Grégoire Espesset deposited Traditional Chinese Knowledge before the Japanese Discovery of Western Science in Gabor Lukacs’ Kaitai Shinsho & Geka Sōden in the group History on Humanities Commons 4 weeks ago
Gabor Lukacs’ 2008 book on “Kaitai Shinsho: The Single Most Famous Japanese Book of Medicine & Geka Sōden: An Early Very Important Manuscript on Surgery” is a bibliographical contribution to the comparative history of the introduction of Western science in East Asia. It focuses on two illustrated manuals of anatomy and surgery in Japanese, adapted from European medical sources in Dutch. This review article first surveys the organisation and contents of the book, then tackles consistency, typesetting and copyediting issues, then moves on to problems with transcriptions and translations of Chinese and Sino-Japanese materials, and finally discusses Lukacs’ approach to Chinese premodern knowledge. Richly illustrated yet mainly descriptive, pervaded with amateurish enthusiasm, ideological biases and value judgments, the book illustrates the persistence of ‘Orientalism’ and ‘exoticism’ in academic publications.