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Differing Attitudes to Confucianism Across East AsiaWang Min

Japan’s relationship to Confucianism is fundamentally different from that of its two neighbors, China and Korea. In Chinese and Korean culture, Confucianism is a core element of classical morality. In Japan, on the other hand, Confucianism has never been an element of primary importance in the local culture. In China and Korea, Confucianism is not just a unified way of looking at human nature, l…

Rereading “Shūyō” by Nitobe InazōWang Zhongchen

After discovering that Central Compilation and Translation Press in Beijing had published a Chinese translation of Shūyō (Cultivating the Mind) by Nitobe Inazō (1862–1933), I decided to reread that book. I was keen to see how the translators, Wang Cheng and Chen Yu, had rendered it into modern Chinese. On the sleeve of the book, which was published in May 2009, there is a promotional blurb that…

“Chinese” Writing in East Asia (Part Two)Wang Min

(Continued from part one.) In the middle of the nineteenth century, with the Western powers encroaching further into East Asia, Japan decided to open itself to the outside world. A process of Westernization and modernization rapidly ensued. When Japan entered the ranks of the world powers following victories in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5, people in China…

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