This paper discusses the content and characteristics of a hitherto unexamined manuscript Tenmongata kakitome (Astronomical Note), Isahaya City Library, Nagasaki. This anonymous and undated manuscript is a compilation of 83 short passages concerning mainly Western astronomy and geography. Although almost all the passages lack information about the sources from which they are taken, textual comparison clearly reveals that a half of them (41 passages) corresponds to the text of the Nigi ryakusetsu, a typical of Nanban astronomy books which originated from Jesuit missionary activities during the 'Christian century' in Japan (1549-1650). Moreover, the other passages contain much information relating to Rangaku (Dutch studies), such as Latin and Dutch texts with Japanese translations. Textual comparison reveals that some of them obviously correspond to those seen in the Nichigetsukei wage (Translation about the sundial and moondial) of Motoki Ryoei (1735 -1794), a famous Nagasaki interpreter of Dutch. These facts show that this compilation was completed later than the Tenmei era (1781-1788), probably around Nagasaki, by extracting and combining several texts of the two books as well as the other sources. In effect, the Tenmongata kakitome is not only a rare example which illuminates the transmission of these two books, but also provides the evidence that the two lines of circulation, i.e. those of Nanban and Rangaku astronomy, which were hitherto thought un-interrelated, certainly met each other at least later than the Tenmei era.
The Hippocratic treatise De Vetere Medicina (On Ancient Medicine) has been the focus of attention among classical scholars and historians of medicine. The author attacks in ch. 20 doctors and sophists who base their own medical theories and methods on philosophical anthropology taken from the contemporary natural philosophers. Many attempts have been made to elucidate, as opposed to their philosophical inquiry into human nature, the author's way of understanding it, which still remains unclear. I draw attention to the following points to make it clear that the conceptual framework of the author's medical anthropology is different from theirs. Their philosophical inquiry into human nature has its starting point in fundamental element(s), from which human beings were originally formed. The author focuses on human beings as existent in their present states, whose conditions and functions must be investigated through interrelations between them and their external factors, such as foods and drinks. A medical investigation into the interrelations will give us a scientific idea about human body, whose constituents are taken to be a large number of humors, reacting against some external factors and accordingly making us feel pain. This may presuppose that, in the author's medical anthropology, human body is conceptually demarcated as the physical or material aspect of human being, within which all physiological events depending on external factors and the humors take place. In their philosophical anthropology, however, human body doesn't seem to have been clearly conceptualized as such, because our experience of feeling pain should be judged to take place within the actions of the fundamental element(s), which must be supposed to constitute our cognitive self.