A Whimsical Picture with a Grim Message: The Inshoku yōjō kagami and the Imagination of the Body in Early Modern Japan

Japanese drawing
Feb. 19, 2019

Shigehisa Kuriyama, professor of cultural history at Harvard University, discusses the Inshoku yōjō kagami (Rules of Dietary Life), a Japanese woodblock print produced around 1850. The image appears to whimsically depict the traditional East Asian view of the body, but it in fact reflects the transformative impact of Western medicine and the rise of the money economy.

 

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