Asaino Sōzui

阿佐井野宗瑞

Asaino Clan

Publisher

Sakai

Asaino Sōzui was a wealthy merchant and publisher during the latter part of the Muromachi period.  He lived from Bunmei 5 (1473) to 5/19 of Tenbun 1 (1532).  His Buddhist name was Yukitei Sōzui Koji.  The family operated under the name of Noto House or Tōno House.

Sōzui was born to a well-known family in Sakai in Izumi Province.  He enjoyed literary studies, and, although not a doctor, became knowledgeable in regard to the practice of medicine and specialized in obstetrics.  He became a devout follower of Dairin Sōtō, a priest at the Daitoku Temple affiliated with the Rinzai sect.

Sōzui invested his own funds to reprint a complete medical works (of herbal medicine) authored by a scholar in Ming China who combined Confucian and medical concepts.  The re-printed version was published in 1528.  This was the first medical book published in Japan.