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introduction This book, the first monograph in English to examine aspects of medieval Japanese medical history, is largely based on a study of the medical writings of the Buddhist priest and physician Kajiwara Shōzen 梶原性 全 (1265–1337).1 His two extant works—the Ton’ishō 頓医抄 (Book of the Simple Physician) of 13042 and the Man’anpō 万安方 (Myriad Relief Prescriptions) of 13273—are landmarks in Japanese medical history. The former is the first medical work written in Japanese rather than in Chinese script and the first medical work that was intended for wide dissemination. The latter, written in Chinese and directed at a more learned audience, is the most extensive medical compilation produced in Japan prior to at least the seventeenth century. It is longer than the much better-known tenthcentury (984) compilation the Ishinpō 医心方 (Formulas from the Heart of Medicine),4 which is based on hand-written Chinese medical texts produced no later than the eighth century. Both Ton’ishō and Man’anpō draw extensively on Chinese printed medical works of the Song (and Yuan) era, and at the very minimum they represent the first substantial updating of Japanese understanding of Chinese medical knowledge in over three centuries . Those three centuries witnessed significant developments in Chinese medicine. Surprisingly, however, Shōzen’s writings have not been extensively studied. The present work is the first in any language to focus on them. The theme of this book is the dissemination and appropriation of Song medical knowledge in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Japan. That process was part of the second wave of Chinese cultural influence in Japanese history (which is perhaps most commonly associated with the implantation of Chan or Zen Buddhism). Accordingly, we will be looking at Japanese medical history in the context of contact and interaction in East Asia. Concomitantly, we will be looking at Chinese medical xiv introduction knowledge in a wider East Asian context rather than solely in the context of medical history in China. In doing so, I both recognize the contemporary existence of an East Asian macroculture, of which medicine was an integral component, and build upon recent scholarly trends in the study of medieval Japan. These trends see medieval history as naturally incorporating contacts in East Asia rather than as a process that somehow stops at the low-tide mark of the Japanese islands, and they see overseas contacts as continuous rather than sporadic.5 In looking at the impact of Song medical knowledge, I also hope to provide some sense of how that was shaped, facilitated, or limited. After all, knowledge is transmitted in historical context and by human beings rather than through some amorphous or inevitable process. Chapters 2 through 5 are devoted to different topics on medicine and medical knowledge, and in those chapters various factors and contingencies that are germane to those topics will emerge naturally. However, I have devoted chapter 1 to an exploration of some broader elements that will help us address the basic question of what made it possible for Kajiwara Shōzen to gain access to Song medical knowledge and to write his landmark texts. Chapter 1, “The Kamakura Context,” draws attention to four salient factors. First, I note the fact that Japan’s aristocratic political elite in central Japan had very little contact with the outside world and very little interest in exploring new knowledge. In contrast, people living in northwestern Kyushu (the southern island lying roughly halfway between central Japan and southern Chinese ports) had increasingly greater contact and a much more expansive worldview. One manifestation of this was the growth of a Chinese merchant community around Hakata Bay and the development of international contacts beyond the narrow purview of the central polity. Second, while there was very little official Japanese cultural interaction with China after the 850s, I draw attention to the growth, after the 1150s, of contacts with China in which the role of Buddhist priests was central. That interaction utilized links with the Chinese merchant community, but it drew more fundamentally upon what appear to have been long-term Buddhist networks in East Asia. These networks, while to date not given the attention they deserve by scholars, operated through a combination of institutional linkages and personal acquaintances that provided a web of contacts through which information could be shared. The third factor I note is the growth of Buddhist charitable activity in Japan during the thirteenth century, most notably that associated with the newly formed introduction xv Ritsu Precept sect of Buddhism...


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