Japanese Girls and Women - Revised and Enlarged Edition

Japanese Girls and Women - Revised and Enlarged Edition

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Japanese Girls and Women, by Alice Mabel Bacon This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Japanese Girls and Women Revised and Enlarged Edition Author: Alice Mabel Bacon Release Date: May 20, 2010 [EBook #32449] Language: English Character set encoding: UTF-8 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JAPANESE GIRLS AND WOMEN *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland, S.D., and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net By Alice M. Bacon IN THE LAND OF THE GODS. 12mo, $1.50. JAPANESE GIRLS AND WOMEN. 16mo, $1.25. In Riverside Library for Young People. 16mo, 75 cents. Holiday Edition. With 12 full-page Illustrations in color and 43 outline drawings by Japanese artists. Crown 8vo, gilt top, $4.00. A JAPANESE INTERIOR. 16mo, $1.25. In Riverside School Library. 16mo, 60 cents, net. HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY BOSTON AND NEW YORK JAPANESE GIRLS AND WOMEN BY ALICE MABEL BACON REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge Copyright, 1891, 1902, BY ALICE MABEL BACON. All rights reserved. To STEMATZ, THE MARCHIONESS OYAMA, IN THE NAME OF OUR GIRLHOOD'S FRIENDSHIP, UNCHANGED AND UNSHAKEN BY THE CHANGES AND SEPARATIONS OF OUR MATURER YEARS, This Volume IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED . CONTENTS. CHAPTER PAGE I. CHILDHOOD II. EDUCATION III. MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE IV. WIFE AND MOTHER V. OLD AGE VI. COURT LIFE VII. LIFE IN CASTLE AND YASHIKI VIII. SAMURAI WOMEN IX. PEASANT WOMEN X. LIFE IN THE CITIES XI. DOMESTIC SERVICE XII. WITHIN THE HOME XIII. TEN YEARS OF PROGRESS APPENDIX INDEX 1 37 57 84 119 138 169 196 228 262 299 327 371 423 473 [v] PREFACE TO REVISED EDITION. IN offering a revised edition of a book which has been before the public for more than ten years, there is little to say that has not been said in the original Preface. The work as published before, however, was always, to its author's mind, unfinished, for the reason that a chapter on household customs, which was necessary for the completion of the plan, had to be omitted because it could not be written in America. This defect has now been remedied, and the chapter "Within the Home" contains the supplementary matter necessary to complete the picture of a Japanese woman's life. In addition to this a thorough revision has been made of the whole book, and the subjects discussed in each chapter have been brought up to date by means of notes in an Appendix. The reader will find these notes referred to by asterisks in the text. Finally, a second supplementary chapter has been added, in which an effort has been made to analyze [vi] present conditions. From its nature, this chapter is only a rapid survey of the progress of ten years. It is not easy to write with judgment of conditions actually present. A little perspective is necessary to make sure that one sees things in their proper proportions. It is therefore with some hesitation that I offer to the public the result of two years' experience of the present state of affairs. If subsequent events show that my observation has been incorrect, I can only say that what I have written has been the "Thing-as-I-see-It," and does not lay claim to being the "Thing-as-It-is." In closing, I would thank once more the friends whose names appear in the previous Preface, and would add to their number the names of Mr. H. Sakurai and Mr. and Mrs. Seijiro Saito, who have rendered me valuable aid in gathering material. A. M. B. NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, November, 1902. [vii] PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION. IT seems necessary for a new author to give some excuse for her boldness in offering to the public another volume upon a subject already so well written up as Japan. In a field occupied by Griffis, Morse, Greey, Lowell, and Rein, what unexplored corner can a woman hope to enter? This is the question that will be asked, and that accordingly the author must answer. While Japan as a whole has been closely studied, and while much and varied information has been gathered about the country and its people, one half of the population has been left entirely unnoticed, passed over with brief mention, or altogether misunderstood. It is of this neglected half that I have written, in the hope that the whole fabric of Japanese social life will be better comprehended when the women of the country, and so the [viii] homes that they make, are better known and understood. The reason why Japanese home-life is so little understood by foreigners, even by those who have lived long in Japan, is that the Japanese, under an appearance of frankness and candor, hides an impenetrable reserve in regard to all those personal concerns which he believes are not in the remotest degree the concerns of his foreign guest. Only life in the home itself can show what a Japanese home may be; and only by intimate association—such as no foreign man can ever hope to gain—with the Japanese ladies themselves can much be learned of the thoughts and daily lives of the best Japanese women. I have been peculiarly fortunate in having enjoyed the privilege of long and intimate friendship with a number of Japanese ladies, who have spoken with me as freely, and shown the details of their lives to me as openly, [ix] as if bound by closest ties of kindred. Through them, and only through them, I have been enabled to study life from the point of view of the refined and intelligent Japanese women, and have found the study so interesting and instructive that I have felt impelled to offer to others some part of what I have received through the aid of these friends. I have, moreover, been encouraged in my work by reading, when it was already more than half completed, the following words from Griffis's "Mikado's Empire:"— "The whole question of the position of Japanese women—in history, social life, education, employments, authorship, art, marriage, concubinage, prostitution, benevolent labor, the ideals of literature, popular superstitions, etc.—discloses such a wide and fascinating field of inquiry that I wonder no one has as yet entered it." In closing, I should say that this work is by no means entirely my own. It is, in the first place, largely the result of the interchange of thought through many and long conversations with Japanese ladies upon the topics herein [x] treated. It has also been carefully revised and criticised; and many valuable additions have been made to it by