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[November 21] Good Wife, Wise Mother with Fang Yu Hu

On Thursday, November 21 from 3:30 to 5pm in THO 317 and online, Dr. Fang Yu Hu will discuss her latest monograph, Good Wife, Wise Mother: Educating Han Taiwanese Girls Under Japanese Rule (UW Press, 2024). Click here to register or use the QR code below.

In 1897, two years after Japan began its half-century rise as an imperial power, it inaugurated an ambitious experiment to make modern Japanese citizens out of Han Taiwanese schoolgirls in its first overseas colony, Taiwan. The goal of this education was to train Taiwanese boys and men to become government clerks and teachers, and girls and women to become “good wives, wise mothers” (ryōsai kenbo). This gendered education was part of dōka, the Japanese assimilation program, as it sought to make everyone in the empire “Japanese” as equals by teaching the Japanese language and imperial ethics with gendered roles.

Using periodicals, textbooks, fictions, and oral histories and interviews, Hu’s book investigates the creation, implementation, and impact of Japanese colonial education in Taiwan by examining gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Focusing on the Han population, the ethnic majority in Taiwan, and viewing it through the lens of girls’ education, her book highlights Taiwan’s uniqueness as a colonial crossroads between Han Taiwanese customs and Japanese ideas and practices. By examining the discourse and implementation of this ideal womanhood in Taiwan, Hu argues that dōka was always gendered, and thus minimized the ethnic and gender equality that it promised.

Dr. Fang Yu Hu is Assistant Professor of History at Cal Poly Pomona. She received her B.A. in history from UC Berkeley, M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and M.A. and Ph.D. in history from UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Hu has received grants from Academia Sinica, the American Association of University Women, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, Social Science Research Council, University of California Pacific Rim Research Program, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to fund her scholarship. She has published in the journals ERAS of Monash University and Twentieth-Century China.

This event was made possible by the generous support of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.