My grandfather, Seikichi Edo IV (1884-1938), collected more than 20,000 cultural items─for example, manuscripts, a strip of fancy paper use for writing haiku poems (tanka), hanging-picture scrolls (kakemono), pictures of great men who wrote letters, writers, poets, critics, scholars, artists, and others─during the Meiji and Showa eras. These collections, the so-called “Edo Seikichi Collections,” survived through two major earthquakes: the Miyagikenoki Earthquake of June 12, 1978 and the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. The latter of the two resulted in my house located in Watari, Miyagi Prefecture being subjected to serious damage from both earthquake and tsunami. Various items in the Edo Seikichi Collections became soaked with marine saltwater, and the damage resulting from these disasters has been minimized owing to restoration assistance from non-profit organizations (NPOs) and Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Currently, the Edo Seikichi Collections are being kept at and strictly maintained by the Watari Municipal Local Museum. Parts of the Edo Seikichi Collections have been revealed in a collection of scientific papers I authored. I introduced several works; for example, the diary of Mokutarou Kinoshita (Professor & Dr. Masao Ohta), a kakemono of Dr. Soseki Natsume, and a picture of Yumeji Takeshita. Additionally, the Watari Municipal Local Museum has held two special exhibitions showcasing the Collections.
The most important question is “Why did Seikichi Edo IV collect these family heirlooms while living so far from Tokyo, the center of Japan?” He only graduated from Sendai Ni-Chu, a junior high school, under the old education system. It is possible that he self-taught himself in the field of literature. I have no way of explaining the exchange of letters between great literary figures and Seikichi Edo IV.
Finally, in this paper, I describe the arduous difficulty of caring for his collections privately.
For thousands of years, humans had sought miracle medicines. In the 1930s, people were generally the same as people today. But they were almost helpless in terms of treating bacterial infection. P. Ehrlich, watching synthetic dye molecules stain bacteria specifically and selectively, started the research for antibacterial agents, “magic bullets.” Although he failed to reach the goal, the German dye company Bayer succeeded in utilizing his concept and approach. In 1932, after screening 3,000 compounds over a four-year period, they succeeded in the development of the antibacterial red-dye compound Prontosil. This medicine was welcomed by the world as a miracle drug. In 1935, after the non-patentable derivative sulfanilamide was discovered by the Pasteur Institute, it was synthesized by many companies and spread worldwide.
However, enthusiastic overuse of a medicine can cause something to go wrong. In 1937, diethylene glycol used as a solvent of Prontosil killed 105 people in the USA due to renal toxicity (i.e., Massengill elixir tragedy). In those days, toxicity data was not necessary for medicines. After this tragedy, the USA introduced a new strict law and empowered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and many countries followed this action. Interestingly, this regulation changed the pharmaceutical industry. In order to obtain official approval for a new drug, companies require biologists, chemists and modern laboratories to obtain safety and effectiveness data. If they are unable to do this, they must change from new-drug manufacturers to over-the-counter or supplements manufacturer.
The first strong medicine also changed the relationship between doctors and patients. Before sulfa drugs, doctors knew themselves to be powerless and were humble. But after the introduction of sulfa, they became self-confident against diseases and patients. Finally, Prontosil also reduced pessimism about medicines, dissipating the prevailing attitude that chemicals would never be able to cure most diseases. Thus, new pharmaceutical companies began utilizing the Bayer method to develop innovative drugs for treating many other diseases.
I analyzed the lifetime of the Zen priest Ryoukan (1758-1834) at the end the Edo era from the standpoint of psychosomatic medicine.
Ryoukan was attentive to health management and therapy of the body, and he avoided mental stress through practicing overreliance, self-respect and free self-expression. I determined that Ryoukan had compassion and affection as a background, thereby being able to avoid mental stress.
Furthermore, I mention that Ryoukan was an active fatalist with the view of health as seen from the unity of mind and body.
Tanabeya Medicine, a herbal medicine to treat bleeding at the time of childbirth, as well as to treat bruises, was sold in the Tanabeya Store for over 200 years, since its establishment until the middle of the Meiji Era. We compare formulations and indications, and discuss whether or not this medicine was one of the special elixirs introduced by Yoshihiro Shimadzu as a result of his contributions to the Battle of Sekigahara. The Imai Family’s ancestry letter, in which records show a close relation between Doyo Tanabeya and Yoshihiro Shimadzu, mentions that Yoshihiro initiated Doyo into two elixir formulations: a medicine for wounds such as rupturing of the muscle and fractures, and a medicine for malposition childbearing. The formulation of Tanabeya Medicine was listed in the application letter for a business license issued in 1882. This paralleled that of Yamada-ryu (Yamada School) Decoction, a medicine for wounds acquired during battle, as recorded by some war medicine doctors during the Warring States Period, and for bleeding at the time of childbirth. That is, Tanabeya Medicine was primarily composed of 10 basic ingredients found in Yamada-ryu Decoction plus the addition of cloves, areca nuts and rhubarb, for which the oxytocic action had an effect on muscle and tendon ruptures. The indications of the medicine are consistent with the content of the Imai Family’s ancestry letter. Given that Yoshihiro Shimadzu had a rich knowledge of war medicine, the results suggest that Tanabeya Medicine seems likely to be a special elixir of the Shimadzu Family initiated by Yoshihiro Shimadzu.
