vintage medical instruments

Anatomical illustrations from Edo-period Japan

Here is a selection of old anatomical illustrations that provide a unique perspective on the evolution of medical knowledge in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868).

Trepanning instruments, circa 1790

These illustrations are from a book on European medicine introduced to Japan via the Dutch trading post at Nagasaki. Pictured here are various trepanning tools used to bore holes in the skull as a form of medical treatment.

Trepanning instruments, circa 1790 

The book was written by Kōgyū Yoshio, a top official interpreter of Dutch who became a noted medical practitioner and made significant contributions to the development of Western medicine in Japan.

Trepanning instruments, 1769

These illustrations of trepanning instruments appeared in an earlier book on the subject