Friday, May 9, 2008

Japanese Autopsy Scrolls

Over on Pink Tentacle they have some wonderful images of Japanese Autopsy Scrolls such as this one:

Unlike European anatomical drawings of the time, which tended to depict the corpse as a living thing devoid of pain (and often in some sort of Greek pose), these realistic illustrations show blood and other fluids leaking from subjects with ghastly facial expressions.

The fact that the bodies used in scientific autopsies in Edo-period Japan generally belonged to heinous criminals executed by decapitation adds to the grisly nature of the illustrations.

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