Jump to the main content block
Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


“The Original of Women’s Disorders” and Related Issues in Ishinpo

Vol. 34 No. 2   3/2004


“The Original of Women’s Disorders” and Related Issues in Ishinpo


Jen-der Lee









Key words

Ishinpo, Tanba Yasuyori, Women’s medicine, childbirth, Japanization of Chinese medicine


       Ishinpois the oldest extant medical work in Japan. It was edited by Tanba Yasuyori(915-995), an imperial doctor of the Heian period (794-1183) who cited medical theories and technologies from over two hundred Chinese texts introduced into Japan up until his time and put them into thirty volumes without any foreword to explain his ideas and categorization of medicine. This article compares volume 21 to 24 of Ishinpo with the Chinese texts from which Tanba drew his excerpts to analyze the different conceptualizations of women’s health problems between this Japanese doctor and his Chinese predecessors. It first introduces the history of compilation and transmission of Ishinpo, and then discusses different views concerning the origins of women’s diseases between Ishinpo and several Chinese texts it quoted. A detailed examination of a set of pictures that indicated taboo points of acupuncture and moxibustion for pregnant women is followed. These pictures came from Chanjing (Canon for Childbirth), on which Tanba relied more heavily than any other Chinese medical work in his four volumes on women .the conclusion then points out the practice-oriented characteristics of medieval Japanese medicine and Tanba’s primary concern over childbirth, in contrast to the menstruation-based conceptualization of women’s health issues in Chinese medicine.



Author: Jen-der Lee
Genre: Article
Click Num: