pills and powder medicines plus ointments], Vol. 1 / 丸散方附膏方, 1827

Contains receipts for medicinal pills and powders from pages 1-44. A section on ointments follows, with the page numbers starting anew from 1-30. Date: "Bunsei 10 [1827], July at Seibidōjuku; recorded by Yamanaka Shūsai Hideyuki" / 山中周斎秀之.

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-11
Shohō binran [Prescription manual], Vol. 2 / 処方便覧, 1828

Contains two sections: one is a collection of receipts for medicines, "copied by Sen Chōsai / 宣暢斎 in Bunsei tsuchinoe ne [1828], August 28 to 30 at Dr. Seishū's shinjuku /新塾 [new school]." The title of the second part, Tōshin bassui / 痘疹抜粋, relates to smallpox, discussing diagnostic techniques, treatment methods, and prescription compounds. "Copied in Bunsei 11 nen tsuchinoe ne [1828], August 19-20 at Dr. Seishū shinjuku [new school] by Shūhin / 鷲瀕."

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-12
[Untitled], Vol. 3, 1827

This volume is divided into five sections, each with its own title. The sections consist of lectures by Hanaoka Seishū and possibly other individuals; topics include case studies of various kinds, breast cancer, and scurvy. Most of the lectures seem to have taken place in late July 1827. In all cases, the writer adds his name to the text.

  1. Section 1: Nyūgan shin [Breast cancer]. Includes case studies. 1827 July 22-25, written by Yamanaka Shūsai.
  2. Section 2: Tenkei hiroku: lectures by Dr. Seishū, notes taken by Sen Chōsai / 宣暢斎, 1827 July 27.
  3. Section 3: Chōsō shin mei: lectures by Dr. Seishū, notes taken by Yamanaka Hideyuki, 1827 July 25-26.
  4. Section 4: Rishitsu sagen: lecture presented by Dr. Seishū, notes taken by Sen Chōsai, edited by Watanabe Shōmei / 渡辺昭明, 1827 July 28-29.
  5. Section 5: Kakke Yokuhō: notes on scurvy taken by Sen Chōsai, 1827 July 28-29.
Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-13
[Untitled], Vol. 4, 1828

A notebook divided into five sections, each with its own title. They appear to be medical lectures given at the Shunrinken school.

  1. Section 1: Gansan hōkō [Pills and powder medicines] Preface written by Hanaoka, Shinpaku / 華岡震伯 Original content was from 1790. The text is written in Kanbun style (Shino/Japanese style writing), with the main sections written in regular Japanese. Gives name of medicine, then short description of which illnesses it is used for, followed by how it should be prescribed. Written by Shūhin in December 1828 at Shunrinken shin juku.
  2. Section 2: Seishū sensei shinzetsu yōketsu [Summary of Dr. Seishū's medical examination of the tongue] Lecture notes taken originally by student Mitsumura Hyakubai Shigekimi. Dated 1828 February, copied by Sen Chōsai at Shunrinken shin juku.
  3. Section 3: Seishū sensei sanjutsu tsuke keiken [Dr. Seishū's experience on three herbal medicines.] Written 1828 July 2-21, by Sen Chōsai at Shunrinken shin juku.
  4. Section 4: Seishū sensei chiken [Dr. Seishū's treatments and examinations] Contains case studies, such as a child with a burn injury that resulted in three adhered fingers. Some of the case studies include patient names and where the patients were from. Dated 1828 August 17-18, written by Shūhin / 鷲瀕.
  5. Section 5: Seishū sensei chiken furoku kōyaku [Dr. Seishū's treatments and examinations] Supplement to Section 4. Includes five case studies on various operations and treatments. Written in December 1828 by Shūhin at Shunrinken. Some small illustrations of treatments for polydactylism and cutaneous syndactyly are included in this section.
Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-14
Seishū sensei idan, Vol. 5 / 青洲先生医談, 1828

This notebook contains medical lectures on various illnesses and surgical and suturing techniques.

