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"Copper doll" (jap.: dô ningyô)
29.77-1
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This very rare model of a human body has a skin crafted as a net-like structure, to allow the beholder to look inside the body. The organs are shown in a European naturalistic manner, not as energy-centers of organ-circles in the Asiatic manner. But, on the skin, acupuncture points are indicated in three colours. The net-like skin as well as the inner organs can be removed. The model stems from a time before the enforced opening of Japan to western influence. It is an extremely fine example of the trends for “western learning” (rangaku) of the early Edo-time. It bears witness to Japan's early interest in foreign science, an interest that was upheld without giving up the country's own, Asian-based scientific tradition.

History of the Object
According to an inscription under the left foot, this copper model was made in 1669 after an idea of Iwamura (?) Gensai. It seems to have belonged to the personal physician of the daimyou of Kii-Wakayama. The model was produced in a series of which only two pieces remain.

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Type
Other 
Materials
Copper, lacquer, wood, others 
Measurements
Height 135 cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
17th Century 
Where it was made
Japan; Wakayama (?) 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
17th Century; 1669 
Function
Anatomic model combining Asian and Western medical knowledge (originally in a wooden storage box). 
Acquisition
The model was a gift by the widow of one medical counsel (Medizinalrat) Krefting, from (Bad) Arolsen. In the city archives of Arolsen, no mention of Krefting can be found. We suspect that he once worked in Japan as a medical doctor and thereby came to possess this model. 
Copyright
Saal/Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg 
Acknowledgements
Thanks to Mr. Toshio Asada, Hamburg Mz. Hiromi Inagaki, Medical Museum Gifu, Dr. Mikio Suzuki, Kobe University Mr. Yasuoka and Kai un nandemo kantei dan, Tôkyô Television, for providing information on our "copper doll". 
Owner
Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg 
Museum
Museum of Ethnology, Hamburg 
Credit line
Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Inv.Nr. 29.77:1 

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