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Hua Tuo

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Hua Tuo
Hua Tuo (DWB)
Character Information
Force(s): Cao Cao's Forces
Weapon Type: Sorcerer's staff (Vol. 2)
Claws (Blast)
Unit Type: Strategist
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Huá Tuó
Chinese name:
華佗 - 华佗
Style name:
Yuánhuà
Chinese name:
元化
Born:
?
Died:
208
Birth year is inconsistent. A.D. 140, 141, and 145 have been listed in historical records.

Hua Tuo (onyomi: Ka Da) is a reputable doctor of the Eastern Han Dynasty who helped pioneer the use of anesthetics and disinfectants for surgery. He was executed by Cao Cao for denying him treatment. Romance of the Three Kingdoms expands his list of patients to Zhou Tai and Guan Yu.

Role in GamesEdit

Hua Tuo appears in Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 as a treasure trove guardian during the Battle of Guan Du for Yuan Shao's forces. He offers no offensive stats as an officer, but greatly increases the player's health and Musou gauge while possessing advanced healing skills. His famous ointment is a staple item throughout the series.

Dynasty Tactics 2 mentions him as the doctor who saves Sun Ce from the arrow injury inflicted by Xu Gong's loyalists. He tries to talk Sun Ce out of battle, as doing so will be the death of him.

Historical InformationEdit

According to historical records, Hua Tuo hailed from Qiao, a district in the state of Pei. He studied the Chinese classics at Xu Province, but took up medicine instead after refusing many chances of becoming an official. This may have stemmed from his time working for a local pharmacy to support his struggling family. It was believed he learned various medical skills and techniques from Buddhist missionaries who established small communities within his area. He is also credited for developing Wu Qin Xi, an exercise regimen that involved simulating the movements of tigers, deer, monkeys, bears and birds.

The Records of Three Kingdoms state that people often mistook him for a Daoist mystic due to his wise yet youthful stature. They were amazed by his ability to effectively treat maladies or wounds with minimal work. In truth, the healer did not believe in traditional remedies and simply relied on rational facts to apply medication. Though Hua Tuo primarily focused on internal medicine, he was also adept at herbal extraction, moxibustion, acupuncture, and surgical procedures. Hua Tuo even concocted an herbal powder called mafeisan to dull the pain of his patients. Unfortunately, the Book of the Later Han claims that many of his discoveries were permanently lost and only his method for castration remained in use. It is possible that some of Hua Tuo's knowledge lived on through his disciples Wu Pu, Fan E, and Li Dangzhi, though the Song Dynasty scholar Ye Mengde felt that the doctor's achievements were greatly exaggerated by the aforementioned sources.

He was eventually summoned by Cao Cao who complained of constant headaches, something modern scholars believe was caused by a brain tumor. Hua Tuo alleviated the warlord's pain with acupuncture, but resented the idea of being labeled a physician by trade. He feigned taking care of wife as an excuse to avoid becoming Cao Cao's personal doctor, but was exposed and harshly sentenced to death. Xun Yu tried to intervene on his behalf, but Cao Cao calmly retorted; "Don’t worry, do you think there aren't any other rats like him under heaven?" While awaiting execution, he wrote down everything he knew about medicine in hopes of passing it down to the next generation, but later decided to have it burned out of anger when the prison would not accept it. His body was later buried next to a river of clear water to symbolize his innocence. Surgery fell into disuse afterwards and Cao Cao regretted Hua Tuo's death after his own son Cao Chong succumbed to illness.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Hua Tuo Illustration

Hua Tuo in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

The novel introduces Hua Tuo in chapter 15 where he accepts Yu Fan's invitation to treat the wounded Sun Ce. When Guan Yu was struck by a poisoned arrow at Fancheng, the doctor scrapes out the poison without using anesthetics at the general's request. He then refuses any sort of compensation for the treatment, feeling that a doctor should save lives rather than make profits.

In chapter 78, he is recommended by Hua Xin to heal the ailing Cao Cao, but his suggestion of opening the warlord's skull for surgery is met with suspicion and lands him in prison. After his execution, Hua Tuo's medical writings were mostly destroyed by the prison warden's wife for fear of being implicated as sympathizers.

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