Women and Confucian Cultures in Premodern China, Korea, and Japan

By Dorothy Ko; Jahyun Kim Haboush et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Propagating Female Virtues
in Chosŏn Korea
Martina Deuchler

Women do not figure prominently in Korean historiography past or present. To be sure, biographies of “virtuous women” (yŏllyŏ) constituted a separate historiographical category since Chinese-style writing of history was adopted in Korea. The earliest extant examples are contained in Kim Pusik's (1075–1151) History of the Three Kingdoms (Samguk sagi), discussed in this volume by Lee Hai-soon. The short preface that introduced the biographies of virtuous women (yŏllyŏjŏn) in the mid-fifteenth-century History of Koryŏ (Koryŏsa) states:

In olden times, when a girl was born, she received education from a nurse; when she grew up, she received instruction from a [female] teacher. Thus, she became a wise daughter in her natal home, and when she got married, she became a wise daughter-in-law, and when she met adversities, she became a virtuous woman. In later times, instruction for women did not reach the inner chambers, and thus [for women] to establish themselves firmly and, when confronted with disaster or in the face of blank weapons, not to change their resolve, whether they were to live or to die, can be said to be difficult indeed. [For this reason] we have compiled biographies of virtuous women. 1

In the absence of proper instruction, these early stories about women who selflessly risked their lives for their husbands were to convey an educative message. The spotlight of the historian was on the heroic deed illustrating Confucian notions of womanly behavior rather than on women as agents of their own will.

This chapter deals with elite women of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910) and in particular explores the extent to which they absorbed and embodied the new social values and norms imposed on them by the Neo-Confucian legislators at the beginning of the dynasty. In Chosŏn Korea, elite women rarely participated in nondomestic activities, and their lives, therefore, were confined to the domestic realm. Although it is clear that many women were literate and thus, at least indirectly, com-

-142-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Women and Confucian Cultures in Premodern China, Korea, and Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.