Tianjin Girls in uniform

Training at a Tianjin Girls’ High School
Tianjin gaodeng nu xuetang da yancao 天津高等女学堂大演操

This image is an early example of a print with revolutionary themes. Five girls are being drilled with their rifles by a female instructor.
Another version in the collection shows an armed cavalry unit. In both prints, the girls wear brightly coloured outfits, flowered hats and leather boots on their small but unbound feet.
Education for girls began late in China. In the early 20th century some prints in folk-art style urged social reforms, including better education as well as social, political and military participation for girls. Several prints on this subject have been traced back to their original workshops. This example is from the Xifuxing print shop at Yangliuqing.
Yangliuqing near Tianjin, Hebei, 1920-30
Woodblock print in ink and colour on paper
Asia 1982, 1217.0.296

The British Museum


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