Bibliography of books for scientific study of Japan before 1720

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This is an abbreviated, incomplete, list of primary sources suitable to initiate a research topic in history of science of Japan before 1720. Sources include Chinese, Korean, and Japanese texts in astrology & calendrical arts, medicine, some mathematics, and agriculture. In astronomy the Japanese used these calendars in the time period: Senmyoreki (Hsu Ang in Hsuan-ming li), 862-1684; Jokyoreki (Shibukawa Harumi in Jokyorekisho), 1685-1754. A glance at the transfer of knowledge between Korea and Japan before the eighth century is useful.

Title Title (Eng.) Date Author Comment
I-ching Book of Changes before 400 BC   Japanese, "Ekikyo"
Zhou-pi suan-ching Arithmetical classic of the Zhou gnomon before 256 BC   An original compilation based on observational data of the preceding two centuries.
Ssu-fen li Ssu-fen li calendar c. 400-104 BC    
Huang-ti nei-chin Yellow emperor's inner classic 3rd, 4th centuries BC    
Shen-nung pen-ts'ao ching Divine Cultivator's classic on materia medica c. 300 BC Shen Nung 125 drugs for immortality; 120 kinds for sustaining health; 125 for curing diseases.
Zhou li Rituals of Zhou 2nd century BC   Idealized depiction of government in Zhou times.
Shih chi Records of the Grand Historian before 93 BC Ssu-ma Ch'ien  
San-t'ung li San-t'ung li calendar 104 BC-AD 84 Liu Hsin  
Chiu-chang suan-shu Nine chapters on mathematical art 1st century    
Shang-han tsa-ping lun On cold damage disorders early 3rd century Chang Chung-ching  
Mo ching Classic on pulsation 3rd century Wang Shu-ho  
Mo-teng-ch'ieh ching Canon of astrology based on lunar mansions 230   Indian astrology exported to China.
Hai-tao suan-ching Sea island mathematical manual 263 Liu Hui Appendix, concerned with measurements of heights and distances determined by similar and right triangles.
Chia-i-ching Classic on acupuncture and moxibustion   Mi Huang-fu  
Yuan-chia li Yuan-chia li calendar 443   Brought to Japan in c. 7th century.
Sun-tzu suan-chin Mathematical manual of Master Sun late 3rd to late 5th centuries    
Lu-li chih Treatise of harmonics and calendrical astronomy   Tsu Ch'ung-chih (d. 501)  
Chui shu Coupling method   Tsu Ch'ung-chih Compiled the Ta-ming li calendar.
Chang Ch'iu-chien suan-ching Mathematical manual of Chang Ch'iu-chien 6th century    
Pen-ts'ao chi-chu Collected annotations on materia medica before 536 Tao Hung-ching (d. 536) Lists 730 substances.
Chiu-chih li       Chu-t'an Lo compiled two unoffical calendars; Chu-t'an His-ta, an Indian who served in the Tang court, in 718 translated into Chinese this book.
Ch'i-ku suan-ching Continuation of ancient mathematics 625 Wang Hsiao-t'ung Problem solved by cubic equation; earliest known Chinese advance over quadratic equations.
Suan-ching shi-shu Ten mathematical manuals 656   Edited in 656 by officials used at the Tang university (Kuo-tzu-chien).
Hsin-hsiu pen-ts'ao Newly revised materia medica 659   Imperial request by Su Ching. Expanded list of 850 entries.
Kojiki Record of ancient matters 712    
Nihon Shoki Chronicles of Japan 720    
Ta-yen li Ta-yen li [calendar] 727 I-hsing Brought to Japan in 735, adopted three decades later.
Hsiu-yao ching Canon of lunar mansions and planets 759 Amoghavajra Japanese, "Sukuyokyo" and "Sukuyodo".
Wu-chi li Wu-chi li [calendar] 763   Imported by Japan in 780, adopted in 858.
Yakkei taiso Outline of materia medica c. 781-806 Wake no Hiroyo Earliest known medical work produced in Japan; short manual.
Fu-t'ien li Fu-t'ien li [calendar] 780-783 Ts'ao Shih-wei Unofficial Chinese calendar. Brought to Japan 957 by a monk.
