Department of Japanese Kanbun Instruction and Research Program, Nishogakusha University

An International Research Project Based on Kanbun Sources to Reconstruct a View of Japanese Culture

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Workshop on Manase Dosan Held at University of Oregon

Program Member: Machi Senjuro

The Nishogakusha University COE Program has identified as its objective the examination of the role played by kanji and kanbun in the history of the Japanese language and the history of Japanese scholarship, with the focus of its research being not confined to literature in a narrow sense, but extending to kanbun works spanning a wide range of fields, including history, thought, religion, art and natural science, and it has also been engaged in educational activities both in Japan and abroad.

With regard to medical works, in our annual extension courses collaborating researchers Kosoto Hiroshi and Mayanagi Makoto, and also Endo Jiro (professor at Tokyo University of Science), have been engaged as lecturers to run courses on the history and texts of Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine, while the Early Modern and Modern kanbun Section has been continuing to conduct investigations of relevant materials and collect data.

Meanwhile, if we turn our attention overseas, we find that in the field of "Japanese kanbun," which, it might be supposed, would not be even remotely related to current fashions, workshops on medieval kanbun were held in the summer of 2008 at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, the University of Southern California, and Stockholm Institute of Education, and in February a workshop on early Japanese medical texts was held at the Wellcome Institute in London (with Prof. Peter Kornicki of Cambridge University as lecturer). The trend towards the diversification and specialization of Japanese studies in recent years can be seen in these workshops. It was in this context that a workshop on Manase Dosan, the most important physician in Japan during the sixteenth century, was co-sponsored by the University of Oregon's Center for Asian and Pacific Studies and the Nish.gakusha University COE Program for five days from 25 to 29 August, and there follows a summary report of this workshop.

The schedule for the workshop, which was conducted with the full cooperation of Associate Professor Andrew Goble in McKenzie Hall of the History Department, was as follows.

25 August (Monday)
1. 09.30-11.30 Andrew Goble (University of Oregon), "Patient Records and Manase Gensaku's Igaku Tenshoki."
2. 13.30-15.30 Ed Drott (Dartmouth College), "Aging and Longevity in the Rojinmon Section of Manase Dosan's Keitekishu."
26 August (Tuesday)
3. 09.30-11.30 Machi Senjuro (Nishogakusha University), "Health and Sexual Practices as Seen in the Koso Myoron."
4. 13.30-15.30 Kosoto Hiroshi (Kitasato University), "The Manase School and the Culture of Publishing in the Early Edo Period."
27 August (Wednesday)
5. 09.30-11.30 Machi Senjuro (Nishogakusha University), "Portraiture and the Manase School."
6. 13.00-15.00 Fukuda Yasunori (Ehime University), "Manase Dosan in Tale Literature."
7. 15.30-17.00 Ikeda Yoko (Date Kahaku Society), "Culture and Arts in Dosan's Era: Some Reflections on Tea and Incense."
28 August (Thursday)
8. 09.30-11.30 Machi Senjuro (Nishogakusha University), "Kanbun Resources: Interpreting Manase Dosan's Handwritten Manuscripts."
9. 13.30-15.30 Fukuda Yasunori (Ehime University), "Kanbun Resources: Interpreting Medical Information in Diaries."
29 August (Friday)
10. 09.30-11.30 Discussion and Evaluation

In addition to the above people who presented papers, Associate Professor Jason Webb (Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo) attended the entire workshop and played an important role in enlivening the discussions. Because the main participants were researchers in the area of Japanese studies, the workshop was conducted primarily in Japanese, with occasional interpreting in English to assist the understanding of other participants.

There follow summaries of each paper.

  1. Goble examined medical records to be seen in the diaries of Yamashina Tokitsugu and Tokitsune, contemporaries of Manase Dosan and Gensaku, and thereby considered the process whereby Manase Gensaku's Igaku tenshoki evolved from old records thought to have been his patient records into an independent work.
  2. Drott focused on the fact that in the Keitekish. Manase D.san included a separate section on the elderly (Rojinmon) and, pointing to a change in the purpose of the composition of this work in that "nourishing life" (yojo) changed from suggestions for the health care of power-holders to advice for children caring for aged parents, he detected in this change the emergence of early modern commoners and a shift to Confucianism with its emphasis on the discharge of filial duties.
  3. Machi, dealing with the Koso myoron, a work on sexual hygiene, cited the Toryui no gen'i as evidence for attributing this work to Manase Dosan and, surveying the history of works on sexual hygiene, discussed the Sunu miaolun, used as a source for the Koso myoron and published during the Jiajing era of the Ming. He further suggested that if Dosan was the author of the Koso myoron, then it could be seen as evidence of his considerable ability to absorb medical works published in Ming China.
  4. Kosoto provided a broad view of the state of medicine in Japan during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from the perspective of the culture of publishing, first describing the situation prior to Dosan with reference to the germinal stage of the publication of medical works and the existence of monks and physicians who had visited Ming China, then pointing out that Dosan's Keitekishu contains many quotations from medical works published during the Ming prior to the Jiajing era, and suggesting that during the time of his successor Gensaku there was a shift to movable-type editions when large numbers of so-called old movable-type editions (kokatsujiban) of medical works were published.
  5. Machi, using as his main sources pictorial materials included in the Kyou Sho'oku shozo ika shozoshu and records such as the Imaoji kaki, examined the manners and customs of families of doctors in Japan during the Edo period from the perspective of clothing and cultural institutions.
  6. Fukuda, approaching the subject from the standpoint of the study of early modern Japanese literature, took up the many tales about lectures by Dosan and Gensaku and their examinations of people's pulses that are included in works such as the Zagen yokishu, Seisuisho and Shinchoki but which have rarely been taken up in past research on the history of medicine, and he considered the significance of Manase Dosan in early modern medical culture through the achievements of Dosan and Gensaku that left an impression on contemporaries.
  7. Ikeda showed that not only was Dosan an expert in the tea ceremony, as was already widely known, but he was also a connoisseur of incense who carried with him the fine incense called ranjatai and was on friendly terms with Takebe Takakatsu, and she pointed to an aspect of Dosan as a sixteenth-century man of culture accomplished in various arts.
  8. Machi provided some concrete examples for examining how to read kanbun materials by Dosan using the kundoku method, and he rendered in kundoku both an inscription on a portrait of Dosan in his own hand in accordance with kunten materials by Gensaku and Sakugen Shuryo's prefatory inscription in the Keitekishu in accordance with Dosan's handwritten manuscript.
  9. Fukuda took up a passage from the Igaku tenshoki describing how Gensaku treated Yokoin's sunstroke in Tensh. 10, the same year in which Gensaku was appointed hogen, and pointing out that this passage even includes a ranking list of the Noh plays that were performed to celebrate Yokoin's recovery, he considered questions pertaining to this work's character as a record of events.

As a result of the above papers presented over the course of four days and the lively discussions about them that took place among participants, there emerged a deepening of the participants' shared understanding of the history of medicine, religion, literature, publishing and culture in Japan during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as mediated by Manase Dosan and Gensaku. It is therefore planned to produce reports by presenters and participants and publish the results of the workshop at the end of the current academic year.

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Department of Japanese Kanbun Instruction and Research Program, Nishogakusha University