So, What is the “No Pou In”?

For my primary source presentation, I chose a paragraph from an article written by Mary Scranton, an early missionary to Korea, published in a magazine entitled “The Korean Repository”. She writes the piece in 1896 and in it she describes some of her experiences in the first ten years on the mission field.

I chose this paragraph because it is a first-hand account from one of the earliest and most dedicated women missionaries to Korea. She arrived in Korea at the age of 52 and died there at the age of 76. I also chose this paragraph because it speaks to more than one methodology I desire to employ in my paper. It speaks to the spatial aspect of the missionary home, as well as cultural bridges the American women faced when starting work in Korea.

There are also interesting bits of information that can be gleaned from Mrs. Scranton’s quick departure into Romanized Korean in the paragraph when she refers to herself as the “No Pou In” (in Korean, 노부인). In this departure we can learn about the way in which Korean women viewed Mrs. Scranton and how Mrs. Scranton viewed herself.


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2 Responses to So, What is the “No Pou In”?

  1. KJ

    You refer to her as Mrs. Scranton. Usually we don’t use titles like Mrs., so I’m wondering if her married status was important to her, to other missionaries, to the Korean women? And where was Mr. Scranton? Just curious but makes me think that who these missionaries were could be about more than gender and religion.

  2. faithskiles

    I believe you are right. “Mrs. Scranton” is a widow and went to Korea with her son and his family. Her son is a minister and her husband was a minister. I believe, and this will come out in the presentation, that she sees herself and others in the mission see her as deserving of a great deal of respect – thus she is very often referred to as “Mrs. Scranton” in what I have read so far.. In a later issue of the magazine, a Presbyterian woman signs her article “Lillias Underwood.” Mary Scranton uses “M.F. Scranton.”

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