Jogaku Zasshi (Education of Women Magazine) (女学雑誌)

Jogaku Zasshi was a magazine intended for female readers published during the Meiji era. 526 issues were published between July 1885 issue and February 1904 issue. When Jogaku Zasshi began, it was issued semi-monthly which later on became the three-times-a-month basis and, in 1887, it started to be published weekly but, ultimately, publishing frequency settled on monthly.


The inaugural issue was published on July 20, 1885 by Manshundo, with Kenzo KONDO and Sokichi OBA being the editor-in-chief and publisher, respectively. This magazine was published by Manshundo up to the tenth issue but, with the passing of Kondo, Yoshiharu IWAMOTO became the editor-in-chief and, starting with the eleventh issue, the publisher changed to Jogaku Zasshisha. Additionally, subsequent to the 442nd issue in 1903, Yubi AOYAGI became the editor-in-chief.

Start as a book of enlightenment

As written in the statement of intent for publishing Jogaku Zasshi which read, 'We shall develop a perfect model by bringing together women's rights existing in Europe and the United States and the traditional women's virtues found in Japan,' the objective of this magazine was to enlighten women to improve their position and to expand their rights from the Christian viewpoint. Initially, articles on education of women discussed from the Christian perspective by various people such as Kanzo UCHIMURA, Masahisa UEMURA and Jinzo NARUSE in addition to Iwamoto were published whereby Jogaku Zasshi became a key player in advocating the movement to abolish prostitution. The magazine, however, slowly acquired a tendency towards literary contents and literary writers such as Ningetsu ISHIBASHI, Tokoku KITAMURA, Tokuboku HIRATA, Bimyo YAMADA, Fuchian UCHIDA, Unpo ISOGAI, Tenchi HOSHINO became contributors of articles. Additional writers such as Shoen NAKAJIMA and Kaho MIYAKE also wrote for Jogaku Zasshi.

Kodomo no hanashi (Children's stories)

In the ninth issue published in 1888, the then editor-in-chief Iwamoto started the Kodomo no Hanashi column with intent to place importance on childrearing responsibility for mothers who were the intended readers of the magazine, to recognize personalities of children and to offer appropriate materials for stories for mothers to tell children. Kodomo no Hanashi later on was renamed to Kodomo Ran (Children's Column) which was subsequently changed to Jiran in the 160th issue published in 1889. Shizuko WAKAMATSU played an active role in contributing to the column and the serial novel Shokoshi (Little Lord Fauntleroy) which started in the 227th issue to run for the 45 consecutive issues had an enormous influence on translated children's literature in succeeding years. It is considered that this attempt was inspired by the facts that the Shoni no Hanashi column was created in the Christian Newspaper and Yorokobi no Otozure, the booklet intended for family which had already been in circulation. Due to the nature of the magazine, Jogaku Zasshi was not entertaining but it introduced adaptations of foreign literature such as Aesop's Fables, Grimm's Fairy Tales and works of Hans Christian Anderson.

Red Cover and White Cover

Over time, the readership expanded to include young adults in addition to homemakers that had been the established target for the magazine and so, to gain support from both conservative homemaker and innovative young adult groups, it went through a succession of overhaul. With the 320th issue published in 1892, the magazine split into Ko no Maki referred to as the red cover edition and Otsu no Maki referred to as the white cover edition with the same number of copies of each edition being published every other week. Ko no Maki targeted young adults, whereas, Otsu no Maki geared itself towards homemakers and it was decided that Jiran should run in the latter.

In April 1893, Ko no Maki was renamed to Hyoron, whereas, Otsu no Maki, under the new name of Jogaku Zasshi, was published on the biweekly basis. Kitamura and Hirata subsequently parted with Iwamoto on the grounds of literary independent and launched Bungakukai (Literary World). Over time, Jogaku Zasshi changed its publishing frequency from weekly to monthly and some columns such as Jiran aiming to offer stories for children were discontinued.

Cessation of publication and subsequent events

In February 1904 immediately after the Russo-Japanese War began, publication of Jogaku Zasshi ceased without advance notice. The reprinted edition of Jogaku Zasshi was published on two occasions by Rinsen Books.

[Original Japanese]