World Traditional Medicine Reference Board

Post content

Title [Asia] Japan Kampo

2014-12-30 14:11:55
'Japanese Kampo', which shares the same root with Chinese medicine but developed in different way, is the product after repeated selection, renovation, and reinvention.
Japanese traditional medicine, called “Kampo”, is based on Chinese traditional medicine. However, after its transfer to Japan with different cultural background, it went through repeated selection, renovation, and reinvention by their own culture. “Japanese Kampo”, which shares the same root with Chinese medicine but developed in different way, is the product formed by such a process. Japanese medical history was initiated by adopting “Hanuibang(漢醫方)”, referring to medical knowledge, via Korea. Around the fifth century AD, when they had any patient among the royal family, they sought doctors from Silla, Baekjae and so forth. For example, there is a historical record saying that Pa-jin Kim(金波鎭), and Gi-mu Han(漢紀武) from Silla was invited to Japan to treat Ingyo Emperor of Japan(允恭天皇). Since then, doctors from Baekjae spreaded their medical knowledge to Japan.

It is widely believed that first propagation of Chinese medicine in Japan was initiated by Ji-chong from Wu who visited Japan with 160 medical books describing ancient prescription, galenical pharmacy, acupuncture and so forth. Since the inflow of Chinese medicine from Song Dynasty, Japanese medical professionals published their own medical reference including 『Tonishou(頓醫抄)』, and 『Mananpou(萬安方)』 by adding their own experience based on eclectic selection of Chinese medicine from Song Dynasty to Han Dynasty. Prescriptions described in 『Hwajegukbang(和劑局方)』 were mainly used before the inflow of Chinese medicine during Jin, and Yuan Dynasty.

Tashiro Sanki(田代三喜) advocated the novel theory of ‘treatment based on the diagnosis of symptom’ based on various theoretical concepts such as Yin-Yang, weakness and strength, Qi-Blood, heat and cold, and so forth after studying in China during Ming Dynasty. His disciple, Manase Dohsan(曲直瀨道三) established “Keitekiin(啓迪院)”, and extended up-to-date medical theory back then. Since their medical theory was originated from that of Jin, Yuan, and Ming Dynasty, they are called as “the Afterages School”. Afterward, reactionism became popular even in medical field, resulting in the appearance of “the Ancient Prescription Restoration School” who insisted to use prescriptions in 『Sanghallon(傷寒論)』 exclusively, and rebelled against Chinese medicine of Song and Ming Dynasty in an apposition of the theory related to Yin-Yang and the Five Elements, and Jangbu Gyeongmaek, and “the Eclectic School” who accommodated strengths from both of the theories.