Confucian In Their Own Way-Part I

I have pasted below a curious insight into China from Wikipedia. See the article here.

Traditional Chinese arts have also re-emerged from the Cultural Revolution, but their developments have been hampered by the Chinese society’s ready acceptance of outside cultural influences.

That is the case but why?

Culture is complex. The arrival of Western gunboats brought change to all the fiercely traditional Confucius countries in  the 19th century.

Japan abandoned Confucianism and learned from the West to the point of defeating and subjugating much of China, Yet Japan is still not Western in any deep sense. Elements of traditional culture like family names coming first and families coming first did not go away for example.

China tenaciously held to their home grown Confucianism to their harm until May 4th, 1919 and onward.  Both Japan and China are very diligent and put huge pressure on children to study day and night to get into top colleges.

Japan, being more isolated and homogeneous, led to them adopting a stronger cultural identity and deciding things together and not individually.

China is much more heterogeneous linguistically and culturally. So more cultural space existed. However, China, in the cultural revolution starting in 1966, became hyper-ideological to their harm.  Den Xiao Ping took power in 1978 and said he did not care what color the cat was as long as it caught mice.  He and his allies pushed this theme far and wide.

Thus many Chinese people become Christian, Buddhist or a host of other religions, and it was OK as long as they could “catch mice.” Japanese people have retained their traditional beliefs in Shintoism as a whole with very few deviating.

Japanese people bought Japanese things and lived for Japan.

Chinese people bought what ever caught mice and lived for themselves or perhaps for their family though even that is changing.

So both these cultures are Confucian and yet not in the same way.

Can you see that a growing commercial relationship between China and the West is likely to grow and grow?


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