Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room, February 2012

MOTONORI TAKI (1732-1801). Kokei saikyuho [Emergency remedies for the benefit of the people]. 1789.

The author was a court physician famous in the annals of Japanese medicine. He was also known as Rankei Taki and Gentoku Tamba, combinations of his professional and personal names. Taki prepared this early Japanese home medical adviser at the request of the shogun Iyeharu in order to help disseminate medical knowledge among the common people. The three-volume set contains information on how to remedy maladies of various kinds and meet emergencies without the help of a physician. The work is illustrated with more than one hundred and thirty woodcuts of plants, animals, fish, and insects with medicinal uses, as well as illustrations of acupuncture sites, methods of reducing fractures, anatomical details, etc.