伝統漢方専門老舗 The Traditional Kampo Specialist Pharmacy


     “OrientaI Bezoar" and Todaiji Temple

 Oriental Bezoar
is a miracle medicine of'animal origin that hasmaintained a
reputation as a life-saving drug among oriental medicines from ancient times.

 The oriental bezoar or
Niu-Huang (牛黄=Go-o in Japanese pronunciation)in
Chinese already appeared in the Chinese old medical books such as
Shen-Nong Ben-Cao Jing(神農本草経=Materia Medica of Deity of Agriculture
=an earliest medical material dictionary compiled in Later Han Dynasty in China
 or 1st to 2nd Century of the Christian era),and Ming Yi Bie lu
(名医実録=Miscellaneous Records of Famous Physicians)written by Tao Hong-jing
(陶弘景)during 5th to 6th Century In Japan, it was firstly recorded in Shoku-Nihongi
(続日本紀=The Chronicles of Japan)edited by Fujiwara-no-Tsugutada et al. in 797 A.D.,
saying it has been introduced at the days of Empress Suiko around 6th Century.

 This medicine was called as “UShi-no-Tama" in Japan and it was derived from the
name firstly shown as “Ushi-no-tama (=Pearl from Ox)was applied for Japanese name
for Go-o."in the (Tamba-)Yasuyori Honzo ((丹波)康頼本草=Yasuyori's Materia Medica)
in 10th Century and was explained in the animals division in the old classification of
“Yakushou-Noudoku Taisei (薬性能毒大成=Treatise of Medicinal and Toxic Properties)
written by Manase Dosan in the 16th Century that “Go-o" had a Japanese name of
“Ushi-no-Tama". After the so-called Sengoku-Era (=the period of warring states during
15th to 16th Century),it was getting more common to be called by “Ushi-no-Tama" for

 While the medicinal books in the Edo-era during 18th to early 19th century such as
Senkin-Houyaku Tyuu (千金方薬註=valuable Medicine Formulations Commentary)
and Honzo-Koumoku Keimou (本草綱目啓蒙=Enlightenment for Compendium of
Materia Medica)reported that not so many but small quantities of cattle gallstones
were available in O-mi district, the records on clinical experiences have scarcely
maintained to date.

However,there is a fact descended today in support of a story that Go-o was widely
utilized in the Nara-era of the 8th century. The Todaiji temple (meaning the eastern
great temple)was established by Emperor Shomu and his consort Komyoshi provided in
the Todaiji such places for their social works as Seyaku-in (施薬院=Charitable
Dispensary)and Hiden-in (悲田院=the Asylum for the helpless suffering from diseases

or hunger).Their spirits come through inour own days so tht Ryoyakusho (領薬処=
Delivery Point)in Seyaku-in at Nigatsu-do (the Hall of February)in the Todaiji
distributes saffron decoction called “Kannon-to” to those who wants to be given. (It is
said that the products vvere offered even for free to the needy in the ancient time.)The
religious event of “Shuni-e” (=修二会=The Meeting of February Practice),commonly
known as “Omizutori”(=Drawing of Holy Water),is held at Nigatsu-do during the
period from 1st to 14th February in the lunar calendar and it has never been stopped
from its beginning for about 1,250 years. The Buddhist monks called Rengyoshu (練行衆
=Practioners),who lead ascetic practices with praying during Shuni-e, prepare the
limited numbers of special paper talismans and hand them out to the memberships ofl
believers gathering for the event. The paper talismans so called as “Go-o Fuda” or
“Darani Fuda” are special as they are not regarded as medicines but are more than
common type of lucky charm for incantation against sickness or evils. “Go-o Fuda” is
written as “牛玉札” of which “牛”is for “ox” or “cattle”, and “玉”is for "ball" or “gem”.
Although it should have been phonetically spelled as “牛王札”of which “王”has a
meaning of “king”, they daringly use “玉”that is pronounced as “gyoku” in Japanese.
The reason for using “玉”instead of "王”is thought because of "Go-o Fuda” is printed
with liquid ink containing Go-o (namely, oriental bezoar).Therefore,it is not just a
lucky charm but also has long time been used as a medicine such as for cardiac, sedative,
or antipyretic, with a custom among believers for a long time to tear into small pieces
and eat them.

 For more than twelve centuries, Todaiji has been attempting to bolster up “sprits and
minds” of people and Go-o Fuda can be said as a typical example of such attempts
coming together with healing powers of oriental bezoar and wonder・work of sutra.

ジしました。 以下に和訳を記します。


る神農本草経(=Materia Medica of Deity of Agriculture)や、5・6世紀ごろ、陶弘景が著
した名医実録(=Miscellaneous Records of Famous Physicians)など中国の古代の医学書
に既にその名が見えています。日本では、藤原続縄等が編纂した続日本紀(The Chronicles
of Japan continued)に最初の記録があり、6世紀頃の推古天皇の時代に我が国に伝わったと

Materia Medica)に「牛黄の和名は宇之乃知(うしのたま=牛の珠)である」との記載に由
来しており、16世紀の曲直瀬道三の薬性能毒大成(Treatise of Medicinal and Toxic
Properties)の古類の禽部にも、「牛黄の和名は牛の多末(たま)」とあります。 15世紀から

 18世紀から19世紀の江戸時代の医薬書である千金方薬註(valuable Medicine
Formulations Commentary)や本草綱目啓蒙(Enlightenment for Compendium of
Materia Medica)には近江地方で多くはないが少量の牛黄が採集できると記載されており