An Implication to Traditional Concepts of Women's Virtues in Korea

우리나라 전통적 부덕의 현대적 고찰

  • Published : 1979.01.01


The main objective of the present study is to examine the traditional concepts of women's virtues which originated mainly from Confucian ethical thoughts. According to Naefoon, a moral text for women which was highly respected in the Yangban society of Yi dynasty, the main virtues for women were as follows : 1. Fidelity ; A woman had to be faithful for life to only one man who was, or was going to be, her husband. 2. Filial piety ; Sons and daughters were supposed to dedicate their hearty love and respect to their parents, parents in law, and whole ancestors. 3. Obedience ; A woman was required to be completly obedient to her husband as well as to her father. She was also supposed to be obident even to her sons when she was old. 4. Diligence and Thrift ; It was highly advisable for a woman to work hard for household matters. 5. Hospitality ; Hearty hospitality for domestic guests was one of the main duties of women in traditional Korean society. 6. Maternal wisdom ; a mother was supposed to be both stern and merciful to her children. 7. Kindness to relatives ; Special Kindness to her husband's relatives was required as a duty to a married woman. The above mentioned seven main virtues cannot be said to be fit , as such to the contemporary Korean society. Many of them are unacceptable when we evaluate them form the democratic viewpoint . But we still find some valuable ideas at the bottom of the concepts of these virtues. If we properly modify them so that they fit to our own age, they might become a source of wisdom even for the contemporary moral life. It's tried to give some suggestions concerning how to modify the concepts of women's virtues in question, and them gave a sketch of an ideal figure of women in this industrial society.