In: Graphics and Text in the Production of Technical Knowledge in China
A unique collection of 36 chapters on the history of Chinese medical illustrations, this volume will take the reader on a remarkable journey from the imaging of a classical medicine to instructional manuals for bone-setting, to advertising and comic books of the Yellow Emperor. In putting images, their power and their travels at the centre of the analysis, this volume reveals many new and exciting dimensions to the history of medicine and embodiment, and challenges eurocentric histories. At a broader philosophical level, it challenges historians of science to rethink the epistemologies and materialities of knowledge transmission. There are studies by senior scholars from Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as emerging scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.

Thanks to generous support of the Wellcome Trust, this volume is available in Open Access.
Author: Zhen Yan

In the earliest extant specialist medical work sMan dpyad zla ba’i rgyal po (The Medical Investigation of the Lunar King, early 8th century CE) and the classical work of Tibetan medicine, rGyud bzhi (The Four Medical Tantras, generally dated by scholars to the 12th century CE), there are records of rtsa in its meaning of 'pulse taking'. The concept of rtsa in Tibetan medicine, as the Chinese mai脈, eventually came to combine notions of 'the vessels' and 'channels' of the body with diagnostic readings of 'pulsating vessels' at its surface. This article considers the earliest extant records of rtsa from Dunhuang and finds evidence of the separate development of these two aspects. These early records are unique inasmuch as they not only provide a source for history of medicine, but also represent Tibet and Tibetan culture as an important place for both cultural exchange and resistance, particularly in the transmission of medical knowledge and practice from China.

In: Asian Medicine
In: Asian Medicine
In: Asian Medicine
Authors: Patrice Fava and Vivienne Lo

Abstract

At the border of Hunan and Jiangxi, where Taoist rituals and the Nuo tradition of masked theatre have undergone a large scale revival in recent decades, a Taoist master of the Orthodox Zhengyi sect, Master Yi Songyao , has preserved a number of rare ancient paintings and manuscripts that have been transmitted to him as the liturgical texts of his lineage; these include a map of the body of Laozi and a chart of the course of a Taoist journey through the Heavens. The following brief introduction to these two documents serves mainly as an example of how an intimate knowledge of Taoist ritual can provide a key to the performative nature of the charts and indicates the rich scope for future research.

In: Asian Medicine
In: Asian Medicine
In: Imagining Chinese Medicine
In: Imagining Chinese Medicine