Koishi Genzui (小石元瑞)

Genzui KOISHI (December 31, 1784 - March 4, 1849) was a Rangakusha (a person who studied Western sciences by means of the Dutch language) and Ranpoi (a person who studied Western medicine by means of the Dutch language) who lived during the late Edo period. Along with Ryotei SHINGU, he was praised as one of the two great Ranpoi in Kyoto. His father, Genshun KOISHI, was a doctor.

His name was Ryu or Kitsuryu and his azana (another name) was Koken. His second name or alias are 檉園・蘭斎・秋巖仙史・拙翁・用拙居・用拙居主人・松芝老人・五竹茶寮. He was from Kyoto.

Brief Personal History

Although Genzui was sickly, he was brought up strictly by his father. During childhood, he entered the Santo SHINOZAKI's Baika Juku (Baika private school) in Osaka to study keigaku (study of Keisho in Confucianism) in his childhood. He practiced Zen in Jiun with his father.

He moved to Edo at the age of 16, and learned Western studies and medical science from teachers such as Genpaku SUGITA, Gentaku OTSUKI and Genzui UDAGAWA. After he returned to Kyoto, he became a doctor of Chinese and Dutch medicine, and took over his father's private school, Kyuri-do. The number of patients reached over 10,000, and he had close to 1,000 disciples.

Besides practicing medicine, he enjoyed Chinese poetry, calligraphy, growing green tea, tea ceremony and so on, and was acquainted with many literary men including Mokubei AOKI, Chikuden TANOMURA, Shunkin URAGAMI, Baiitsu YAMAMOTO, Kaisen ODA, Sanyo RAI, Shochiku SHINOZAKI, Rinkoku HOSOKAWA and Beian ICHIKAWA. In particular, he developed a close relationship with Sanyo RAI, and gave him support in both his career and private life. He adopted Rie, a maid from the Koishi family, and later, gave her hand in marriage to Sanyo. He took Sanyo's sister-in-law as his wife.

He died at the age of 68. His grave is located in Kohoan, Daitoku-ji Temple. His Buddhist name was 三秀軒檉翁宗竜居士.

Genzui KOISHI's published works

"Teien's Zuihitsu" (Teien's Essay)
"Touzai Isetsu Setsugi"
"Baidoku Hisetsu" (the esoteric theory of syphilis)
"Yakusei Tekiyou"
"Ranyaku Bunryo ko"
"Seisetsu Tousyuu Kibun"
"Kyuri Doubiyou Houhu"
"Kyouri Doukairon"
"Shochi Roku" (Records of treatment)

[Original Japanese]