Heian EducationWomen and Education
- The Heian Period


In the Heian Period, the powerful Fujiwara family sought to control imperial succession and educated and groomed its daughters for marriage into the imperial household. Heian women generally enhanced their prestige through literary expression in their native language and most of the poetry and prose.

Here, the second daughter of Uji shows Ukifune a picture book, and Ukon reads a text.


As Murasaki-shikibu, author of the Tale of Genji, served Empress Akiko, the young consort of Emperor Ichijo, with her rich knowledge of literature, young assistant women should have been well-informed in literary matters. As shown in the Tale of Genji, if a princess read a poem (for example, a poem about today's weather), her assistant who received it was supposed to respond to it with a good sense of idea and use of terms as soon as possible. If it took a long time to respond, it was considered to be rude.

Some court ladies were famous for their talent to play the koto.

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