  1. Section 1: Seishū sensei idan [Medical case studies of Dr. Seishū] Covers breast cancer, swellings and growths on the body, surgical methods, tetanus, anal fistula, and syphilis. Small illustrations are embedded in the texts. August 5-14 1828, Sen Chōsai.
  2. Section 2: Saidan hen: Surgical techniques for many of the diseases listed in previous section. August 14-16, 1828 Sen Chōsai.
  3. Section 3: Rokujō sensei idan: Dr. Rokujō's medical lecture. Covers phimotic penis and its treatment, buboes, and various other diseases. Written July 3-5, 1828 by Sen Chōsai.
  4. Section 4: Rokujō sensei chihō tekiyō: Summary of Dr. Rokujō's remarks on treatment for piles, gonorrheal urethritis. Written July 31-August 2, 1828 by Shūhin.

Dr. Rokujō is a younger brother of Hanaoka Seishū.

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-15
Tōkaku Wada sensei idan Seishū Hanaoka sensei hyō [Dr. Wada's medical talk and comments from Dr. Seishū], Vol. 6 / 東郭和田先生医談 青洲華岡先生評, 1828

Written in Bunsei 11 [1828] December by Sen Chōsai. Several medical cases are discussed.

Dr. Wada Tōkaku (和田東郭) (1744-1803) became a medical officer of the Imperial Court in 1797.

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-16
Wada Tōkaku sensei idan Hanaoka Seishū sensei hyō [Dr. Wada's medical talk and comment from Dr. Seishū] Zen / 和田東郭先生医談 華岡青洲先生評 全, 1845

Written by Kōka 2 [1845] Shōgatsu [January], Kokubo Indō [or Toradō?] This notebook, although not part of the previous group, features almost the same content as RL_10050_V_16 as well as the same title, but was copied in 1845 rather than 1828.

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-17

Medical manuals on obstetrics and gynecology

11 Volumes

This group of manuals covers many topics related to obstetrics and gynecology: childbirth techniques, surgical methods, diagnostic techniques, and female diseases and treatments. The content includes case studies. Most of the notebooks have tables of contents, and most have titles. The group begins with a set of five notebooks, followed by several smaller sets.

Hyakunō Yoin [One hundred stories gathered and their reverberations] / 百衲餘音, undated

The first 15 pages list ointments, their method of manufacture, and their usage and toxicity. The rest of the pages comprise a collection of Dr. Nanhō's case studies of his medical experiences at the inn in Bizen Okayama. Includes the names of the patients, ages, diagnoses, and/or descriptions of symptoms. Also gives a record of medical treatments and medicines. One section is on an obstetric technique to extract a baby using the hands. No date or name of author is given.

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-20
Hyakunō Yoin / 百衲餘音, undated

A table of contents describes four sections. No name or date is given.

  1. Section 1: Gan Shōsai hippō: pharmaceutical receipts with dosage instructions. Includes a few illustrations of cauterization.
  2. Section 2: Dr. Kagawa Yūsai hōkan: gynecological medications.
  3. Section 3: Dr. Ogi Daishū, fukushin hen: how to examine an abdomen by touch. Written in Sino-Japanese style. Includes corrections and annotations in red ink.
  4. Section 4: Ban ran yakumeiki: list of names of medicinal herbs in Dutch and Japanese.
Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-21
Hyakunō Yoin Sanka no bu [Obstetrics and gynecology] / 百衲餘音 産科之部, undated

Arranged in four sections, some of which have their own table of contents. No name or date is given.

  1. Section 1: Kaisei Kōhō hiketsu: Dr. Oku Ressai's oral instruction.
  2. Section 2: Furoku chiken: appendix, clinical trial; Dr. Oku Ressai's oral lecture.
  3. Section 3: Kitai zu: illustrations of deformed newborns and embryos from an eight-month pregnancy.
  4. Section 4: Gekkei hi oakuron: menstruation
  5. Section 5: Tsuwari setsu: morning sickness
  6. Section 6: Shikan setsu: eclampsia
  7. Section 7: Jutai setsu: conception
  8. Section 8: Danjo setsu: what makes the gender of a baby

Oku Ressai (奥劣斎) (1780-1835) was an obstetrician in Edo period. He was known for his resuscitation of newborn babies and for the "internal podalic" maneuver of inserting a hand into the uterus and drawing the baby foot-first through the cervix.

