Collection of Historical Anatomical Works(Kaitai Shinsho)

Books on European medicine with anatomical illustrations brought into Japan in the 15th century via the Dutch trading post had a major impact on Japanese medicine.

(The collection is stored at Shinanomachi Media Center.)

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Introduction

Books on European medicine with anatomical illustrations brought into Japan in the 15th century via the Dutch trading post had a major impact on Japanese medicine. Genpaku Sugita and his colleagues who were performing "fuwake," or dissections, on executed criminals were astonished by the accuracy of these illustrations, and translated the Dutch anatomy text into Japanese, titled Kaitai Shinsho (New text on anatomy). From henceforth, Western medicine was studied as a refined discipline and this contributed to the development of medical science in Japan. The Kaitai Shinsho is part of the collection of historical anatomical works stored at the Shinanomachi Media Center. The collection includes a copy of the Kaitai Shinsho formerly owned by Dr. Ranzaburo Ootori who was a professor of history of medicine at the Keio University School of Medicine.