Changing Perceptions of the Female Body: The Rise of the Kagawa School of Obstetrics
This chapter discusses the major epistemological shift in medicine that occurred in the mid-eighteenth century and the emergence of the Kagawa School of Obstetrics that occurred in conjunction with this shift. Physicians from relatively disadvantaged social positions developed new medical methods, leading to the establishment of the Ancient Practice tradition (Kohō and Koihō), which, contrary to its name, introduced a new set of ideas and methods. Kagawa School physicians rejected the theoretical underpinnings of the Chinese medical tradition, including yin yang and the Five Phases. Instead, they projected the body as an object demarcated and isolated from the surrounding environment by its skin and marked it with tangible bone structures and reproductive organs.