Nüzi Shijie

Historical Significance

With a total of eighteen issues published from 1904 to1907, Nüzi shijie has the distinction of being by far the longest running among the twenty-some women’s journals to emerge in the last decade of the Qing. Several of its regular young contributors went on to become important figures in the post-dynatic cultural arenas. They include the poets Gao Xie高燮 (1879-1958), Gao Xu高旭 (1877-1925), and Liu Yazi 柳亞子 (1887-1958), the latter two were among the co-founders of the late Qing early Republican poetry society, the Nanshe 南社 (1909-1923).

Although the editorial board was controlled by men, as most journals in the late Qing and early Republican period were, Nüzi shijie was the third journal to emerge at the turn of the twentieth century that foregrounded women as its intended readership, following in the footsteps of the first two journals for women edited by women, the Nü xuebao 女學報 (1898-1899) and 女報 (1902-1903). Nüzi shijie regularly put out announcements soliciting submissions in all genres of writing - expository essays, poems and songs, news items, school regulations, as well as documents and school photographs related to women’s education. Women, especially students and teachers in the new women’s schools from different parts of China, did indeed respond to the call for participation in the journal’s publication. The well-known Cantonese woman educator Du Qingchi 杜清持 (dates unknown) not infrequently published her essays and poems in the Literary Column and Women’s Education column.