HOME

TheInfoList




The East Asian cultural sphere, also known as the Sinosphere, the Sinic world, the Sinitic world, the Chinese cultural sphere or the Chinese character sphere, encompasses countries in
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
and
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
that were historically influenced by
Chinese culture Chinese culture () is one of the world's oldest cultures, originating thousands of years ago. The culture prevails across a large geographical region in East Asia and is extremely diverse and varying, with customs and traditions varying grea ...
. According to academic consensus, the East Asian cultural sphere is made up of four entities:
Greater China "Greater China" is an informal geographical area that shares commercial and cultural ties with the Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal di ...
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...
,
Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...
, and
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...
. Other definitions sometimes include other countries such as
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...
and
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...
, because of limited historical Chinese influences or increasing modern-day
Chinese diaspora Overseas Chinese () are people of ethnic Chinese birth who reside outside the territories of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and ...

Chinese diaspora
. The East Asian cultural sphere is not to be confused with the
Sinophone Sinophone means " Chinese-speaking", typically referring to a person who speaks at least one variety of Chinese. Academic writers use the term Sinophone in two ambiguous meanings: either specifically "Chinese-speaking populations where it is a ...
world, which includes countries where the
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
-speaking population is dominant.
Imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and ...
was a regional power and exerted influence on
tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") ...
and neighbouring states, among which were Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. These interactions brought ideological and cultural influences rooted in
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
,
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, and
Taoism Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of China, Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the ''Tao'' (, Taoism#Spelling and pronunciation, or ''Dao''). In Taoism, the ''Tao'' is the source, pattern a ...
. During classical history, the four cultures shared a common
imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...
system under respective
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

emperor
s. Chinese inventions influenced, and were in turned influenced by, innovations of the other cultures in governance, philosophy, science, and the arts. Written
classical Chinese Classical Chinese, also known as Literary Chinese (古文 ''gǔwén'' "ancient text", or 文言 ''wényán'' "text speak"; Written vernacular Chinese, modern vernacular: 文言文 ''wényánwén'' "text speak text"), is the language of the cla ...
became the regional ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
'' for literary exchange, and
Chinese characters Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it ...
(''
Hanzi Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Hanzi
'') became locally adapted in Japan as ''
Kanji are a set of logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gest ...

Kanji
'', Korea as ''
Hanja Hanja (; Hanja: , , or Hancha) is the Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or ...

Hanja
'', and Vietnam as ''
Chữ Hán Spoken and written Vietnamese language, Vietnamese today uses the Latin-script based Vietnamese alphabet, the lexicon altogether containing native Vietnamese words derived from the Latin script, Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary, Chinese-Vietnamese word ...
''. In late classical history, the literary importance of classical Chinese diminished as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam each adopted their own literary device. Japan developed the ''
Katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''katakana'' means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana characters are derived fro ...
'' and ''
Hiragana is a Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...

Hiragana
'' scripts, Korea developed ''
Hangul The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, . Hangul may also be written as following South Korea's standard Romanization. in South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the ...

Hangul
'', and Vietnam developed ''
Chữ Nôm Chữ Nôm (, , literally 'Southern characters') is a logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it mu ...
'' (which is now obsolete; the modern
Vietnamese alphabet The Vietnamese alphabet ( vi, chữ Quốc ngữ, "script of the national language") is the modern Latin writing script or writing system for Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast ...
is based on the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...
). Classical literature written in Chinese characters nonetheless remains an important legacy of Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures. In the 21st century, ideological and cultural influences of Confucianism and Buddhism remain visible in
high culture High culture encompasses the culture, cultural objects of aesthetic value, which a society collectively esteem as exemplary art, and the Intellectualism, intellectual works of philosophy, history, art and literature that a society consider represen ...
and social doctrines.


Terminology

China has been regarded as one of the
centers of civilization
centers of civilization
, with the emergent cultures that arose from the migration of original
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...
settlers from the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin: uə xɔ Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is ...
generally regarded as the starting point of the East Asian world. Today, its population is approximately 1.43 billion. Japanese historian (1919–1998), professor emeritus at the
University of Tokyo , abbreviated as or UTokyo, is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government a ...
, originally coined the term , conceiving of a Chinese or East-Asian cultural sphere distinct from the cultures of the west. According to Nishijima, this cultural sphere—which includes China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, stretching from areas between
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
and the
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It ar ...

Himalayas
—shared the philosophy of
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
, the religion of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, and similar political and social structures.Wang Hui, "'Modernity and 'Asia' in the Study of Chinese History," in Eckhardt Fuchs, Benedikt Stuchtey, eds.,''Across cultural borders: historiography in global perspective'

(Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 ), p. 322.


