By Theodore Jun Yoo
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Extra info for The Politics of Gender in Colonial Korea: Education, Labor, and Health, 1910-1945
Even Buddhism, which in earlier periods had allowed women access to rituals, did not allow them to serve as high priests in the same capacity as the mudang. 46 Korean women retained residual forms of power during the ChosQn Women in ChosQn Korea / 33 period, even as state and society sought to negate their inﬂuence. , mother-son or spiritual leader-follower) to exert their authority in both conventional and subversive ways. Confucian ideals did not prevent them from reinforcing their prerogatives; these strong women represented the contradictions between the “powerlessness” of their subordinate status in neo-Confucian society and the real power they wielded in everyday life.
In the village schools, the primary goal was to prepare young literati men for the civil service examinations (kwagQ ). Among the yangban class, education meant learning in the Confucian sense of the word—the gradual development of character—rather than a systematic acquisition of scientiﬁc knowledge. For the vast majority of Korean women during the ChosQn dynasty, kyoyuk (education) meant informal training in the basics of domesticity. As Reverend George Gilmore (1868–1923) observed, “They [had] no part in the educational system.
Allen received permission to open the KwanghyewQn, the ﬁrst royal hospital, in February 1885. ”85 Shortly thereafter, Mary F. Scranton and Henry Appenzeller and his wife came to Korea to work at the hospital. Miss Louisa Rothweiler and Miss Annie J. Ellers joined the staª in 1887, opening the ﬁrst department of gynecology at the hospital. 86 One missionary described the success of the Presbyterian missionar- 46 / Women in ChosQn Korea ies: “The seventeen months that have elapsed have proven the greatest need of this hospital in its present form.