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Shou, Hua. Jushikei hakki (Shi si jing fa hui. Japanese & Chinese). ([Tokyo] : Suharaya Heisuke kanko, Kyoho gan [1716]).

Hua Shou was a noted Chinese physician of the mid-14th century. He is perhaps best known for being the first to write a systematic commentary on the section of Nan-ching relating to the pulse, which was first published in about 1341. The Nan-ching was a brief commentary in two volumes on the Nei-ching, whose title is translated as "The Canon of Chinese Medicine," some of whose chapters date as far back as the fifth century B.C.E. The Nan-ching contained new information about the pulse, however, and Hua Shou was an important proponent of using the pulse and a related characteristic, the mo, to judge a patient's qi, or vital energy, in diagnosis.

About the same time, Hua Shou published Shi si jing fa hui, translated as "Routes of the Fourteen Meridians and their Functions," a classic used in the practice of acupuncture. The work is divided into three parts: the first dealing with the circulation of the yin and yang in the arms and legs; the second with the course of the qi through the fourteen meridians; and the third with the eight "extraordinary vessels." Unlike many Western anatomies, Hua Shou's does not depict or describe the body's musculature or skeleton; in fact during this period and for many centuries afterward, Chinese physicians lacked a specific term for "muscle."

Japanese physicians were heavily influenced by traditional Chinese medicine, especially many of its classical texts. Because of this, Chinese medical classics were printed over and over again in Japan, usually in Chinese with Japanese reading marks and sometimes with commentary. Shi si jing fa hui, known in Japanese as Jushikei hakki, was published numerous times in Japan; in fact it is possible that the woodblocks used to publish this 1716 Tokyo edition were first cut many years before for an earlier edition. The most recent text appearing in the book is a preface written by Sei Oyo Shiken dated 1528.

Further Reading:

Huard, P.; and M. Wong. Chinese medicine. Trans. from the French by Bernard Fielding. (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968), pp. 30-46.

Kuriyama, S. The expressiveness of the body and the divergence of Greek and Chinese medicine. (New York: Zone Books, 2002).