‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stem cell therapy in tenth century Japan

Taira no Sadamori (picture source)

"The tale of Masakado offers a grotesque window into the superstitions and savageries of combat in the tenth century, not merely in his own behaviour, but in that of his opponents. In one of its sidebars, we hear of Sadamori's quest for a male foetus - the crucial ingredient in a magical cure for a bad wound that he has sustained. He first orders his pregnant daughter-in-law to give up what she is carrying, and is only thwarted by a doctor who tells him that his unborn grandchild would not be suitable. Instead, he slices up a pregnant kitchen maid, although her foetus is female, and hence useless. It is only with yet another death among his retinue that he finally obtains the foetus required. The horrific story may be an invention, although its details are true to folk remedies of the period, in which powdered foetus was indeed used as a cure for battle wounds."

Jonathan Clements, "The Samurai: A  New History of the Warrior Elite" (Robinson, 2010)

Superstition? Magic? Or pragmatic medicine?


All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Unless indicated otherwise, all internet links accessed at time of writing. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy. The blog author may have, or intend to change, a personal position in any stock or other kind of investment mentioned.

1 comment:

Paddington said...

Not stem cell therapy, just more of the idiot ideas that have pangolins, tigers and many other animals seriously endangered.