- The acupuncture that was introduced to Japan was based on the influence of the Yellow Emperor's classic Confucian writings, which were closely related to Buddhism.
It is said the first books to be imported were things such as pharmaceutical books, traditional medicine charts, and acupuncture books from the Wu region of China, during the Asuka era when Emperor Kinmei reigned, around A.D. 552.
Following this, during the era of the Nara Dynasty (A.D. 700), Emperor Monmu's Taihou Code is established, and Japan's first medical certification system for healthcare (such as general health practitioners and acupuncture specialists departments) was enacted. Acupuncture and moxibustion became the nations established medical treatment.
In addition, Ishinho, the oldest medical book in Japan, was written in A.D. 984 by Yasuyori Tanba two years into the Eikan era during the Heian period, as a basis for today's acupuncture.
This medical book explains that the three exciting causes of a disease are "heat and cold", "wind and humidity" and "food and drink". By means of the passing and blocking of the two energies called Eiei (which is responsible for our well-being), the truth and falsehood of every internal organs can be explained.
After that, moving into the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, it was a period where the religious cultural exchange with China became popular thus giving birth to many acupuncturist monks who were adept at both Western medicine and traditional Buddhist medicine.
Even today, the flow is continued through moxibustion temples scattered throughout Japan.
Religious medicine was reformed from the Azuchi-Momoyama period with the Japanization of Li Zhu medicine in the Edo period by founder Manase Dousan (Volume eight of Medicine, Jinju Zhu Qi Li), who demonstrated the proper three methods of acupuncture for the Emperor and Shogunate.
Again, the influence of acupuncture medicine flourished during this period, from the Empou era (1673) of the Tokugawa period up to 3 years into the Genroku era (1690), doctors from Holland and Germany visited Japan
- In addition to describing each book on the moxibustion therapy, they were told of the moxibustion material Moxa and Japanese names, and Moxa was introduced throughout Europe.
But when the Meiji era came around, because of reformation and revolution, everything was westernized, including medicine treatments. Even for doctors who were adept at acupuncture, their efforts were not enough and therefore, during the congress in the Meiji era on February 28th, the bill to revise the law concerning the medical practitioners license did not get enough votes and was rejected. Finally, it was decided that acupuncture healing would be placed under folk remedies.
This possesses great significance in things such as today's medical expense assistance system.
However, from the late Meiji era through the Showa era medical pioneer's experimental therapy studies were approved, and qualifications such as the licensing of acupuncture were enacted. Until the end of war, from the supremacy of the experience of the past principle, scientific principle and the understanding of scientific research progressed greatly.
For a period of time after the war under the occupation of the United States, things like acupuncture treatments were forbidden, though obvious pathogenic diseases could be cured immediately with new medicine, but patients with chronic endogenous illnesses were not getting better and there was also the fear of side effects. As a result, there were changes in awareness of the need for oriental medicine, especially acupuncture, for the improvement and health preservation of the modern people. Scientific cases of it were also scholarly published in succession. Nowadays, the stage is set to reevaluate acupuncture and moxibustion.
Thus by looking back at the history of acupuncture, during those periods and their ways of thinking, as a form of medicinal treatment, even though there were ups and downs, acupuncture which took thousands of years of experience and a concentration of human intellect to developed is still needed by modern people. From now on, even acupuncture methods and ingredients might change more or less, but as long as humans live, it is believed that it will always remain as the most simple and logical healing treatment.