Ch'i-yao jang-tsai chueh Formulas for avoiding calamities according to the seven luminaries early 9th century    
Hsuan-ming li Hsuan-ming li [calendar] 822 Hsu Ang Used in China 822-892, adopted in Japan in 862 as "Senmyoreki".
Nihonkoku kenzaisho mokuroku Catalogue of books seen in Japan 890    
Honzo wamyo Japanese names of drugs 920 Fukane Sukehito  
Ishinpo Essential medical prescriptions 984 Tamba no Yasuyori  
Iryakusho Selected therapies 1081 Tamba no Masatada  
Ho-chi-chu fang Official prescriptions 1106    
Sukuyo unmei kanroku Record of fate prognostication according to the mansions and planets 1112   Earliest known horoscope in Japan, cast for a young boy.
Samguk sagi History of the Three Kingdoms 1145 Gim Busik  
Kissa yojoki Guide to good health through tea drinking 1168 Eisai Dedicated to Shogun Minamoto no Sanetomo (1192-1219) in 1214.
Shu-shu chiu-chang Mathematical treatise in nine sections 1247 Ch'in Chiu-shao Dealt with eighty-one problems; used coefficients for solving algebraic unknowns, - 3, 22/7, sq.rt. 10
Ts'e-yuan hai-ching Sea-mirror of circle measurements 1259 Li Yeh  
Hsiang-cheng chiu-chang suan-fa tsuan-lei Detailed analysis of the mathematical rules in the Nine Chapters and their reclassification 1261 Yang Hui  
Shou-shi li Shou-shi li calendar 1280 Kuo Shou-ching Kuo Shou-ching Considered the best of all astronomical systems calculated by traditional methods.
Samguk yusa Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms 1281  
Suan-hsueh ch'i-meng Introduction to mathematical studies 1299 Chu Shih-chieh  
Ssu-yuan yu-chien Precious mirror of the four origins 1303 Chu Shih-chieh  
Ton'isho Selected medical cures 1303   Compiled in Japan based on Sui, Tang, and Five-Dynasties, Sung sources.
Isei teikin orai Extraordinary exchange of letters 1346   Number of complex mathematical games.
Fukudenho Prescriptions gathered for [Buddha's] blessing 1368 Yurin  
Jikjisim-gyeong Jikjisim sutra 1377 Heungdeoksa Temple Earliest known book in the world to have been printed on movable metal type, under the longer title Baegun-hwasang Chorok-buljo Jikjisimche Yojeol.
Rekirin mondoshu Collection of dialogues on the calendar 1414 Kamo no Arikata Devoted largely to prognostication in the yin-yang tradition, strong Neo-Confucian flavor.
Nongsa jikseol Explanation of farming 1429    
Hyangyak chaechwi woll-yeong Collecting materia medica of Korea 1431 Yu Hyotong, No Jungnye, Bak Yundeok  
Seoun-gwan-ji Manual of the Office of Astronomy 1433    
Hyangyak jipseong-bang Collection of Korean medicine 1433   Thirty books, 85 volumes.
Chiljeongsan Calculations of the Seven Luminaries 1442    
Uibang yuchwi Compendia of medical prescriptions 1445   365 volumes
Hyangyak gugeup-bang Emergency prescriptions in Hyangyak 15th century    
Samhwaja hyangyak-bang Samhwaja hyangyak prescriptions 15th century    
Hyangyak gobang Old prescriptions in Hyangyak 15th century    
Hyangyak hyemin gyeongheom-bang Experienced prescriptions of Hyangyak for popular benefits 15th century    
Hyangyak gan-i-bang Simplified prescriptions of Hyangyak 15th century    
Geum-yang japnok Miscellaneous matters of Geum-yang 1499   Agriculture, crops, soil studies.
I-shu ta-ch'uan Encyclopedia of medicine 1528   First medical book printed in Japan; sponsored by Asai Sozui.
Keitekishu Collected orientations 1574 Manase Dosan Medical treatise.
Namsagobigi Secret records of Nam Sago   Yi I (Yulgok)  
Suan-fa t'ung-tsung Systematic treatise on arithmetic 1592 Ch'eng Ta-wei Oriented towards practical needs of government and commerce, dealt largely with abacus.
