After spending a year in Tokyo, American teacher Alice Mabel Bacon (1858-1918) became the first author to usher Western readers into the graceful, ... Show synopsis After spending a year in Tokyo, American teacher Alice Mabel Bacon (1858-1918) became the first author to usher Western readers into the graceful, paper-walled realm of the Japanese woman. An intimate friend of several Japanese ladies, Bacon was privy to a domestic world which remained closed to male visitors. This 1891 work begins with birth and childhood, including the colourful, kimono-like dress of infants, their ornate dolls, and their education in handwriting, flower painting and etiquette. Trained for a lifetime of service to her husband and his parents, the Japanese woman was praised for her loyalty and obedience. But new Western influences, especially on education, were challenging the old ways. Bacon evocatively depicts Japanese women unsettled by their modern education, yet saddled with traditional cultural expectations. With its insight into Japan's class system, cultural history and moral framework, this book remains an essential complement to any study of Japanese social history.