Childbirth in aristocratic households of Heian Japan
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Universidad de Granada
PartoRituales de partosParterasMédicosPeríodo HeianJapónChildbirthChildbirth ritualsMidwivesPhysiciansHeian Japan
Andreeva, A. «Childbirth in Aristocratic Households of Heian Japan». Dynamis: Acta Hispanica Ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam, Vol. 34, Núm. 2, 1, p. 357-76. [http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0211-95362014000200005]
SponsorshipGerman Research Council (DFG); Cluster of Excellence «Asia and Europe in a Global Context»
This paper focuses on childbirth in Japan’s aristocratic households during the Heian period (794-1185). Drawing on various sources, including court diaries, visual sources, literary records, and Japan’s first medical collection, with its assortment of gynaecological and obstetric prescriptions, as well as Buddhist and other ritual texts, this short excursion into the cultural history of childbirth offers an insight into how childbirth was experienced and managed in Heian Japan. In particular, it addresses the variety of ideas, knowledge systems and professionals involved in framing and supporting the process of childbirth in elite households. In so doing, it casts light on the complex background of early Japanese medicine and healthcare for women.