History of sickness and medical art 26: China 1

Bronze ware

< 1. Bronze ware, the 6th century B.C. >


I look at the medical art of China in the first millennium B.C.

This time, I survey Chinese medical art of those days.





 Terracotta Army in Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

< 2. Terracotta Army in Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, the 3rd century B.C. >


The Chinese civilization began from a large number of city-states that was born in the Yellow River middle region.

The oldest dynasty is “Xia” in about 2070 B.C.

In the wake of the large conflict of “ Chun qiu Zhan guo shi dai”(770B.C.~221B.C.), Qin Dynasty accomplished first unification, then Han Dynasty (202B.C.~220A.D.) took it.

From these days, China was the supreme ruler of East Asia and was the most advanced civilized country.








Chinese drama "Confucius"

< 3. Chinese drama “Confucius” >


For us, China was a great teacher and a cultural superpower that had abundant classics.

Although the birth of a character would be in about the 16th century B.C., it became popular for writing to a strip of wood card and a silk cloth.

The contents became various from about the 8th century, and it were written about a myth, poetry, the history, accounts of war, the thought, and the medical art.

Such as Confucius, the thinker’s birth that began from about the 6th century B.C. became a landmark event of culture.








Chinese medicine drugstore street

< 4. Chinese medicine drugstore street in Guangzhou >


The old medical art of China is called Chinese medicine and is contributing by the drug and health management method still today.

It includes Chinese herb, massage, and a food therapy meaning that foods are medicines.

And especially acupuncture, moxa cautery, and a therapy by life energy are peculiar.

The medical art of China was tied to much God and black art in the first stage in common with other civilization.








< 5. Inscriptions on bones and tortoise carapaces, the 13 –11th century B.C. >

I introduce two stories.

“ Policymaker uses the doctor who performs fortune-telling by a tortoise shell and bamboo sticks.” (the 2nd century B.C.- the 2nd A.D.)


“ This sickness cannot get cured. The moxa cautery does not work because that it is located at the lower side of your heart and upper side of your diaphragm. And the acupuncture does not reach it. Medicines also do not work additionally.” (About the 4th century B.C. time)  


The former shows that they depended on treatment of witch doctor performing a fortune-telling and a prayer.

The latter shows that famous physician in ordinary to King of Qin was invited to Jin, and he diagnosed the King of Jin.

In those times, there was a doctor who won fame by medicine.

He had known three kinds of cures and diagnosed for medical problem.


I look at how the empirical science-like medical art including the magical factor has changed, from the first millennium B.C. to the 3rd century A.D.

















Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, science, Series: History of sickness and medical art | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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