A day when I thought about the past and the future(Ⅱ)

On July 27, 2021, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to register the “Hokkaido / Northeastern Jomon Sites” as a World Cultural Heritage Site. The “Hokkaido / North Tohoku Jomon Archaeological Sites” consists of 6 archaeological sites in Hokkaido such as Hakodate and 17 archaeological sites that span 3 prefectures in the north Tohoku region. It is a group of valuable archaeological sites such as the life and culture of the people of the Jomon period who settled in peace for over 10,000 years.

On the same day, Asia’s first quantum computer went into operation in Kawasaki City. This is the third case in the world after the United States and Germany. It is a computer that can perform calculations that take 10,000 years with a supercomputer in 3 minutes and 20 seconds. The bank’s SWIFT transaction (country-to-country exchange transaction) ended on May 17, and finally the quantum computer operation was realized on May 27, and the registration of the Jomon archaeological site as a World Heritage Site was decided.  It was a day of thinking in the past and future.

 This Jomon period is the most peaceful period when it is said that there was no history of conflict. It seems that medicine has existed since that time. As a medicinal herb tea, it seems that they used to drink Dokudami and mugwort as tea for pain, disinfection, fever, cough prevention, diarrhea and constipation. Kihada (deciduous tree of the Rutaceae family, crude drug name = Obaku), which is thought to have been used for medicine, has been found in the ruins of the dwelling.

“Kojiki” also describes things related to medicine. For example, the story of Okuninushi no Mikoto and Inaba’s White Rabbit is famous. Okuninushi meets a crying rabbit  that their skin was peeled off in  Inaba no Kuni (Tottori Prefecture).

When the rabbit tried to trick the shark into crossing the sea, the lie was revealed, the skin was peeled off, and it was soaked in seawater and suffered. Okuninushi had mercy on the rabbit and taught that “wash your body with fresh water and then sprinkle the pollen of the cattail on rabbit’s body.” Bulrush is a perennial plant that is often found on the water’s edge, but its pollen was a hemostatic and analgesic. Later, Okuninushi bought the grudges of other gods and was burned by the burnt rocks. At that time, the mother’s god saved his life by shaving the powder of the ark shell and applying a mixture with clam juice to the body of Okuninushi. The mixture of ark shell powder and clam juice was the medicine of burns at that time.


During the Heian period, many women, including MurasakiShikibu, enthusiastically visited Hasedera Temple in Nara, and Chujo-hime, who weaved a huge mandala overnight. At temples where women have a strong belief for a long time, such as Taima-temple (Toma-dera), which is known for its legend, various medicinal herbs are planted and used as medicines for women.

In the olden days, even though it was a medicine, it was taken by drying natural plants and worms and rubbing them in a mortar. I heard that even in the Showa era, earthworms and pit vipers were hung under the eaves in the countryside. It seems that it was dried and used as a medicine to reduce fever and recover from fatigue.


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