About Toyoshinkyu Founder Sorei Yanagiya
Founder Sorei Yanagiya
Sorei Yanagiya is venerated both as a practitioner and a leading global authority of acupuncture and moxibustion as medicine. Working as a clinical practitioner, an educator, and a philosopher, Yanagiya demonstrated an outstanding ability to develop and advance the field of acupuncture and moxibustion in Japan. Furthermore, his efforts prevented a disastrous decline of Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion that threatened to take place following the upheaval and disorder of the First and Second World Wars.
The Profound Legacy of Toyoshinkyu Founder Sorei Yanagiya
Sorei Yanagiya is the founder of the Toyoshinkyu College of Oriental Medicine. He highly valued reading the Classics and lead others with his call to “return to the Classics.” At Toyoshinkyu, we continue to follow Yanagiya’s teachings and provide classes on the reading and interpretation of the Classics, as well as actively hosting extracurricular study sessions.
During 1953 and 1954, the esteemed French physician Barat DuPont, German physician Heribert Schmidt, and Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye all visited Japan, launching the start of an active international exchange. DuPont in particular was profoundly moved by Sorei Yanagiya’s highly refined skill and technique, subsequently spending three months studying as Yanagiya’s pupil.
DuPont became an ardent follower of Yanagiya, working diligently after his trip to Japan to host Yanagiya in France. In 1955, Sorei Yanagiya traveled to Europe under the invitation of the French International Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and immediately demonstrated – with masterful needle manipulation – the true essence of Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion to a delegation of French doctors. It is reported that the almost superhuman skill and technique demonstrated by the hands of Sorei Yanagiya were shocking, striking audiences with wonder. French media prominently featured Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion, which in turn produced a strong social reaction that resulted in people in Paris scrambling to spend time with Yanagiya. The influence he exerted on the more than 5,000 physicians encountered during his travels has become legendary and is still discussed today.
While Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion was becoming a sensation in France, Yanagiya’s visits to Germany, Belgium, and Italy thrust Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion into the limelight in those countries as well. It is fair to state that Japan was the global leader in acupuncture and moxibustion at the time. Sorei Yanagiya – with his noble mind and spirit – was a pioneer in the internationalization of Japan’s acupuncture and moxibustion. His many notable achievements continue to shine brilliantly as passed down from one generation of practitioner to the next, achievements that still exert a profound influence on Toyoshinkyu. Toyoshinkyu continues his legacy, ensuring his brilliance illuminates the present and leads to future discoveries and developments. We are proud to be the school that bears the significant responsibility of passing these authentic traditions on to future generations.
Educational Mission and School Characteristics
Having inherited founder Sorei Yanagiya’s teaching of “on ko chi shin (learning from the past in order to move forward),” Toyoshinkyu’s educational mission is to transmit and develop the essence of acupuncture and moxibustion, from the Classics (the Suwen, the Lingshu, and the Nanjing) to modern times.
• To continue the heritage of the medicine of acupuncture and moxibustion, as developed uniquely in Japan and fostered by history and traditions.
• To foster the knowledge and skills appropriate to professional practitioners, with the objective of such study being the opening of private practices.
• To foster individuals of sound mind and body through the cultivation of aesthetic sensibilities. These individuals should possess a strong sense of humanity that is intelligent, cultured, moral, and socially developed.
The Toyoshinkyu College of Oriental Medicine has extensive educational facilities. These facilities include the Sorei Yanagiya Memorial Hall (filled with his works and effects), library, reading room, practical training complex, student salon, Toyoshinkyu clinical facility, patio, and auditorium (multi-purpose hall). The second floor clinical facility incorporates the newest information technology, connecting the PBL (project based learning) clinical training and practicum classes to seven HDTVs in the Conference Room on the first floor, making it possible to view live feeds from classes.
Venerated acupuncturist Sorei Yanagiya always remained conscious that “ultimately, acupuncture and moxibustion are clinical medicine.” As such, he stated the following: “Our adherence to medical arts that are simultaneously classical, clinical, and experiential places upon us the heavy responsibility to demonstrate classical acupuncture and moxibustion in clinical settings, provide research, and advance the development of scientifically based acupuncture and moxibustion.”
Toyoshinkyu casts light into the depths of the Classics in order to foster an understanding of the true nature of oriental medicine. In our quest for the essence of traditional acupuncture and moxibustion from the past to the present, we keep the spirit of the maxims “learning from the past in order to move forward,” “continued practice leads to self realization,” and “love and consideration” close to our hearts as we work for the development of professional acupuncture and moxibustion practitioners who contribute to the public’s health and welfare.
Overseas Achievements in Pictures
Yanagiya visited Europe from June to September in 1955 under the invitation of the French International Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. He introduced Japanese classical acupuncture and moxibustion overseas.