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Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Ultimate Pulse


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Credit: Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Ultimate Pulse. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About this work


Illustration of Ultimate Pulse (taiji mai) from Renyuan maiying guizhi tushuo (Pictorial Handbook of Pulse Images Based on the Person). This is a specialist text on pulse diagnosis attributed to the third-century master Shuhe, edited and revised by Shen Jifen in the Ming period (1368-1644). It discusses various pulse images and the medical conditions to which they relate, and contains 48 pulse image diagrams. This undated edition was engraved and published in Japan.

The text states: Ultimate Pulse is one of the Sixteen Weird Pulses (guai mai). It is also known as Consumed Corpse (hao shi). Its pulse image is like a fingerboard [of a stringed instrument(?)]; it is ample at its arrival and vigorous at its departure, and does not stop after arriving; or rather in the course of the pulse rhythm, it resumes weakly and then reintensifies, for each sequence of exhalation and inhalation. A patient having this pulse will die within about two hours (lit. one watch of the day, shichen).



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