Modified and translated by CFJA
The second peak period was from 1926 to 1930, as part of the opposition movement towards the ROC’s plan to abolish Chinese medicine. Western medicine dominated China and their policy did not allow acumoxa and herbal therapy to be practiced even amongst civilians. To change this situation, doctors amongst the civilians who had been practicing traditional medicine at that time were probably looking at the medical policies and education in Japan. In 1936, the Japanese medical book publication boom reached its peak. Published texts were from the early Meiji period that did not require translation since they were mostly written in Classical Chinese. Also, many traditional medical research texts from the later Meiji period, which were heavily influenced by modern medicine, were translated and published. The number of publications rapidly increased 8 times in 1934, 21 times in 1935, and 83 times in 1936. However, it decreases and stops completely: 3 times in 1937, once in 1938 and none in 1939. This is due to the Second Sino-Japanese War that started from the Shanghai incident in 1937 – the result of the conflict and the anti-Japan movement. It looks like the rise of culture is strongly related to the relationship between nations.
A total of 17 types of texts – including kanpo therapy text 漢方治療書, acumoxa therapy text 鍼灸書, herbal medicine text 生薬の書, etc. which are all published more than 2 times – have been numerously republished in China after the Meiji period. The authors of the kanpo therapy text 漢方治療書 were all doctors. All doctors at that time in Japan had been educated in modern medicine. The author and editors of the herbal medicine text 生薬の書 were pharmacists or pharmacologists. The author and editor of the acumoxa therapy text 鍼灸書 were acumoxa therapists, from acumoxa schools, or medical researchers. They were all educated in modern pharmaceutical medicine. This shows that traditional medical research texts that were heavily influenced by modern science, in other words, scientifically explained texts, were very much appreciated in China. The following shows the number of times those 17 texts were published between 1911 – 1949 (the period of ROC): 27 times for 8 texts on kanpo therapy text 漢方治療書, 20 times for 5 acumoxa therapy text 鍼灸書, and 412 times herbal medicine text 生薬書. These numbers can be said to reflect the fields and texts that were favoured at the time.
The third peak period is from 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded, to 1966, until the beginning of the cultural revolution. The background of what led to the reoccurrence of the Japanese traditional medicine book boom is related to the new Chinese government’s movement to promote Chinese medicine. ROC who moved to Taiwan was still preceding the plan to abolish Chinese medicine. Even after 1949, ROC has continued to be acknowledged by the United Nations as a Chinese nation. However, PRC was not acknowledged as a nation. Thus, PRC encouraged the policy to continue Chinese traditional medicine in order to obtain support from the public and be acknowledged internationally. This led to the movement to revive Chinese medicine. This was merely due to political reasons, not from the appreciation towards Chinese medicine. To this date, the field of acumoxa is largely ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). After 2000, it seems like the level of practice and research of traditional medicine in China has been declining. We feel that one of the factors is the environment that is restricting researchers to study freely due to overwhelming political pressure.
Let’s get back on track. Around this time, 16 acumoxa texts from the Showa period have been newly translated and published. The authors of those texts were the leading acumoxa experts in the Showa period: Sorei Yanagiya, Bunshi Shirota, Yoshio Nagahama, Kobei Akabane, Shohaku Homma, Yoshio Manaka, etc. The translations and publication of these texts were done by Chinese medicine doctors who have been a part of the education and enlightenment of acumoxa since the period of the ROC. The key person is Cheng Dan’an 承淡安. He stayed in Japan for 8 months, from 1934 to 1935, to learn about the educational system of the Japanese advanced acumoxa therapy. He studied at Tokyo High School of Acupuncture and Moxibustion東京高等鍼灸学校 (Kuretake academy 呉竹学園 today) founded in 1929, for 6 months and received a certificate of completion for his acumoxa education in Japan. Cheng Dan’an raised many apprentices. There were a few hundred apprentices taught directly from Cheng Dan’an, and including correspondence/distance education, there were a total of about three thousand and a couple hundred apprentices. The apprentices became teachers in the Chinese medical colleges that were established all around China in 1956.The first edition of standardized teaching material, “Acupuncture and Moxibustion Lecture Notes 針灸学講義” published in 1960 was compiled by the apprentices of Cheng Dan’an. Later, four textbooks – originally written as one but were later divided – were published by People’s Medical Publishing House 人民衛生出版社. “The Study of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (I) Meridians鍼灸学（一）経絡学説 (Jp. Shinkyu-gaku (ichi) keiraku-gakusetsu )” published in February 1962, “The Study of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (II) Acumoxa points 鍼灸学（二）腧穴説 (Jp. Shinkyu-gaku (ni) syuketsu-setsu) published in December 1962, “The Study of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (III) Needling and Moxibustion鍼灸学（三）刺灸学 (Jp. Shinkyu-gaku (san) shikyu-setsu)” published in December 1963, and “The Study of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (IV) Therapeutics 鍼灸学（四）治療学 (Jp. Shinkyu-gaku (yon) chiryo-gaku)” published in 1965 were used as a textbook for the department of acupuncture and moxibustion at Shanghai College of Chinese Medicine 上海中医学院. Japanese acumoxa texts were used as a reference for the creation of these teaching materials. The historical backgrounds that have been mentioned so far show why Japanese and Chinese acumoxa therapy does not differ much. Herbal therapy largely differs, however, we will leave this topic for some other time.