Bencao Gangmu

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  • Editor/Author: Li Shizhen
  • Chinese/Japanese: 本草綱目 (běncǎo gāngmù / honzou koumoku)

The Běncǎo Gāngmù, known as Honzô Kômoku in Japanese, is a Ming Dynasty illustrated encyclopedia of botany & pharmacology.

Promoted by Hayashi Razan and eventually published and circulated in Japan as a woodblock printed volume, the encyclopedia contains 1,892 items, including 275 on minerals, 444 on animals, and 1,094 on plants, classified according to a new set of Ming era taxonomical criteria. The entries also include over 2,000 medicines and 8,000 formulas for making them.


  • Plutschow, Herbert. A Reader in Edo Period Travel. Kent: Global Oriental, 2006. pp13-14.