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-22
Hyakunō Yoin Sanka no bu [Obstetrics and gynecology] / 百衲餘音 産科之部, 1822

Notebook is divided into three sections, all lectures given by physician Oku Ressai but recorded by different students. A title in the text appearing at the bottom of the notebook indicates that this notebook was bound once before, but re-bound later, at which time the first and second halves were mistakenly switched. The characters thus are divided in half, with the bottom half of the characters appearing on top and vice versa.

  1. Section 1: Sanka shujutsu hiroku [Gynecological operation]: relates to surgeries. Recorded by pupil: Ogata Korekatsu (緒方惟勝). Written in Bunsei Mizunoe uma (Bunsei 5 or 1822) by Kosui.
  2. Sections 2 and 3: Sanjutsu kaiyō Ken no maki (part 1) and Kon no maki (part 2). Part 1 lists 21 techniques before parturition. Part 2 lists 21 techniques after parturition. They are bound together as Sections 2 and 3. A note says that the two parts were examined by Dr. Ressai and recorded by Nishimura Toku.

Ogata Korekatsu (緒方惟勝) (1787-1840) was a physician of the Okayama feudal domain; he was known for specializing in internal diseases and obstetrics.

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-23
Hyakunō Yoin / 百衲餘音, 1829
  1. Section 1: Suishu [Edema] kagen. Written by Komatsu Hisayasu (小松久安) from Naniwa(Nagoya area).
  2. Section 2: Kan Shōsai jōyōzai [Kan Shōsai's regularly used medicines]. Copied 1829 April by Shūhin at Saibidō [sakura?] juku /櫻塾.
  3. Section 3: Keishō. At the end of this section there is an explanation that this was a fictional case study with Dr. Morita Shuichirō; the students discussed the treatment.
  4. Section 4: Kyō Insai Seikotsu yōketsu. Dr Kyō Insai's osteopathy by Yoshiwara Gentō Ryūsen (吉原元棟隆僊). Has a table of contents on page 35. 1829 March, recorded by Shūhin, half of it at Nanki juku, and other half at Kyōshi juku.

Morita Shuichirō or Morita Yoshiaki (森田義章) was a doctor in Kyōto who studied under Kawagoe Kōzan.

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-24
Sanka Hōkaku, [Gynecological methods] / 産科方轂, 1825

This notebook has two sections; the second is marked with blue corners. Divisions within each section are marked by brown page marks and the subtitles within the section are marked with a red triangle above the writing.

  1. Section 1: Tasseien Hōkaku. First page has a table of contents with seven topics and a preface after the table of contents. There are two students' names: Kaga Shibahara Junshikei and Bichū Yamanari ___shikyō. There are many corrections in red ink. This section is undated.
  2. Section 2: Sesseidō Hōkaku. Refers to treatments for difficult gynecological problems, and gives details on medications and drugs. The preface gives the date and author: "Bunsei kinoto tori Aki 7 gatsu [1825] by Tsutsui Bunkei (筒井文敬).

Sesseido is the gō ("art name"), or alias, of Ogata Korekatsu.

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-25
Sanka sagen / 産科瑣言, 1828

"Dr. Seishū's oral dictation on obstetrics and gynecology," "recorded by Sen Chōsai 1828 October 4-10, at Dr. Seishū's new school." Has a table of contents and discusses over 50 illnesses related to gynecology or obstetrics.

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-26
Kagawa Kōju, Vol. 1 / 賀川口授 Zen/全, 1822

Dr. Kagawa Gen-etsu's / 賀川元悦 oral dictation on pregnancy and delivery. This is a copy of an original version transcribed in Kansei 8 (1796) August 9, copied by Hayata Taoki (早田多冲). Short apology says that this was copied in a hurry and might contain misspellings. "Copied in Bunsei 5 [1822] early April by Yamanaka Hikooki (山中彦冲)."

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-27
Kagawa Kōjum, Vol. 2 / 賀川口授 Zen/全, 1822

Dr. Kagawa Gen-etsu's oral dictation on pregnancy and delivery. Contains two parts marked with dark blue corners.

