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Introduction to Medicine or Satire on Doctors

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Approaching the Protean Nature of Isha dangi

AbstractThis article aims to shed light on the multifarious relationship between medicine and literature in Tokugawa Japan (1603-1867) by focusing on a humorous-informative work of popular fiction entitled Yōjō kyōkun isha dangi (1759). Firstly, this essay provides an overview of Isha dangi explaining how medical knowledge is grafted onto narrative structure. Secondly, it analyses the didactic and entertaining aspects of this text and describes how Isha dangi was influenced both by works of comic literature and by instructive medical manuals produced during the Tokugawa period. In doing so, this study supports the hypothesis of genre hybridism in Japanese early-modern literature. Finally, using Isha dangi as a case study, this article takes into account issues of authorship and readership in medically-themed literary works.

Affiliations: 1: ab825@cam.ac.uk

10.1163/22106286-12341256
/content/journals/10.1163/22106286-12341256
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2014-02-06
2018-04-20

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