In Pursuit of Literacy: Women and Education in Edo, Japan
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CitationO'Donnell, Lani. 2018. In Pursuit of Literacy: Women and Education in Edo, Japan. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractFloating world images (ukiyo-e) paralleled the challenges women faced in becoming literate. They did so by first forming an ideal of feminine beauty as traditionally cultured women. Images then began to show more modern notions of Edo’s Neo-Confucian manners and how literacy could be an instructional tool to train this type of idealized, moral woman. Schools and homeschools opportunities opened to support the training of moral and literate females. Around the same time, other images began to appear that warned of women who would forgo household duties to read materials not deemed appropriate for women. Governmental interference in censorship correspond to a time where society was questioning whether women should be allowed access to education. Edo period images offer one window through which we can see both an ideal of feminine beauty as well as challenges to the path of literacy. Ukiyo-e can then teach us about women’s participation in literary education in a way that could not be seen through the historical record alone.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365427