  1. Section 1: Includes a preface: Chikugetsu yōtai no setsu. Shisetsu to sen kin hō no setsugō. Notes cover the care of full term pregnancy and delivery, various positions of the baby when it is delivered.
  2. Section 2: Has a table of contents. Main body of Kagawa Yōsai sensei kōyaku narabini Shujutsu kai [Dr. Kagawa Yōsai's oral explanation and operation commentary] starts on page 38. Compiled by Hiyō Seiden Zō / 肥陽静田増 纂輯. Contains the same note of apology as the previous volume. The original version was written in Kansei 8 [1796] August 21, copied by Hayata Taoki. The date of the volume is given as Bunsei 5 [1822] by Yamanaka Hikooki.
Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-28
Kagawake hidan / 賀川家秘(言辺に單, 1815

Contents are mostly about gynecological topics. There is some insect damage but it does not affect the text. The date of the original work being copied is given as: "Kansei 7 nen [1795] rinshō [June] 5. Student Hayata, Hidetada humbly recording." The date of the notebook is given as: "Bunka 12 [1815], 12 gatsu [December]"

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-29
Ryōhō bakka [Best selection of good treatments] / 良方抜華, 1828

Discusses gynecological and obstetrics ailments, with lists of symptoms, medicines, and treatments for the symptoms; 84 pages. "Bunsei 11 nen [1828] 10 gatsu [October], started Sep. 25, finished Oct. 4, Seishū sensei Shinjuku [at Dr. Seishū's new school] Shūhin / 鷲瀕."

Box 3
Volume RL10050-V-30
Seiren hatsumō, kan no 1 [Vol. 1]/ 製煉発蒙, undated

Seiken Tsuboi Shindō yakujutsu / 誠軒坪井信道訳述. [Interpreted and recorded by Seiken Tsuboi Shindō] Notebook is organized into five chapters: 1) Seiren meigi shaku, [metallurgy] 2) Testing for secondary substances, 3) Combustibles and their refinement. 4) Different kinds of sodium and metallurgy, 5) Different kinds of sodium.

Tsuboi Shindō (1795-1848) was a Japanese scholar of Dutch medicine and a doctor.

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-31
Seiren hatsumō, kan no 2 [Vol. 2] / 製煉発蒙, undated

Seiken Tsuboi Shindō shiki. [Interpreted and recorded by Seiken Tsuboi Shindō] Continued from the first volume: 6) Ronshū jikō rakutsu hōgō, 7) Ronshū jikō rakutsu endo [sodium bonded with earth] hōgōsha, 8) Rakutsu en /羅倔塩 (Japanese name for "chemical substances," using Japanese characters to imitate the sound of the word in Dutch), and rakutsu endo combined with sulfur, 9) Metals and metallurgy, and 10) untitled section.

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-32
Hyakuchin ikkan Ken [Heaven: vol. 1] / 百 [病だれに火] 一貫 乾, undated

Contents cover gynecological illnesses, pediatric medicine, asthma, and jaundice. Has a table of contents and many corrections and annotations. No date or name is given.

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-39
Hyakuchin ikkan Kon [Earth: vol. 2] / 百 [病だれに火] 一貫 坤, 1829

The contents are similar to the first notebook, but there is no table of contents, and no comments or corrections. "Bunsei 12 [1829] January at Shunrinken new school by Sen Yōsai."

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-40
Ganka hiroku [Ophthalmology] 眼科秘録, undated

Includes a table of contents. There are a few illustrations on page 37 that include drawings of artificial eyes. No names or dates are given.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-41
Ganka kibun, undated [Ophthalmology] / 眼科記聞, undated

The content of this book is the same as the book above. The few illustrations toward the back of the book are almost exactly the same as the previous volume, and appear in the same location (page 37). No names or dates are given.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-42
Ōsaka Majima ganka densho [Ophthalmology] / 大阪馬嶌眼科傳書, 1828

Short volume of ten pages, written in Shino-Japanese style. There is a diagram on page 2. "Bunsei 11 [1828] December at Shunrinken new school, by Sen Yōsai." Missing outer cover.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-43
Tōshin chiyōhōron sachū [Pox] / 痘疹治用方論 鎖注, undated

Two manuals bound together; the second starts on page 27. The title inside refers to a doctor's name: Tai Mankō 戴曼公. Recorded by a student, Ikeda Seichoku; several other names are given. Topics include medicinal herb teas, baths, pills, and powders for pox and skin irritations. Each manual has a few sections: small brown papers on the upper corners of the pages indicate subtitles. Written in Shino-Japanese style.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-44
Tōshin chijutsu den / 痘疹治術傳, Tōshin fujin ka / 痘疹婦人科, Tōshin hyakushi den / 痘疹百死傳, Yōyōsai Ikeda hōkan / 幼幼斎 池田方凾, dates uncertain

Contains four sections on pox and other skin diseases as the cover titles indicate. Each section has its own page number sequence.

