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Hajime Fujimori joins the Vossius Center in March 2018 for three months as a Research Fellow with his project 'How can practitioner be aware of physiological and mental state of patients? – Vertical lines on the back in the theory of modern manual therapy in Japan'.

About the project

Fujimori's future research will focus on understanding how Japanese medical practitioners who perform manual therapeutic techniques can be aware of the inner state of their patients. In other words, he will study how they diagnose by a palpation on a patient’s back. They usually use the three lines running alongside the erector muscle of the spine that they consider informative to them regarding the physiological and mental state of the patients, as well as their medical history.

During his stay, Fujimori will focus on how Japanese practitioners detect these lines on their patients’ backs, which symptoms on the line they think are pathogenic, and how they treat these pathologies. This is a cognitive regime that remains largely unknown in current scholarship. He suggests a new approach to studying the conception of these vertical lines on the back; his proposal includes consideration of this not as a solitary concept of the Japanese manual therapeutic technique, but as a mixture of three different sub-conceptions of the body – the classical Daoist body, the Western anatomical structure, and the Japanese tradition of manual therapeutics. Through this approach, we can see how diverse cultures have been intertwined into the Japanese body when it has been shaped, which is less evident when we focus only on individual bodies. In addition, he would seek to articulate the theory of ‘the three vertical lines on the back’ to evidence of mechanisms. Most fundamentally, that is the question of whether the vertical lines on the back allow for mechanistic reasoning.

About the researcher

Hajime Fujimori is an epistemologist specializing in the history of medicine in East Asia, French epistemology, and the philosophy of science. In January 2017, he earned his PhD from Paris 1 University Sorbonne. Recently, he was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.