Myotei mondo A dialogue between Myoshu and Yutei 1606 Fucan Fabian Jesuit priest's manual affirming sphere of Earth.
Dong-ui bogam Compendia of Korean medicine 1610 Heo Jun  
Hoki naiden   1612 Abe no Seimei Reprint of text attributed to author; first printed book in Japan on calendrics; mostly superstitious.
T'ien-wen lueh An outline of celestial phenomena 1615    
Genna kokaisho Navigation treatise of the Genna Era 1618 Ikeda Koun Japanese compilation of Western sources such as by Manuel Gonzalvez.
Jinkoki Treatise on [numbers] great and small 1627 Yoshida Mitsuyoshi Standard text for practical mathematics until Meiji era.
Shokan bumono Various approaches to area and volume   Momokawa Chihei (d. 1638)  
Jugairoku Record of a young boar   Imamura Tomoaki  
Nichigetsu kaigo sanpo   1642 Imamura Tomoaki First printed book in Japan on proper calendrics; authored by mathematicians.
Wakan goun   1645 Yoshida Mitsuyoshi authored the Jinkoki.
Koreki benran   1648 Yoshida Mitsuyoshi  
Shang lun p'ien On Cold Damage Disorders' reaffirmed 1648 Yu Ch'ang  
Kenkon bensetsu Critical commentary on cosmography 1650 Mukai Gensho Based on a Latin text perhaps by Christavao Ferreira (1580-1650).
Nigi ryakusetsu Outline theory of terrestrial and celestial globes c. 1650s Kobayashi Yoshinobu Source is perhaps De sphaera (c. 1593) by Pedro Gomez (1535-1600).
Hai yaso Refutation of Jesus Hayashi Razan (d. 1657)    
Rekigaku seimo   1658 Enami Kazusumi Explains computational methods of Senmyoreki.
Sanpo ketsugisho Selected solutions of mathematical methods 1661 Isomura Yoshinori  
Chokei Senmyoreki sanpo   1663 Ando Yueki Explanation of computational methods of Senmyoreki.
Seikyo yoroku Essentials of revered learning 1665 Yamaga Soko Criticizes abstract Neo-Confucian theories, calling for return to Confucianism.
Sanpo kongenki Recorded bases of mathematical method 1669 Sato Masaoki  
Kokon sanpoki Old and new methods of mathematics 1670 Sawaguchi Kazuyuki  
Shinkan jujirekikyo   1673 Ogawa Masaoki  
Hatsubi sanpo Detailed explanation of mathematical method 1674 Seki Takakazu  
T'ien-ching huo-wen Queries on the classics of heaven c. 1675 Yu I  
Juji hatsumei   1680 Seki Takakazu Leading mathematician.
Kai fukudai no ho Method for solving fukudai 1683 Seki Takakazu  
Bankoku chiho ruijuteki den Classified records of the barbarians' therapy 1683 Arashiyama Hoan Unpublished.
Hatsubi sanpo endan genkai Detailed explanation of calculations in the Hatsubi sanpo 1685 Takebe Katahiro  
Jujireki kaigi   c. 1690 Takebe Katahiro Most thorough study of Jujireki, authored by wasan mathematician.
Koi geka soden Orthodox tradition of red [-hair] surgery 1706 Narabayashi Chinzan Translation of Pare's book on surgery.
Tenmon giron Discussions of the principles of astronomy 1712 Nishikawa Joken Moral-physical dualism of the two-heavens.
Nogajae yeonhaeng ilgi Nogajae's China mission diary 1713 Gim Chang-eop  
Ryogi shusetsu An explanation of collected materials on celestial and terrestrial globes 1714 Nishikawa Joken  
T'ien-wen chih Astrological treatise unknown date    
Li chih Calendrical astronomy unknown date   'Harmonics section' of Lu-li chih was separated.
Tai-chu li Tai-chu li calendar unknown date    
Daido ruijuho Classified prescriptions [collected in the Daido era] unknown date    
Ta-t'ung li Ta-t'ung li calendar unknown date   Slight modification of the Shou-shih li calendar.
Warizansho Manual of division unknown date Mori Shigeyoshi  
T'ai-chi Grand Polarity unknown date    

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