Skip to main content
  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: March 2008

II.2 - Concepts of Disease in East Asia

from Part II - Changing Concepts of Health and Disease
In the evolution of East Asian disease conceptions, the imagination of menacing outsiders represents not a transient stage of superstitions, which the rise of philosophy would supersede, but a thematic pole to which reflection on sickness would repeatedly return. In the philosophical ferment of the late Zhou and Warring States periods, a new conception of disease was emerged. Disease in the Han dynasty became a seasonal phenomenon. Earlier observers had recognized that different afflictions tended to characterize different seasons, such as the Zhou li. The Buddhist concept of karmic disease also traced sickness to an individual's past actions. The popularity of three-shi etiology derived in no small part from the fact that it united many streams of East Asian reflection on disease. The physicians of the Song and Yuan dynasties inherited a tradition of medicine and its key theme was the quest to reduce that distance.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge World History of Human Disease
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053518
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Beijing zhongyi xueyuan (Peking Academy for Chinese Medicine). 1978. Zhongyi gejia xueshuo jiangyi. Hong Kong.
Chao Yuanfang. 1955. Zhubing yuanhou lun. Beijing.
Chen Menglei. 1977. Gujin tushu jicheng, vol. 42. Taipei.
Eberhard Wolfram. 1967. Guilt and sin in traditional China. Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Fujikawa Yu. 1980. Fujikawa Yu chosakushu, vol. 1. Kyoto.
Hu Houxuan. 1944. Yinren jibing kao. In Jiaguxue Shangshi luncong. Chengdu.
Kaibara Ekiken. 1974. Yojokun: Japanese secret of good health, trans. Masao Kunihiro. Tokyo.
Kano Yoshimitsu. 1987. Chugoku igaku no tanjo. Tokyo.
Kendall Laurel. 1985. Shamans, housewives, and other restless spirits: Women in Korean ritual life. Honolulu.
Kleinman Arthur, et al. eds. 1975. Medicine in Chinese cultures: Comparative studies of health care in Chinese and other societies. Washington, D.C..
Kleinman Arthur. 1980. Patients and healers in the context of culture. Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Kubo Noritada. 1961. Koshin shinko no kenkyu. Tokyo.
Leslie Charles, ed. 1976. Asian medical systems: A comparative study. Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Li Fang, ed. 1960. Taiping youlan, vol. 4. Shanghai.
Liu An. 1965. Huainan zi. In Sibu beiyao, vol. 78. Taipei.
Lu Gwei-djen and Needham Joseph. 1967. Records of diseases in ancient China. In Diseases in antiquity, ed. Brothwell D. and Sandison A. T.. Springfield, Ill.
Miyashita Saburo. 1959. Chugoku kodai no shippeikan to ryoho. Toho gakuho. 30.
Namihira Emiko. 1984. Byoki to chiryo no bunka jinrui gaku. Tokyo.
Ohnuki-Tierney Emiko. 1984. Illness and culture in contemporary Japan. New York.
Parish Lawrence Charles, and Gail Sheila. 1967. Ancient Korean medicine. Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 38.
Unschuld Paul. 1985. Medicine in China: A history of ideas. Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Van Gulik R. H. 1974. Sexual life in ancient China. Leiden.
Veith Ilza. 1965. Hysteria: The history of a disease. Chicago.
Yu Yunxiu. 1972. Gudai jibing minghou shuyi. Taipei.