The East Asian Region

The East Asian Region: Confucian Heritage and Its Modern Adaptation

Edited by Gilbert Rozman
Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 248
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7ztk0h
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  • Book Info
    The East Asian Region
    Book Description:

    The contributors to this volume range over 2,000 years of history as they show how Confucian values spread throughout the region in premodern times and how these values were transformed in an age of modernization. The introduction by Gilbert Rozman discusses the special character of East Asia. In Part I Patricia Ebrey analyzes the Confucianization of China; JaHyun Kim Haboush, that of Korea; and Martin Collcutt, the much later diffusion of Confucianism in Japan. In Part II Rozman compares types of Confucianism in nineteenth-century China and Japan and their adaptability in the twentieth century, while Michael Robinson adds an overview of modern Korean perceptions of Confucianism.

    Originally published in 1993.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6193-4
    Subjects: Religion, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. INTRODUCTION THE EAST ASIAN REGION IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
    (pp. 3-42)
    Gilbert Rozman

    The East Asian region (the East) is one of three regions now contending for world superiority, as measured by some combination of economic, political, and military prominence. Long shunted aside in the wake of the global hegemony of Western Europe, the United States, and Canada (the West) and for roughly a quarter century after 1945 partially obscured in the shadow of the Soviet-led socialist bloc (the North), East Asia, through its economic prowess, burst onto the world scene in the 1970s and 1980s. Each of the three preeminent regions boasts its own strengths in world competition: the West remains ahead...

  6. Part I: Confucianization:: The Deepening of Tradition
    • Chapter 1 THE CHINESE FAMILY AND THE SPREAD OF CONFUCIAN VALUES
      (pp. 45-83)
      Patricia Ebrey

      It is already well known that the Chinese state and the ruling class of literati had strong commitments to the values identified as Confucian in the Introduction. There have been many studies of the history of Confucian ideas, the history of education in the classics, the competition of Taoism, Legalism, and Buddhism for the allegiance of the elite, the importance of Confucian ideas in government organization and policy, the role of Confucian ideas in the ethos of the educated class, and the establishment of Confucianism as a state orthodoxy. Rather than retread that familiar ground, in this essay I examine...

    • Chapter 2 THE CONFUCIANIZATION OF KOREAN SOCIETY
      (pp. 84-110)
      JaHyun Kim Haboush

      To speak of the “Confucianization” of Korean society assumes that Korean society had not been Confucian, that this society underwent visible changes by adopting what can be identified as distinctively Confucian features, and that these changes affected a significant portion of the population. Korea fits this description rather well. In many crucial areas of life, ancient and medieval Korean society maintained practices that bore no resemblance to Confucian practices. By about the eighteenth century, however, Korea had become a normative Confucian society. Other religious traditions did not disappear. Buddhism and various folk religions remained major forces, especially among women and...

    • Chapter 3 THE LEGACY OF CONFUCIANISM IN JAPAN
      (pp. 111-154)
      Martin Collcutt

      In seeking to explain the startling recent economic successes of the countries on the Asian edge of the Pacific rim, many commentators have looked for historical and cultural commonalities among them that may have contributed to such rapid growth. Some have pointed to the importance of a shared Confucian heritage and suggested that this common Confucian tradition—defined in terms of an emphasis on such values as a secular, this-worldly orientation, personal discipline, diligence, ordered family life, respect for hierarchy and authority, social harmony, and an emphasis on education—may have played a significant role in the dramatic growth of...

  7. Part II: The Modern Transition:: De-Confucianization or Re-Confucianization?
    • Chapter 4 COMPARISONS OF MODERN CONFUCIAN VALUES IN CHINA AND JAPAN
      (pp. 157-203)
      Gilbert Rozman

      A Curious situation exists in the literature on China and Japan dating back through most of the past century. Writings on China repeatedly attribute backwardness in modern development to Confucian beliefs and practices, while studies of Japan usually credit Confucian values with paving the way for rapid development. What accounts for this discrepancy? To what extent is it being resolved in recent interpretations? Through a review of how Confucianism has been viewed from within the two countries and how it has endured in the social relations of each, we can draw attention to what is common to the Confucian tradition...

    • Chapter 5 PERCEPTIONS OF CONFUCIANISM IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY KOREA
      (pp. 204-226)
      Michael Robinson

      Since 1900, Korea has undergone a fundamental reordering of its political and social system. In spite of this, observers of contemporary Korea continually point to the importance of the Confucian tradition while explaining the peculiarities of political patterns and values as well as social organization. While differing in intensity, Korean attitudes toward political and social authority, interpersonal relations, social mobility, and education all remain informed by Confucian values. As previous chapters have made clear, Confucianism as a body of political, social, and quasi-religious ideas has been subject to a diverse array of interpretations and applications in East Asia. Nevertheless, these...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 227-235)