chapter  2
40 Pages

The history of medical care in Japan

Until the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868 Chinese medicine —kanpo-was the type of systematized medical care practised in Japan. Although it comprised the same techniques as those used in mainland China-acupuncture, moxibustion, finger pressure therapy, massage, and herbal medicines-the brand of Chinese medicine offered in Japan was not a mere copy of the original because it had, in the course of time, been modified and improved upon and generally made more compatible with Japanese conditions. Some knowledge of the essence of Chinese medicine will contribute to an understanding of why its practice fell out of favour; there were some important developments in medical care in Japan prior to the Meiji Restoration which caused Japanese physicians to reconsider the whole system of medical care in the country and to be so receptive to a second foreign model of medical and health care.