Taketa is a city in Oita, Japan, which is known as the major production area of saffron (the stigma of Crocus sativus L.) and where the “Taketa-Saffron Cultivation Method” was developed. This characteristic cultivation method was invented around 1910 in Taketa in order to produce high-quality saffron. This method involves blooming saffron indoors without soil and water in contrast to being cultivated and harvested outdoors in major saffron-producing countries such as Spain and Iran. Approximately 80% of domestic saffron is produced in Taketa, but the number of saffron producers is decreasing because of economic conditions and Japan’s aging society.
In this study, we investigated the history of the saffron cultivation method development in Japan and clarify the benefits of the Taketa-Saffron Cultivation Method. We thoroughly surveyed various literature written about the saffron cultivation methods used in Japan and found that the essence of harvesting and processing skills─almost the same as current know-how such as “avoiding harvesting in rainy weather” and “removing the yellow and white part of the stigma”─were already recognized. However, most of the literature discussed outdoor cultivation methods, and the Taketa-Saffron Cultivation Method had not been published for more than 30 years after its invention. Our field study and interviews conducted in Taketa revealed that the inventor’s offspring made efforts to spread the seedlings. Additionally, we verified that experienced farmers formed a union to encourage and improve the Taketa-Saffron Cultivation Method. It is necessary to record and inherit this unique method, which was developed by the inventor’s offspring and local farmers to ensure a stable supply of domestic high-quality saffron.
In this report, popular love, love in Christianity, and mercy in Buddhism were studied and compared.
1. Popular love : Self-first love. When there is disappointment in the love shown, the deeper the love is, the
more violent the hatred shown ; leading to death on rare occasion.
2. Love in Christianity : Christianity is a connection between God, Jesus Christ, and a person. Love in
Christianity is expressed by the words of Jesus Christ, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Mathew
22 : 37-38). He also said, “And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22 :
3. Mercy in Buddhism : In Buddhism, popular love is not recommended, because popular love includes
hate as a part of love. However, mercy is the basis of Buddhism and contains the qualities of affection,
compassion and sympathy.
For patients, pharmacists should know each original meaning of popular love, love in Christianity, and
mercy in Buddhism.
In Hokkaido, cultural activities didn’t develop until after the Meiji era. Partly for this reason, not a single
statue of the Yakushi Buddha exists there. The northernmost statue in Japan is in poor condition and
suffered from decay due to vermiculation. This statue of Yakushi Buddha, together with the decayed statues
of 12 soldiers (Jūnishinsho), has been stored since the latter part of the 14th century in a special house at
Zuiryu-ji (Zuiryu Temple), located at latitude 40°42'. The decayed statue of Yakushi Buddha, which no longer
has hands and ankles, is preserved as a registered cultural property of the town Shichinohe, Aomori
The southernmost statue of Yakushi Buddha in Japan is the statue at Ōraku-ji (Oraku Temple), located at
latitude 31°54', in the city of Miyazaki, which is in Kyushu. The statue has been designated an Important
Cultural Property (ICP). It has been in storage since the Kamakura era (1185〜1332AD). There are no
statues of Yakushi Buddha in Nagasaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa prefectures.
It is desirable that if any statues of Yakushi Buddha are found in Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Kagoshima or
Okinawa, they become a part of the cherished cultural heritage of the people in the district where they are
A reddish-brown mineral soil discovered at the beginning of the 17th century at Iwami-Ginzan (Omori-cho,
Ota, Shimane Prefecture), registered as a World Heritage Site as an industrial heritage in 2007, was
presented to the Shogunate as a medicinal stone called “MUMYOUI”, and introduced to the general
public. It was manufactured using “elutriation” based on an old document in which the unknown
manufacturing method was written. Elutriation is known generally as a purification method for medicinal
ores, but this elutriation technique was used to produce Red Iron Oxide in the Jomon period, and Mountain
Blue Verdigris, which has been practiced since the Asuka period, It was shown that this iron sand
classification method was also used for “KANNA-NAGASI” in traditional Japanese iron manufacturing, “TATARA”, producing a prosperous slate made in the early Edo period. So, elutriation
was a traditional method shared in the mining industry since ancient times.