Onna Daigaku "The greater learning for women" in Edo

A number of textbooks directed toward moral education for girls appeared during the Edo period. Usually the word "woman" (onna) appeared in the titles of these books, as for example in the Great Learning for Women (Onna Daigaku), the Confucian Analects for Women (Onna Rongo) and the Book of Filial Piety for Women (Jokun Kokyo). This practice of distinguishing special textsbooks for women persisted till after the Meiji Restoration.

Onna Daigaku






The Edo period text Onna-Daigaku (the greater learning for women) describes the various rules women must follow in order to effectively serve their fathers, their husbands and then their sons.

The most important rule from the Onna-Daigaku had three parts:

1. A woman must follow the directions of her parents when she is young.

2. A woman must show submission to her husband when she is married.

3. A woman must submit to her adult male children when she is widowed or old.

Here are five worst things about women from the Onna-Daigaku:

1. They are indocile because they are not calm and peaceful.

2. They are discontented because they are not happy.

3. They slander other people. They say bad things about other people.

4. They are jealous.

5. They are silly.