Assistant Professor

Trambaiolo, Daniel

Japanese Studies
PhD (Molecular Biology) Cantab; PhD (History of Science) Princeton
BSc (Hons)/BA Sydney


Daniel Trambaiolo is Assistant Professor in the Japanese Studies Program.

His research explores the history of medicine in Tokugawa Japan (1600-1868), a period when Japanese doctors developed distinctive new styles of medical practice by taking inspiration from Chinese and European medical writings and conducting their own practical investigations into diseases and methods of treatment.

His book manuscript, Ancient Texts and New Cures: Transformations of Medical Knowledge in Early Modern Japan, focuses on a group of doctors in eighteenth-century Kyoto who sought to restore the lost art of medicine that they claimed had existed in ancient China. Despite their emphasis on restoration of the past, these doctors ended up establishing the intellectual foundations for entirely new styles of medicine, including the importation of European anatomical and medical knowledge.

In addition, he is interested in exploring how the trade in pharmaceutical substances shaped the development of knowledge about plants, animals and minerals in early modern East Asia. The history of these drugs allows us explore the material connections between networks of commercial and intellectual exchange and to understand how different social groups contributed to the emergence of new styles of pharmacological knowledge.

Tel. No.




508, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

HKU Scholars Hub


Region and Language

Research Area

Early modern Japan (Tokugawa Period, 1600-1868), History of science, technology and medicine in East Asia, Cultural interactions between early modern Japan, Korea, China, and Europe

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