Jin Shin Jyutsu, the First Hundred Years, Part 2

“A Speech by David Burmeister Given in Many Locations”  –  from The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 79, Winter 2013:

For the remainder of his life, Jiro Murai continued to develop his knowledge and the basic principles of Jin Shin Jyutsu. He was a true scientist and researcher utilizing every method available to him to learn all he could about Jin Shin Jyutsu. He worked with countless people to test his theories and observe the results. Two groups that he found to be willing subjects were the homeless people in Ueno Park (a large city park in Tokyo) and another group who were considered untouchables. These people worked in the meat and leather industry and had been treated as outcasts by most of Japanese society. During the Edo period of Japan, which lasted from 1603 to 1868, until the Meiji restoration when Japan became a unified country, it was frowned upon to eat anything with four legs. Even though the Edo period was long over, anyone who worked in the livestock industry was treated with prejudice and forced to live in separate districts. In Tokyo, this district happened to border Ueno Park.

Jiro Murai would help these people, and they in turn helped him with his research. On a given day Jiro would request that everyone with a particular condition, such as a hearing project or a respiratory illness, for example, gather so that he could examine and treat them and record his findings. When some of them died, Jiro would also pay for their funerals giving him the opportunity to dissect them before they were cremated. To this day Japanese law requires that everyone except the Emperor be cremated after dying. It was very rare in Japan to have cadavers for the purposes of dissection, so the local medical school was very happy when Jiro would provide them and they were willing to allow him to participate in the procedure. We know that Jiro had assisted in at least 18 human dissections, which explains his intimate understanding of human anatomy.

Jiro Murai also found value in dissecting the heads of cows fresh from the slaughterhouse. He thought this was extremely beneficial because of their large size, which enabled him to observe things on a much larger scale. This also allowed him to observe and examine them at the moment of death, something he could not do with humans. Unfortunately, this became an issue that caused great difficulties between Jiro Murai and his family. The cow heads were very expensive, something like $500 each in today’s currency, and he purchased many of them. Over time, Jiro Murai’s family came to think that he was not in his right mind so they cut him off from the family fortune leaving him to fend for himself.

Like many early scientists, Jiro Murai conducted self-experimentation. For extended periods of time he would eat only one specific food for several weeks at a time, for example, he would eat only rice, or fish, or cabbage to observe the effects. This helped him to understand how different foods influenced the circulation of energy in his body.

It was in the mid-1930s, after losing his family’s wealth, that Jiro Murai needed to begin working to earn income for his daily expenses and to continue funding his ongoing research. He quickly gained a reputation for his ability to help people suffering from all kinds of illnesses and was soon practicing with the highest levels of Japanese society, including members of the Imperial family. This work was essential, but it was also a burden because when they called, he would need to drop everything to tend to his important clients at a moment’s notice. Jiro Murai, who was not at all wealthy, was one of the few people outside of important government officials and the very rich, to have a telephone. This was arranged by some of his important clients so that they could contact him whenever they wished. During this same period, Jiro Murai continued his research with the homeless and the untouchables, knowing that they lived in such completely different circles from his wealthy clients, and he would never be discovered.

To be continued…



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