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Native and Foreign in Tokugawa Medicine

From: The Journal of Japanese Studies
Volume 39, Number 2, Summer 2013
pp. 299-324 | 10.1353/jjs.2013.0040



During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a number of Japanese physicians began to consider native Japanese medicine as an alternative to mainstream medical practices derived from the Chinese tradition. This new attitude toward native Japanese medicine represented the convergence of a diverse set of developments in Tokugawa medical culture, including the increasing availability of medical learning, epistemological shifts and new empirical attitudes to medical knowledge in general, bakufu-sponsored efforts to develop Japanese alternatives to imported drugs, curiosity about European medicine, scholarly attempts to recover ancient Japanese medical texts, and a desire to reconcile medical practices with new scholarly and religious ideologies such as kokugaku.