  1. Section 1: Tōshin chijutsu den, written by Min Tai Mankō. Original date written : "Enpō 5 [1677] September humbly recorded by Ikeda Seichoku."
  2. Section 2: This section does not carry the title Tōshin fujin ka, but the words in this section suggest that it is about pregnant women with pox. Undated.
  3. Section 3: Tōshin hyakushi keijō den [The pox: one hundred forms of death]. Written by Dr. Min Tai Mankō. "Kansei 5 [1793] copied at Yōyōsai juku." The earlier date derives from the original version that was later copied.
  4. Section 4: Yōyōsai Ikeda hōkan. Includes a list of 97 medicines on the first two pages. The next page has section titled "Hatsunetsu giji hō" that goes up to page nineteen and is dated Kansei 7 [1795] August 18. Copied by the student Juikidō shujin Tanobe (or Tabiki) Muro. The earlier date refers to the original version that was later copied.

Tai Mankō 戴曼公 was a Zen monk and doctor from Ming China (1596 to 1672) who established residency in Japan. He was especially known for the treatment of pox. His alternate name is Dokuryū Shōeki (独立性易).

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-45
Seisetsu tōsō kibun / 西説痘瘡記聞, undated

This lecture notebook covers pox and eczema and their treatments. "Dr. Kashizono Koishi's oral instruction. Received by the student Ryū Tenka." An additional lecture by Koishi begins on page 22. Includes a table of contents.

Koishi Genzui 小石元瑞 also known as Kashizono Koishi (1784-1849) was a doctor in the later Edo period who studied with Sugita Genpaku (杉田玄白), the doctor and author of Kaitai shinso (解体新書). Genpaku was the Dutch scholar who first translated the Dutch medical work, Ontleedkundige Tafelen into Japanese.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-46

Herbal and medicinal manuals, 1847 and undated

2 Volumes

A two-volume set generally discussing herbal compounds and other medicines.

Kujusai hōfu, Kan no jō [Vol. 1] / 駆豎斎方府, 1847

The preface was written by Morioka Jii, Yasumi Takatō / 八角高遠 in Shino-Japanese style in Kōka 4 [1847] February. The table of contents lists 21 sections in a different hand. Contents include a list of ailments and the method of manufacturing herbal remedies for each illness.

Kujusai and Onikuni are alternative names; this physician's official name is Shingū Ryōtei / 新宮凉庭 (1787-1854); he studied with Dutch physician, Feruke-Baptiste. Yasumi Takatō [1816-1886] was a Western-style medical doctor.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-48
Kujusai hōfu, Kan no ge [Vol. 2] / 駆豎斎方府, undated

The notebook is organized in eight sections selected by Dr. Onikuni; centers on the method of compounding different types of medicines. The names of several editors are given in the text.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-49

2. Single manuscript notebooks

26 Volumes

These manuals and lecture notes stand as individual works. When possible, titles are taken from the covers or from section headings; approximate translations in English in brackets were provided by library staff. Titles and significant names are also given in Japanese characters.

Seibidō hōketsu / 済美堂方訣, undated

Only the table of contents is present; the rest of the notebook has been lost. The name Seibidō refers to a medical practice in Kyoto of physician Takenaka Bunpō (竹中文輔) (1766-1836). As with many other volumes in this collection, this is a copy of an original medical manual by Takenaka Bunpō, copied by Yamanaka Hideyuki, probably a medical student at Seibidō.

