The objective of this article is to elucidate the ideas of motherhood of each era by reviewing the ideasof motherhood throughout Japanese literature, and shed lights on how education ought to grasp and deal with themotherhood in the diversifi ed society of today and on. In the fi rst place, the word, ‘motherhood’ has quite wide range ofdefi nitions, and the idea that ‘motherhood is an instinct innate to mothers to bring up children’ that has been disprovedby science in today’s education is still going unchallenged. Japan’s traditional idea of ideal motherhood is said to be selfsacrificing and devoted love to children. But,Collections of stories in Heian period did not value the self-sacrifi ces ofmothers so much. Also, comedic novels in Edo period did not regard motherhood as sacred. In modern eras such asMeiji and Taisho, it was emphasized that the motherhood was the most virtuous nature of women with the idea of‘Ryosai-Kenbo’ (good wife and wise mother). Okamoto Kanoko’s novel, Boshi Jojoh (mother-child lyric) presented an ideaof motherhood that deviated signifi cantly from the one in the same era that was represented as managing the household,and giving devoted love to their husbands and children. Koge (incense and fl owers), written by Ariyoshi Sawako duringthe Rapid Economic Growth after the World War II presented a new idea of motherhood that was not something tobear. It is thought to be ideal that the new idea of motherhood of today is to be based on the mother-child relationshipsthat mothers retain their own life while facing children sincerely, valuing the simple love of mothers for their children.The idea of motherhood that Okamoto Kanoko presented and the casual motherhood in Edo period may be goodexamples for us today.