Leprosy in China: A History (Studies of the Weatherhead East by Angela Ki Che Leung

By Angela Ki Che Leung

Angela Ki Che Leung's meticulous examine starts off with the classical annals of the imperial period, which include the 1st descriptions of a feared and stigmatized affliction sleek researchers now establish as leprosy. She then tracks the connection among the sickness and China's social and political spheres (theories of contagion caused group and statewide efforts at segregation); non secular traditions (Buddhism and Daoism ascribed redemptive aspiring to these being affected by the disease), and evolving scientific discourse (Chinese medical professionals have contested the disease's etiology for centuries). Leprosy even pops up in chinese language folklore, attributing the unfold of the contagion to touch with immoral women.Leung subsequent locations the background of leprosy right into a international context of colonialism, racial politics, and "imperial danger." A perceived international pandemic within the overdue 19th century looked as if it would ensure Westerners' fears that chinese language immigration threatened public future health. for this reason combating to include, if now not dispose of, the disorder turned a critical venture of the modernizing, state-building initiatives of the overdue Qing empire, the nationalist govt of the 1st 1/2 the 20 th century, and the People's Republic of China. Stamping out the curse of leprosy was once step one towards attaining "hygienic modernity" and erasing the cultural and fiscal backwardness linked to the ailment. Leung's ultimate circulation connects China's event with leprosy to a bigger historical past of public wellbeing and fitness and biomedical regimes of energy, exploring the cultural and political implications of China's Sino-Western method of the affliction. (1/1/10)

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Extra info for Leprosy in China: A History (Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University)

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In section 42 of the "Suwen" (Plain Questions) part of the Inner Canon (see n. " 12 In the same section, various disorders caused by Wind entering into or stagnating inside different parts of the body are described as having common symptoms such as numbness, paralysis, corruption of the complexion, loss of appetite, sweating, fatigue, and so on. In other words, there are a number of symptoms shared by various \Vind-induced disorders. Terms like dafeng or malignant, vicious Wind (efeng, zeifeng), not necessarily names of specific disorders, also appear in different sections in the Inner Canon usually referring to serious cases of Wind intrusion with various clusters of symptoms.

This text, interestingly, also contained descriptions of symptoms of ailments, in particular lao consumption, caused by gu and chong comparable to earlier medical texts such as Chao's. In this sense, there was no clear boundary between such Daoist ritual texts and medical texts. 93 Lu's tradition became especially influential in the Southern Song period (1127-1279), a time when the gu belief had found more fertile ground in southern China. There are indications that, since the early medieval period, the central authorities had passed laws that punished practitioners of gu by drowning.

77 Shen Zhiwen wrote that women retaining the toxin inside their viscera LI / LAI / DAFENG / MAFENG I 34 Representation of a leper in the Yangyi daquan (Complete Book on the Medicine for Sores [1760]), by Gu Shicheng. could pass the disorders onto men with whom they had intercourse, or to their children. 78 Xiao Xiaoting was even more systematic in his declaration of the differences between male and female patients of the disorder: "It is rare that men pass the disorder to women, but often women pass it on to men.

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