Japan

Organized Panel Session

1 - Embracing Opportunity and Envisioning 'True Education' for Japanese Women: The Case of Yasui Tetsu

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Park Tower 8216, Lobby Level

Japanese women educators have been assigned a less prominent, and more ambiguous, place in narratives on the women’s rights movement in modern Japan than more outspoken or controversial Japanese feminists. This study of Yasui Tetsu (1870-1945), however corroborates the findings of Anne Walthall, Sheldon Garon, and others who argue that unrevolutionary Japanese women’s contributions deserve attention as well. Born into an elite former samurai family, she seized the unprecedented educational opportunities for women of the mid-Meiji period. She attended Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School and studied abroad at the University of Cambridge’s newly established Hughes Hall. After teaching at the Peeresses School for aristocratic daughters and at her alma mater, Yasui worked to establish a new institution of higher education for women in 1917. From its founding, Yasui’s vision guided the development of Tokyo Women’s Christian University, where she acted as dean and from 1925, as president. Even before she became Japan’s first woman university president, however, Yasui had established the foundations for a curriculum of “true education”—an education equal in her view to that received by men. Insisting on an education much broader than just “cooking and sewing,” Yasui oversaw an institution that emphasized “character education through Christianity” and required courses ranging from ethics to Japanese, Chinese, and English literature to sociology to law to math. Such an education, she argued, would empower women to better fulfill their roles as housewives and mothers working for the nation but also to know themselves and act with honesty and courage.

Garrett L. Washington

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Garrett Washington


Assets

1 - Embracing Opportunity and Envisioning 'True Education' for Japanese Women: The Case of Yasui Tetsu



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Embracing Opportunity and Envisioning 'True Education' for Japanese Women: The Case of Yasui Tetsu