Hand-painted manuscript, 28 pages with illustrations


  • Equestrian Veterinarian Care
  • Unknown (Author)
Date Created
Resource Type
  • Image
  • Identifier
    • Identifier Type
      Locally defined identifier
      Identifier Value
      The Melikian Collection L2011.008.185
    • Dimension: 7 1/2 x 10 in. (closed)
    • This manuscript was one of the manuals used by horse veterinarians, or hakuraku, to diagnose and treat horses. The name hakuraku is the Japanese version of Sun Yang, a famous Chinese horse trainer who was commanded by the Chinese emperor to find the most beautiful and perfect horse. When he returned from his journey he reported the discovery of a perfect sorrel mare – however, when the messengers went to fetch the horse, they found a black stallion. This was not problematic, as it supports the Confucian belief that a true expert can attain “true knowledge” by seeing beyond exterior characteristics. Manuals like these surely assisted the hakuraku in seeing beyond the exterior. Diagrams include the location of important organs and acupoints for both acupuncture and moxibustion (the burning of a small bundle of tightly bound herbs, or moxa, to targeted acupoints). The five acupoints indicated on the horse’s belly in may have been used for moxibustion, which perhaps explains the dismayed journal entry written by Townsend Harris, the first American ambassador to Japan: “They said their horses all would bite and kick. No wonder... every month the horse is burned in his belly in a quincunx – i.e., as the spots are placed to mark five on dice... can we wonder that this monthly application of red hot iron should spoil the temper of a horse?” Susie Anderson Other information (library catalogue, links to websites etc.):, opens in a new window, opens in a new window - Other equine veterinary books (with similar imagery) Taniguchi, Kazuyuki. “The Education and Research of Veterinary Medicine in Japan” - provides (comprehensive?) list of veterinary books in Japan, opens in a new window

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