Box 1
Volume RL10050-V-10
Shunrinken kasho [Shunrinken school family book] / 春林軒 家書, 1810, 1828

The notebook is profusely illustrated with hand-colored drawings of osteopathic manipulations, cotton dressing materials, and bandages applied to different parts of the body. The last half contains illustrations of an operation to remove cancerous breast tissue, and commentary. The end of that section is signed Bunka 7 [1810] by Jukusei Bigo Nomura Gaku / 塾生 備後 野村鄂. The next page is signed by a student from Bizen, Akaishi Kihan / 赤石希范 in Bunsei Tsuchinoto Mi, May 31." The last page is signed and stamped: "Copied [by] Tangetsu" / 端月.

Shunrinken (春林軒) is the name of Dr. Seishu's medical school. Kasho means "family book," which refers to the intellectual legacy of the "family" Hana ke (華家) (a shortened form of Hanaoka, the famous physician). The date is probably incorrectly written, because Tsuchinoto Mi is the second year of Kōka era rather than the Bunsei era [1845]. It is more likely the year Tsuchinoe Ne [1828] in the Bunsei era.

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-18
Hana ke seikotsu bakutai no zu / 華家 整骨縛帯之図, undated

This volume contains similar illustrations of bandages and osteopathic cases as in the Shunrinken Kasho volume, but in black-and-white instead of color. The back cover shows signs of insect damage. This volume is slightly bigger than Shunrinken Kasho but fewer pages; it may be a draft of that volume.

Box 2
Volume RL10050-V-19
Hōyo / 方輿, 1829

Divided into three categories: gynecological, pediatric, and adult ailments. Chiefly consists of lists of medicines and their uses. "Bunsei 12 [1829] Shōgatsu [January], transcribed by Sen Yōsai at Shunrin-ken shinjuku."

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-33
Hōyo kibun / 方輿記聞, undated

The contents of this notebook are very similar to the Hōyo in the previous folder, but includes a few more ailments; no date or name is given.

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-34
Satsuyōhō / 撮要方, 1828

This 96-page notebook includes lists of ailments and herbal treatments and corrections in red ink. "Bunsei 11 [1828] August 21-27 by Sen Chōsai at Dr. Seishū's new school."

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-35
Satsuyōhō sen / 撮要方筌, undated

The contents are the same as previous volume but without corrections. Also 96 pages long, with table of contents; no date or name is given.

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-36
Seinō hiroku / 青嚢秘録, 1828

The first three chapters are about how to make certain drugs, including narcotics, and aroma therapy. Chapter 2 mentions an anaesthetic, Mafutsutō / 麻沸湯, that Hanaoka developed from datura. The rest of the chapters are about ailments such as skin diseases, animal bites, bruises, and treatments with herbal medicines. There is a table of contents and corrections and comments in red ink. "Bunsei 11 [1828] November by Yamanaka, Hideyuki at Dr. Seishū's new school."

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-37
Yōkahō sen / 瘍科方筌, 1828

Subjects in this volume cover tumors, boils, and notes on an abscess and its treatment with herbal medicine. Ingredients for compounds are listed. There is a table of contents. The main text bears corrections and comments in red ink. "Bunsei 11 [1828] July early in the month to 18th. Jissinsai 日新斎 (Shimazu Tadayoshi) Yamanaka, Shūsai Hideyuki."

Box 4
Volume RL10050-V-38
Chitō yōhō / 治痘用方, date uncertain

Tōshin chijutsuden / 痘疹治術伝: lecture by Dr. Min Tai Mankō, recorded by student Ikeda Seichoku. The first nine pages are a case study dated Enpō 5, Hinoto Mi [1677] September by Ikeda Seichoku. The next section is titled: "Dr. Min Tai Mankō Chitō yōhō recorded by Ikeda Seichoku, selected by Genson Seikyō." A postscript reads "Kansei 4 [1792] Spring February by Ikeda, Zuisen." After this, there are several pages of supplementary comments.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-47
Kujusai isoku katsuyō [Dr. Kujusai's selection of the principles of medicine] / 駆豎斎 医則括要, undated

The title of this book appears on the third page following the preface. Contains general remarks on the practice of medicine, with summaries of the main classes of medical practice, and a section with the characteristics of various medicines. Recorded by Moribe Hōshuku.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-50
Tōka idan [Medical talk under the lamp] / 燈下医談, 1828

Includes a table of contents of 189 illnesses or topics. Some illness listed are accompanied by brief medical commentary. "Bunsei 11 [1828] October 11-17. Copied at Dr. Seishū's new school by Shūhin."

