Asian Ideas on Health Promotion and Education from Historical Perspectives of the Theory of Yojo as an Interface of Health, Self, and Society

  • Toshiyuki Takizawa


Human health is a phenomenon of cultural and historical action and reaction with nature. Every society has its own system of health care that is reflected by its history and culture. In Asian societies there are three notional and cultural bases of human health preservation: Indian medical thought, Chinese medical thought, and Islamic medical thought. In Asian culture the idea of health is generally based on the recognition that human beings and nature exist in harmony. Asian medical thought aims at acquiring a power of self-preservation or adjustment, which strives to restore any disturbance within the constitution or state of individuals. More fundamentally, Asian health thoughts and practices include a process of self-cultivation. Such ideas are confirmed through the development of social and cultural aspects of each society. Influential religions in Asian societies, e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, involve a culture of self-awareness and self-evolution. Under these religious doctrines, people increasingly tend toward restraint of materialistic desire, living with an attitude of self-cultivation, leading eventually to the establishment of self-fulfillment and dignity. A typical case exists in the historical and cultural philosophy of health in Japan through the evolution of the concept of Yojo (meaning regimen or diet). This chapter intends to clarify the structure of Yojo from the historical viewpoint of health promotion and education.


Traditional Chinese Medicine Asian Society Personal Health Care Medical Thought Mental Stability 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthIbaraki UniversityMitoJapan

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