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January 27 Lecture

East Asian Studies
Course Code
Young Yoo

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Women in traditional society
- traditional women was Confucian-based; stayed home all the time; were considered as
shades or men (dark)
- Cosmological view Cosmology = universe: divided in to 2 parts 1. Positive: Yang
(Heaven/bright side); 2. Negative: Yin (; Earth/dark side)
- Queen in (7th century)
- in Shilla Kingdom (7th century), there existed Queens
Enlightenment Period late 19th century, when the Western civilization was
introduced to Korean society (ideas, spiritual world, society, education, womens
status, etc.); women changed under the Christian influence through missionaries
coming from the West
- (1876- 1910) Enlightenment Period: western missionaries came and discovered that there
was a need to educate women because women would educate their children at home
(importance of women in the society)by teaching Hangul and the Bible teachings and
bringing them to church
- out of this education, women realized the equality of status; a new concept of women in
their society
- in the early days of Enlightenment Period, women adopted Western names such as Helen,
Liz, Esther, etc.
- a conflict broke out between the Confucian values and Western values
- Xtion influence
- Western value vs. Confucian value
- Men are superior than women (based on Confucian thoughts)
Women under Japanese Colonization
- because women were enlightened during this time period, they were actively participating
in independent movements; women exposed their abilities in fighting off the Japanese; we
see different type of women in this time period compared to the traditional women

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- women were mentally trained so when Koreans began the independent movement, the
young women (normally high-school girls) came forward in line and fought against the
Japanese (but it was politically difficult)
- Liberation
- i.e. Yu Kwan-Sun she was influenced by the Western ideology
- Yu Kwan-Sun was a student of Ehwa Womens University (founded by an American
1945-1960s Liberation; formation of ROK and DPRK; Seung-Mans Rhees Liberal
- some pioneer women in Korean politics: Yim Young-Sin, etc.; some women ran for national
assembly (congress) and Yim was elected who became the first woman law-maker in Korean
history, and the only female member of the First National Assembly (1948)
- Yim ran for Vice-President in 1952 under Rhees government, but had failed
- Yim Young-Sin: well-educated under the Christian influence and became the president
of Joongang University in Seoul
- Kim Ok-Sun: was elected as an assembly women (congress, parliamentary) and later
became a presidential candidate notice the huge improvement/development of
womens status in this time; she tried to bring out the image of a strong, independent
women (i.e. short hair cut)
- Kim OK-Sun was elected as a member of the national assembly in 1958 (she was Chonyo,
unmarried woman ) at the age of 33; a political figure in Korean society
- women started to get involved in politics only around 60 years ago
- women are normally in charge of womanish jobs or womanly areas; even they were
elected as representatives of the people, they would normally deal with education, public
health, welfare and cultural issues meant that they were not given any jobs of politics
such as foreign affairs, military, etc.
- Family Law (1957) Family Head = Hoju
- women fought to revise the Family Law to obtain their rights as women
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