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-51
Kenshō hyakumon fukō [One hundred probing questions on illnesses] / 険症百問 附考, 1828

This is chiefly a manual on medicinal practice in the form of reflections and questions. Title is taken from inside cover. Preface is written in Shino-Japanese style by Nomura Gaku. There are revisions noted in red ink. Date: Bunsei 11 [1828] September 1-5 by Sen Chōsai. The second part bears the title Kenshō hyakumon kō [reflections], written by Hara Genkō." "Bunsei 11 [1828] December, copied by Sen Chōsai at Dr. Seishū's new school."

Yoshimasu Nangai (1750-1813) was a medical doctor in the middle to later Edo period. Hara Genkō's full name was Hara Genkō Masakatsu; he was a samurai doctor in Mito Han.

Box 5
Volume RL10050-V-52
Iso Kihaku kō [Reflections on Kihaku, the founder of medical science] / 医祖岐伯考, 1829

Approximately 36 pages long, written in Kanji and Katakana. Date: Bunsei 12 [1829] November. Written by Minamoto no Matsuura Dōho Genrei, who indicates he was 29 years old when he wrote this book.

Kihaku 岐伯 was a legendary Chinese physician. Minamoto no Matsuura Dōho Genrei / 源松浦道輔原禮 (1801-1866) practiced medicine until 1824 but later became a scholar of ancient Japanese thought and culture.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-53
Kyorō rōsai [tuberculosis] meigi no ben / 虛労労際名義辨, undated

Dr. Koishi Hekika's 小石碧霞 oral instruction, written by student Shō Ryōsai / 鷦鷯斎. On the last page, in red ink, there are notes regarding three early symptoms of incurable tuberculosis.

Koishi Hekika, (1743-1809), late Edo period Dutch medicine doctor, was commonly known as Koishi Genshun / 小石元俊. Dr. Ransai is Kagawa Ransai / 賀川蘭斎 (1771-1833), a late Edo period doctor and obstetrician.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-54
Yōka sagen / 瘍科瑣言, undated

The table of contents lists 116 illnesses, including tumors, cancers, and carbuncles. No date or name is given.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-55
[Untitled volume on treating tumors] / (病だれに水)書, undated

There is no title on the outer cover, but a form of title is given at the table of contents and the end page. Includes a table of contents with 36 entries regarding tumors. The notes describe how to brew medicinal herbs using specific ingredients for treating tumors. Koishidō Yūso is the same person as Koishi Genshun and Koishi Hekika.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-56
Tansendō shuchū ihō [Tansendō's medical method] / 丹晴堂手中医方, undated

Covers the common cold, fevers, fire and hot water burns, bruises, scabies, sword wounds, and more. Explanations of the symptoms are listed, followed by herbal treatments. Includes a table of contents. Written by Nishiyama Joho, a student from Izumo. Mentions the name of Minato Chōan 湊長安 (1786-1838), a second-generation pupil of Sugita Genpaku, the first Dutch medical scholar in Japan. Tansendō was his medical school.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-57
Juikidō keikenhō [Juikidō's method based on experience] / 壽域堂経験方, undated

Contains 99 recipes for medicinal tea ingredients and dosing information, mostly all Chinese formulas. There are some corrections or notes in red ink. No name or date is given. There are occasional deletions of text by the use of either white powdered seashell or white lead.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-58
Satsubyō soku [Rules to identify illness] / 察病則, undated

Fourteen-page notebook written in Shino-Japanese style. The first page has a list of factors to consider in patients, such as age, occupation, stability of their emotional state, and other data; this is followed by a list of normal heart rates (pulse) of healthy people by age from nine months to sixty. The main section contains a list of medical herbs and their uses for particular illnesses. No name or date is given.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-59
Kinsō kōketsu [Lecture on sword wounds] / 金瘡口訣, 1828

The table of contents lists thirty entries: topics cover sword wounds, suturing techniques with illustrations, gunshot wounds, hemostatic method and treatment including poultices, ointments and oral medicines. Also contains measurements for cotton bandages needed for different parts of the body. The upper third of the page was used for notes, a few of which include small illustrations of suturing. On the last page: "This lecture was copied at Dr. Seishū's new school in Bunsei 11 [1828] October 18-23 by Yamanaka Shūsai Hideyuki. Mr. Tsuzuki proofread this book following the 24th."

