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Nature 雑草 フローラ/ファウナ

Fu-ro-siki 風呂敷 4 [Herb & Iroha]

At 1300 years ago in Japan many medicinal plants were written in history books such as Kojiki (古事記), Izumo-no-kuni Fudoki (出雲国風土記)and Honzo-wamyo (本草和名). 

Firstly Kojiki that I never read and could not read says the fact Japan is a land of Gods, in another words a land of Shintoism which is our principal natural believe. Secondary Izumo-no-kuni fudoki described mythologies in Izumo. There is a shrine known as Izumo-Taisha in where Ō-kuni-nushi (大国主) is enshrined. Might he be corresponded to Zeus in Greece gods system? Anyway both 'persons' stand in quite a complicated deep stories as well as India's budha world. The last one was a dictionary of madecinal plants.
[note 1]

出雲国風土記 col 03
Left; A hand-written copy of 'Izumo' : Nakajima's version 1817
Right; An area of Izumo, the eastern part of the Shimane Prefecture at present.

I have no idea what kind of herbs and medicinal plants were used at the time. Those historic literature are not available for ordinary public, because originals do not exist any more. Few handmade copies remains and are reserved by (domestic and foregin) cultural organizations and museums.
Needless to say, those of the detailed documentation has been published to researchers who are the specialist of not only ancient writings but also ancient medicine. They should understand such document that would be a kind of puzzle for ordinary people.

this is a society of above mentioned reserchers.
Iroha Hiragana en Kanji-2

That is why two graphic designs are adapted for a set of furoshiki-gift, I guess. The reason why gift is due to its academic founding fifty anniversary. An excellent combination!

Tsutsumi kata 02-3

In Europa Dokudami is planted sometimes in private gardens. The plant is very known in Japan, probably used as medicine in the time when the character did not exsist yet, although I don't know whether or not it was written in Kojiki. [note 2] Such medicinal ancient gras/tree is called the folk medicine which has no side effects, therefore have been used as therapeutics in long long tradition.

ドクダミ センブリ ゲンノショウコ 01 
Fish mint / ドクダミ=Dokudami (Houttuynia cordata)

Senburi and Gen-no-Shoko are representative Japanese folk medicines together with Dokudami. I would say Big Three about these plants. [note 3] Senburi's efficacy is likely for indigestion, loss of appetite, stomach pain, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. And Gen-no-shoko's efficacy : Diarrhea, chronic gastrointestinal disease and constipation. At last It is said Dokudami's fresh leaves work against purulent boil, and its thee is good to prevent diuretic, bowel movement and hypertension.
ドクダミ センブリ ゲンノショウコ 02
センブリ=Senburi (Swertia japonica)
It has been widely cultivated for medicine industry

ドクダミ センブリ ゲンノショウコ col 04
ゲンノショウコ, 現の証拠=Gen no Shoko (Geranium thunbergii)
Weeds belonging to Geranium, even in Netherlands there may be about 10 species.

1. Kojiki is Japan's oldest history book、edited by Yasumaro Oono, and peresented to Empress Genmei in 712. There are reportedly 79 plants in it. It is said that the compilation of Izumo-no-kuni Fudoki was ordered by Empress Genmei in 713 (=Wado 6), but was completed in era of Emperor Shomu in 733.

2. Doku means poison, Dami (←damari←tamari) means 'collected'/stay. People might think then: poison is collected in the plant because of its stinky smell when it was rubbed. But it is a edible.

3. Sen-buri → thousand-decoction. You make it even a thousand times of decoctions, there remains still a bitter taste.
Gen-no-Shoko → reality-of-the matter of fact. Virtually indicated evidence. In another word the plant has such effective po wer as medicine.
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ken minatoya

Author:ken minatoya
Victor Westhoff(1916-2001)碑文Hij observeertからのHNを本名と苗字に先立つ屋号に変更。ウエストホフは生物フローラの相互生息環境を丹念に観察したBiotop概念の先駆者。ザザーッとフィールドを歩きつつ、こぼれ見える外史/雑人/雑草の風景


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