Modified and translated by CFJA
This is the third time talking about acumoxa therapy. This time, the focus will be on moxibustion therapy. Since the content on acumoxa is heavy due to its long history and has a central role in the medical field in Japan and China, we will be breaking them down into pieces and writing several blogs on this topic.
In Ihohogiron 異法方宜論 (“Discourse on Different Therapeutic Treatments”), one of the volumes in the first systemized medical book, Kotei daikei somon 黄帝内経素問 (“Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor: Basic Questions”), it addresses that “其治宜砭石、故砭石者亦従東方来（其れ治砭石宜し、故に砭石とは東方より来たる）” This means that “a therapy utilizing henseki 砭石 (stone needle), an acupuncture therapy, is good, and this theraputic method henseki 砭石(stone needle) was brought from toho 東方 (eastern direction).” From China’s perspective, toho 東方 (eastern direction) points to a place that is in the eastern direction of China, namely Japan. Since “toho 東方 (eastern direction)” is a term that describes a broad area, they coined “Toyo 東洋 (eastern)” to express Japan. Therefore, ”東” is a character that represents Japan. Also in Japan, at the beginning of the Meiji period, people started using the term “Toyo igaku 東洋医学 (Eastern Medicine)” referring to the “Japanese medicine”. Last time, we presented a theory that acupuncture therapy has been in Japan since ancient times. Now, we have clarified that this theory is also mentioned in Chinese literature.
On the other hand, it is thought that moxibustion therapy, which involves warming up the body, was practiced since humans were able to make fire. Hence, it is normal to think that it was practiced all over the world. In Ihohogiron hen dai jyuni 異法方宜論篇第十二 (“Volume 12: Discourse on Different Therapeutic Treatments”) of Kotei daikei somon 黄帝内経素問 (“Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor – Basic Questions”), it states that “灸焫者、亦従北方来。（灸焫（きゅうぜつ）なるもの、亦（また）北方より来たる。” This means that “moxibustion therapy (a method that involves warming or burning by placing something that has fire close to the body) came from the north.” The term hoppo 北方 (Northern direction) would refer to Mongolia. It seems that there are a lot of those who think that acumoxa therapy originally came from China. However, medical books in China show that this is false.