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-60
Hoei suchi [Everything you should know about keeping a baby healthy] / 保嬰須知, undated

Written by Soshū Ishi [medical doctor of Sagami no kuni], [and?] Katakura Genshū Shinpo / 片倉元周深甫. This forty-five page manual on pediatrics was written in Shino-Japanese style. There is one illustration of a young male child on page twenty. Page 34 has come loose from the binding.

Katakura Genshū (1751-1822) used the name Shinpo in formal situations. He also used the name Kakuryō 鶴陵 as his nickname. He was a medical practitioner in the late Edo period who introduced the use of western obstetrical forceps.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-61
Ketsuron ketsueki [Theory of blood] / 血論, 1849

This notebook is organized into eleven chapters on hematology, the science of blood. Includes readings of a man's pulse taken three times a day over five days. Written by Shingū Seki Ryōtei / 新宮碩凉庭. "Kaei 2 [1849] April by Seki 石." A note reads, "Karan reki [Western calendar] 1748."

Shingū Seki Ryōtei (1787-1854) used as his formal name Seki; he was also known as Onikuni Yamahito. He was a physician in Kyōto and founder of medical school, Junsei shoin, in 1839.

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-62
Shiken hō [Testing methods] / 試験方, 1829

One of the longest notebooks at 154 pages, covering 56 illnesses and their symptoms, treatments, and medicinal herbs. There are dried leaves laid into the folds of pages 60 and 94. In the last page an explanation reads: "Shiken hō is said to be written by Kyōto's Doctor Fukui. This book is of Kashū Kanazawa Yoshioka Jōhei's [Ishikawa prefecture, Kanazawa, Yoshioka Johei] in which the illnesses are arranged by categories, then treatment methods are listed under each illnesses so it will be useful for searching. Thus it is not the same book as Fukui's original book. But since we couldn't find any better one, I copied this one here." "Bunsei 12 [1829] Jan. at Shunrinken new school by Sen Chōsai."

Box 6
Volume RL10050-V-63

Historical Note

Historical and Biographical Note

At the time when these volumes were written in the first quarter of the 19th century, Japanese medical practice was quite advanced due to a melding of Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch medical practices, and the pioneering advances of Japanese physicians. By the early 1800s there were a number of medical schools in Japan, two of which are mentioned in the notebooks: Shunrinken (春 林 軒), Hanaoka Seishū's medical school located in Wakayama prefecture; and Seibidō (済 美 堂), located in Kyōto, led by Takenaka Bunpō. Some of the early medical schools such as Shunrinken graduated hundreds of medical students within a short period. Copying lecture notes and materia medica was part of the learning process, and resulted in a kind of manuscript medical manual that was then used for further studies or copied and passed down to other students. Several of the notebooks in this collection refer to bodies of knowledge originally authored by Hanaoka Seishū and Takenaka Bunpō.

Hanaoka Seishū (華 岡 青 洲) (1760-1835) was most known for his study and teaching of herbal medicine, surgical techniques, and the treatment of cancers, fistulas, and other serious ailments; he was also well-known for his pioneering use of general anesthesia long before it was first attempted by Western physicians. He advocated for the adoption of Western medicine as practiced by Dutch physicians, allying it with traditional Japanese Kampo medicine, which focused on herbal and mineral preparations.

Takenaka Bunpō (竹 中 文 輔) (1766-1836), also known as Takenaka Bisai and Takenaka Nanpō, studied in Kyoto under Wada Tōkaku and specialized in surgical techniques and smallpox treatments.

Related Material

  • Notes from lectures of Seishū Hanaoka, circa 1802-1806 (manuscript volume), (Rubenstein Library, Duke University)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Japanese medical manuscript notebooks collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Yoriko Dixon, December 2013

Encoded by Yoriko Dixon, Paula Jeannet, June 2014

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2012-0114