Conclusion and References

As has been discussed, women’s education differed in the buke and the commoner classes. The former was educated privately, while the latter was educated at mass in institutions such as terakoya and village schools. One of the commonalities of women’s education for both classes is that they mainly learned morality based on Neo-Confucian teaching, which idealizes male supremacy. However, the influence of such teaching was stronger among buke women than commoner women. For instance, among the Mito domain people, highly intelligent women were not welcomed since it was assumed that they will not contribute to the succession of their family bloodline as expected. Commoner women, on the other hand, had less restrictions on their educational opportunities on account of the rise of female masters at terakoya. One possible answer to the different degree of equal education between buke and commoner women is social hierarchy. The buke class was regarded as the ruling class, which had a more formalistic viewpoint than subordinate classes, such as the commoner class. Hence, buke women were more strongly influenced by the idea of male supremacy than commoner women. This exhibit discussed buke women’s education in a micro viewpoint and commoner women’s education from a macro perspective. Hence, further evidence is required to accurately compare the educations of buke and commoner women.




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