Classification matters in creating the rhetoric and reality of “female sexual dysfunction.” A woman got married, but she did not enjoy having sex with her husband. What would come next if she lived in imperial Japan?
Author: Tianyuan Huang
A Bloom of Love? How Saffron Crocus Took Root in Japan
A new medicinal plant took root in foreign soil and became naturalized, but why? If you’ve spent generously on flowers—perhaps for this Valentine’s Day?—look no further than this essay for company.
With Regard to the Pubic Hair of Women
Have you wondered what a society that holds young women’s pubic hair in high regard looks like?
The Appeal of a Royal Procession, Diagnosed
What drove people to interrupt royal processions, could it be mental illness? What political purposes could a psychiatric diagnosis serve, could it be more than dismissing a petitioner?
How to Talk to a Doctor (as a woman)
Tianyuan Huang // Reviewing recommendations on how to see a doctor from a women’s health journal in 1911, this essay explores physician-patient communication and what the distribution of responsibilities and powers tells us about a health culture in its fast evolving historical context.
The Road Not Taken: Thinking Beyond Vaccines
Tianyuan Huang// Truth be told, I did not see this coming. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought I would have been conducting dissertation research in Tokyo for nearly half a year by now; but I am still in New York City awaiting the lifting of travel bans, having already rescheduled flight tickets for the third…
What Are We Taking When We Take a Medicine? —Tracing the Pharmaceutical Nature of the Herbaceous Peony in Japanese History
Tianyuan Huang// How well do we know the taste of our own medicine? I mean this literally: think of a medication you once received, and try to recall what sensations it evoked. Did the taste tell you anything about its origin and materiality? Did the medication come from an animal, plant, or mineral? Was it…