Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine and Confucianism: Japanese State Medicine and the Knowledge Cosmopolis of Early Modern East Asia

in Journal of Early Modern History
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This article argues that Chinese state intellectual approaches to medicine significantly influenced the institutional reception of Western medicine in early modern Japan. Confucian-inspired general reforms of government in late eighteenth-century Japan encouraged an increase in state medical intervention, including the introduction of Western medical practices, achieved primarily through the use of transnational Confucian intellectual knowledge apparatuses. Through a sociology of knowledge approach, this article analyzes the links between earlier private-sphere Chinese medical practice, late Chinese imperial state ideas on medicine, and early modern state-led medical Westernization in Japan. The article highlights the role of trans-Asian Confucian ideas, networks and practices in mediating new approaches to technical innovation, including those from the West. The position for Confucianism argued in the article thereby resonates with Bayly’s idea of the early modern information order of India, and Pollock and Ricci’s ideas on cosmopolitan discursive spaces in other parts of Asia.

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    SugimotoScience and Culture214. This link may even hold for Chen Ziming who was writing at the height of military conflict between the Southern Song and the Mongols just before the ultimate liquidation of the former dynasty see Chen Fu Ren.

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  • 22

    Machi“Yoshi no Sōshi (1)” 52.

  • 35

    Robert L. Backus“The Relationship of Confucianism to The Tokugawa Bakufu as Revealed in The Kansei Educational Reform,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 34 (1974): 118.

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  • 42

    Hiroshi KosotoShinpan Kanpō no Rekishi: Chūgoku / Nihon no Dentō Igaku (A History of Chinese Medicine (New Edition): The Traditional Medicine of Japan and China)176-204.

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  • 44

    MoriTaki no Jiseki213 224. On the introduction of examinations in the State Confucian Academy during this period and their linkage to shogunate employment see Paramore “The Nationalization of Confucianism: Academism Examinations and Bureaucratic Governance in the Late Tokugawa State.”

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  • 50

    Machi“Igakukan no gakumon keisei (2)” 522.

  • 51

    Machi“Yoshi no Sōshi (1)” 543; Komai Uguisu Yado Zakki Manuscript in National Diet Library entry under tenmei year 7 eighth month seventeenth day.

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  • 52

    Machi“Igakukan no gakumon keisei (2)” 518-9; Machi “Yoshi no Sōshi (1)” 543-544.

  • 56

    Machi“Yoshi no Sōshi (1)” 553.

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    MoriTaki no Jiseki217-218. School Rules of the Shogunal Medical Academy (Igakukan gakuki) written by Taki Mototada and promulgated 1864.

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