Modified and translated by CFJA
From the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568 – 1600), Japan’s very own acumoxa therapeutic techniques were born and a clear Japanization began.
There are three main methods of acupuncture techniques in Japan: a method transmitted from China called hineribari-jutsu 撚鍼術 (twisting acupuncture technique), Isai Misono’s method of uchibari-jutsu 打鍼術 (hitting acupuncture technique) and Waichi Sugiyama’s method of kudabari-jutsu 管鍼術 (tube acupuncture technique).
The hineribari-jutsu 撚鍼術 (twisting acupuncture technique) is the mainstream acupuncture technique in China. It is now called the nenshin-po 撚鍼法 (twisting acupuncture method) in Japan and teiso method 提挿法 (Jp. teiso-ho) in China since 1960.
The uchibari-jutsu 打鍼術 (hitting acupuncture technique) was widely practiced in the Kansai and Tokai regions in Japan after Narisada Fujiki, an excellent disciple of Isai Misono, became the doctor of acupuncture 針博士 in 1670 and taught it widely in Kyoto and Sunpu regions, where is the Shizuoka City now.
After Waichi Sugiyama, the inventor of the method of inserting the needle using a guide tube – kudabari-jutsu 管鍼術 (tube acupuncture technique) – treated the Shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa, he was appointed as the kanto soroku kengyo 関東総録検校, which is chancellor of temples, shrines and manors of the Kanto region, in 1681, and many of his apprentices studied at the acupuncture school 鍼治講習所 (Jp. shinji koushujo). Kengyo 検校 is the highest position that can be given to mokan 盲官, which is the name of positions given to the blinds. Yasuichi Mishima, who was Sugiyama’s apprentice, built schools in the suburbs of Edo (Senju, Itabashi, Shinjuku and Shinagawa) and 45 other locations throughout Japan. Sugiyama-style acupuncture technique became the top style in Japan, and almost all of the practitioners who used acupuncture technique 鍼術 were related to Sugiyama’s apprentices. Shinkan 針管 (Jp. guide tube) was invented by Waichi Sugiyama and it is now used all over the world including in China.
Speaking of shinkan 針管, when Dr. Seino gave a presentation at the World Congress of Acupuncture and Moxibustion about 20 years ago, he named it “Guide Tube” because there was no English word to describe it. Nowadays, this term is used all over the world. However, over the past few years, since it was invented by the Japanese, people have been calling it by the Japanese name, “shinkan”. Dr. Seino, at the presentation, encouraged himself to use the Japanese terms, along with an explanation, upon introducing something that was invented by the Japanese. However, in recent years, people use the term “shonishin” for pediatric acupuncture and “shinkyu” for Japanese acupuncture (In Japan, acupuncture and moxibustion are called shinkyu 鍼灸, whereby the Chinese character/kanji “shin 鍼” represents acupuncture and kyu 灸 represents moxibustion) in the western countries. It is similar to the way words such as “judo” or “sushi” are used. Although Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion are called “Traditional Chinese Medicine”, this shows that foreigners are well aware that there is a clear difference between Japanese and Chinese acumoxa therapy.