18th CENTURY JAPANESE ANATOMICAL DRAWINGS
Illustrations showing skeletal remains of two criminals that had been burned at the stake – created in 1732 for an article published in 1741 by Kyōto ophthalmologist Toshuku Negoro.
These illustrations may have inspired physician Tōyō Yamawaki to conduct Japan’s first recorded human dissection. as seen in the next illustrations.
Japan’s first recorded human dissection, 1754
Illustrations from a book entitled Zōzu, which documented the first human dissection in Japan, performed by Tōyō Yamawaki in 1750.
Although human dissection had previously been prohibited in Japan, authorities granted Yamawaki permission to cut up the body of an executed criminal in the name of science. In fact, however, the actual dissection was done by a hired assistant, as it was still taboo for certain classes of people to handle human remains.