Chapter 5. Women’s Education

When Arinori Mori, the benefactor who had given Yatabe the opportunity to study abroad, took office as the first Minister of Education, Yatabe continued to deepen his involvement with educational administration as his right-hand man. It seems he had held his own opinions in regard to higher education for young women since before this time, having called for its expansion in public speeches.

Yatabe’s assertions were supported by Western views of married couples, arguing for the abandonment of the Confucian idea that a wife should do her husband’s bidding and idealizing an equal and complementary relationship—though still calling for women to be good wives and mothers. These ideas were, however, regarded as overwhelmingly Western principles, and after his appointment as principal of the Tokyo Girls’ School, he was hit by a scandal surrounding the publication of a novel ridiculing his private life, Jokuse (“This Corrupt World”), and the school eventually shut its doors.

「女子ノ教育」/“Women’s Education”


A speech given to the Great Japan Education Association and printed as article in Oriental Arts and Sciences Magazine. We know that the same content was published in other magazines as well, and generated a high level of interest.

Owning Repository : 人間文化研究機構国立国語研究所/National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics

東京高等女学校卒業式式辞(推定)/(Presumed) Speech at the Graduation Ceremony of Tokyo Girls’ School

明治23年か/ca. 1890

This is thought to be a manuscript for an address read at a graduation ceremony for the Tokyo Girls’ School.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science

『國の基(国乃もとゐ)』発行定約書/Contract for the publication of Kuni no Motoi


Yatabe played a central role in the founding of Kuni no Motoi, a magazine on women’s education. This document is a contract regarding publication and sale of the magazine.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science

『改進新聞』からの謝罪文/Letter of Apology from Kaishin Shimbun


A letter of apology received from the newspaper company that published the novel Jokuse (“This Corrupt World”). Yatabe had sued the newspaper for defamation.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science