A cultural history of the internal organs in premodern Japan (2021 - 2025)

Start - End 
2022 - 2022 (ongoing)



This project investigates views on the internal body in premodern Japan. In particular, the theory of the five viscera, or gozôron will be of interest. Several handwritten sources from the Edo period relating to gozôron are being used. These sources recorded a hybrid discourse, based on a wide array of ideas stemming from (Japanese) esoteric Buddhism, Chinese Traditional Medicine, Japanese medical texts, Chinese natural philosophy, Japanese Shinto, etc.

With this project, I aim to better understand Japanese contemporary worldviews, as well as the gozôron theory in itself. In a time when Western medical texts became influential in Japan, were these writings an attempt to preserve old knowledge, or were they still valid?

This research takes place in the larger framework of Buddhism-Medicine-gender in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Anna Andreeva.