Before the introduction of Chinese medicine in Japan, the ancient texts say that there therapeutic practice manual of the Japanese people themselves. Chinese medicine arrived in Japan over a thousand years ago, around the sixth century and from that time occupied a central place in that culture. There are many ancient Chinese texts, including the I-Ching or Book of Changes which reflected the theory of Yin-Yang and Five Elements, and the Nei-King, which is divided into two parts: the Su-Wen, which is about physiology, pathology etiology, hygiene, etc., and Ling-Chou, which studies the principle of the meridians and the physiotherapy. These texts were the foundations of Eastern therapeutic practice that focused on four areas: acupuncture, the moxibution, herbal medicine and massage therapy.
By the nineteenth century, the field of massage therapy in Japan was represented by Anma and Anpuku considered precursors of Shiatsu. Anma massage comes from the Chinese Su in which it is based on the principles of Yin-Yang polarities, the theory of Five Elements, and the energy channels. The Anpuku Anma is a technique that uses beyond the traditional diagnosis, the diagnosis of the abdomen and was practiced by staff who had the capacity to cure diseases. This was based on the philosophy that the universe exists in a subtle energy, called ki, which is everywhere: minerals, plants, animals and of course, in humans. It is believed that when this energy is stagnated in humans, it opened the way to illness and professional Anpuku task was to restore the flow of ki to create the conditions for regaining health.
Anpuku Treatment (1827)
When western medicine came into Japan, in the nineteenth century, Japanese medicine stopped the forefront because the law recognized the new academic training at universities, forcing to study Western medical in order to practice medicine. Despite this, Anma was recognized and established in schools, especially for the blind, because they recognized that their technique was not dangerous as it was relaxing massage treatment.
By contrast, it continued its path of Anpuku clandestinely accompanied by a large number of therapies that they maintained their Eastern philosophical principles. Thus, in Japan in the early twentieth century there were two ways: the western and eastern officially out clandestinely. After the Second World War, General Douglas McArthur was in charge of Japanese health ministry. At that time came to account for hundreds of alternative therapies that were not regulated, including Shiatsu. MacArthur ordered an investigation of such therapy to scientists from different universities to explore and identify which therapies that are based on principles that have a scientific support. After eight years of study and revisions, the university concluded that only shiatsu met the requirements for scientific recognition. The only accepted therapy was the master of Shiatsu Tokujiro Namikoshi founded the Japan Shiatsu School in Tokyo. Currently, along with acupuncture and Anma eastern teachings are the only officially recognized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan.
"The heart of Shiatsu is like mother's love, the pressure on the body stimulates the source of life" Tokujiro Namikoshi
Tokujiro Namikoshi opened in 1925 in Hokkaido, the Institute of Shiatsu. Then in 1940 he moved to Tokyo where he founded the Japan Shiatsu Institute, where this technique was a first official recognition linking Anma massage. In 1957, Tokujiro Namikoshi changed its name to baptize the new institute earlier Japan Shiatsu School after receiving the approval from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Finally in 1964, Shiatsu was recognized as a specific technique and independent from Anma, receiving recognition as the only official school of Shiatsu in Japan.
Source: Center Ki Kai Shiatshu