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Smallpox illustration, Japanese manuscript, c. 1720
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About this work
Watercolour illustration from a Japanese work on smallpox entitled Toshin seiyo [The essentials of smallpox] consisting of a manuscript in two volumes. It contains numerous coloured illustrations of different symptoms of smallpox, which were executed on separate sheets of paper: they were then cut out and pasted into place. According to the beginning of book two, the author was Kanda Gensen (c1670-1746) and the text was edited and supplemented by one Enokimoto Gensho, whose dates are unknown and about whom all that is known is that he practiced medicine. Kanda was a doctor who is known for his illustrated explanatory works on natural science and materia medica.