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September 2022

Yakushigaku Zasshi. 1992 ; 27(2): 65-71.

[Comparative study of medicament culture between Japan and Occident]

Amano H, Kawabuchi M, Tanaka Y, Saitou A, Sugihara M.

Division of Pharmacy, Tokoyo Women's Medical College.

Needless to say, cultural background of the medicines are dependent on traditions and systems of medical care of each country. Until Edo-Era in Japan, Wakanyaku (local phytotherapy), which was developed under the influence of Chinese culture was popular. In the Meiji-Era synthetic medicines beat the local one in accordance with the introduction of occidental culture. However, people are still attracted to Wakanyaku. At present many medical doctors are using Kampou-medicines consisting of Wakanyaku. In the Occident, Kampou-medicines are not much appreciated due to lack of scientific approval. Medicines differ with cultures. From the end of Edo-Era to the beginning of the Meiji-Era, occidental diplomats including physicians came to Japan and reported their observations on medical environment and cultural background. In their literal works they pointed out heterogeneity. For instance, people always kept Moxa at hand for unexpected disease. They felt strange that people treated themselves with Moxa without any knowledge of anatomy. Furthermore, they also mentioned that physicians of Kampou administered medicines without any chemical knowledge.

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