新渡戸稲造と「高等なる奥様方」 [in Japanese] Nitobe Inazo and "Married Ladies of Quality (Kotonaru okusamagata)" [in Japanese]
Access this Article
Search this Article
In the January 1918 issue of Shinjokai (New Women), Nitobe Inazo explained the educational purpose of Tokyo Woman's Christian College, which was to open that spring.In the article, Nitobe noted that the unique character of the college was its having the humanities department in which "married ladies of quality" would be produced.Producing "married ladies of quality" sounds out of step with today's Japan, where women are increasingly supposed to aim for independence and work to support themselves. Thus, even when the successor to the College, Tokyo Woman's Christian University, calls on its staff to follow the "spirit of its foundation," the humanities department and its "married ladies of quality" are rarely part of the campus discourse.This silence cannot, however, wipe out either the value that Nitobe placed on "married ladies of quality" or the apparent success of the College in producing elegant wives for educated men of the urban middle-class.This article explores the origin and meaning of Nitobe's "married ladies of quality" in the context of his day. I emphasize the need to locate the origin of TWCC in the educational endeavors of North American Protestant missionaries and their emphasis on "the Christian home" as the guiding principle of female education. I also clarify the links between the concept of "married ladies of quality" and the Imperial contest among nations since levels of civilization were partly gauged according to the type of women that each nation produced. I point out that Nitobe was an earnest participant in this contest.
東京女子大学比較文化研究所紀要 73(-), 1-21, 2012