Etymology

Sometimes used as a synonym for the East-Asian cultural sphere, the term ' derives from ' ('China, Chinese') and ', in the sense of a
sphere of influence In the field of international relations, a sphere of influence (SOI) is a spatial region or concept division over which a state or organization has a level of cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and ...
(i.e., an area influenced by a country). (
cf. The abbreviation ''cf.'' (short for the la, confer/conferatur, both meaning 'compare') is used in writing to refer the reader to other material to make a comparison with the topic being discussed. Style guides recommend that ''cf.'' be used only ...
''
Sinophone Sinophone means " Chinese-speaking", typically referring to a person who speaks at least one variety of Chinese. Academic writers use the term Sinophone in two ambiguous meanings: either specifically "Chinese-speaking populations where it is a ...
''.) As cognates of each other, the " CJKV" languages—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese—translate the English term ''sphere'' as: * Chinese: (, 'circle, ring, corral, pen') * Japanese: (, 'sphere, circle, range, radius') * Korean: ( from 圏) * Vietnamese: / from 圏 Victor H. Mair discussed the origins of these "culture sphere" terms. The Chinese () dates back to a 1941 translation for the German term , ('culture circle, field'), which the Austrian
ethnologists Ethnology (from the grc-gre, ἔθνος, meaning 'nation') is an academic field that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationships between them (compare cultural anthropology, cultural, social anthropolog ...
Fritz GraebnerRobert Fritz Graebner (4 March 1877, Berlin – 13 July 1934, Berlin) was a German geographer and ethnology, ethnologist best known for his development of the theory of ''Kulturkreis'', or culture circle. He was the first theoretician of the ''Vienna ...
and Wilhelm Schmidt proposed. Japanese historian coined the expressions and , which China later re-borrowed as
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
. Nishijima devised these Sinitic "cultural spheres" within his . Chinese–English dictionaries provide similar translations of this keyword () as "the intellectual or literary circles" ( Liang Shiqiu 1975) and "literary, educational circles" (
Lin Yutang Lin Yutang ( ; October 10, 1895 – March 26, 1976) was a Chinese inventor, linguist, novelist, philosopher, and translator. His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generati ...

Lin Yutang
1972). The Sinosphere may be taken to be synonymous to
Ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...
and its descendant civilizations as well as the "Far Eastern civilizations" (the Mainland and the Japanese ones). In the 1930s in ''
A Study of History ''A Study of History'' is a 12-volume universal history by the British historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies a ...

A Study of History
'', the Sinosphere along with the
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox, Indic, etc. civilizations is presented as among the major "units of study."


Comparisons with the West

British historian
Arnold J. Toynbee Arnold Joseph Toynbee (; 14 April 1889 – 22 October 1975) was a British historian, a philosopher of history, an author of numerous books and a research professor of comparative history, international history at the London School of Economics ...
listed the Far Eastern civilization as one of the main civilizations outlined in his book, ''
A Study of History ''A Study of History'' is a 12-volume universal history by the British historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies a ...

A Study of History
''. He included Japan and Korea in his definition of "Far Eastern civilization" and proposed that they grew out of the "Sinic civilization" that originated in the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin: uə xɔ Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is ...
basin. Toynbee compared the relationship between the Sinic and Far Eastern civilization with that of the Hellenic and Western civilizations, which had an "apparentation-affiliation." American
Sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's ...
and historian Edwin O. Reischauer also grouped China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam into a cultural sphere that he called the ''Sinic world'', a group of centralized states that share a Confucian ethical philosophy. Reischauer states that this culture originated in Northern China, comparing the relationship between Northern China and East Asia to that of
Greco-Roman civilization File:Merida Roman Theatre2.jpg, Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, r ...
and Europe. The elites of East Asia were tied together through a common written language based on Chinese characters, much in the way that
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
had functioned in Europe. American political scientist
Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy ...
considered the Sinic world as one of many civilizations in his book ''
The Clash of Civilizations ''The'' () is a grammatical article in English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers or speakers. It is the definite article An article is any member of ...
''. He notes that "all scholars recognize the existence of either a single distinct Chinese civilization dating back to at least 1500 B.C. and perhaps a thousand years earlier, or of two Chinese civilizations one succeeding the other in the early centuries of the Christian epoch." Huntington's Sinic civilization includes China, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam and Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Of the many civilizations that Huntington discusses, the Sinic world is the only one that is based on a cultural, rather than religious, identity. Huntington's theory was that in a post-
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
world, humanity " dentifieswith cultural groups: tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities at the broadest level, civilizations." Yet, Huntington considered Japan as a distinct civilization.


Culture


Arts

* Architecture: Countries from the East Asian cultural sphere share a common architectural style stemming from the . * Calligraphy: ''
Caoshu Cursive script (), often mistranslated as grass script, is a script style used in Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...

Caoshu
'' is a cursive script-style used in Chinese and East Asian calligraphy. * Cinema: see,
Hong Kong cinema The cinema of Hong Kong ( zh, t=香港電影) is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside the cinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan. As a former British colony, British Hong Kong, Hong Kong had a gre ...
, Taiwanese cinema,
Chinese cinema The cinema of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Cove ...
,
Japanese cinema The has a history that spans more than 100 years. Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Ja ...
,
Korean cinema The term "Cinema of Korea" (or "Korean cinema") encompasses the motion picture industries of North Korea, North and South Korea. As with all aspects of Korean life during the past century, the film industry has often been at the mercy of politica ...
, Vietnamese cinema. * Comic: see,
Manga Manga (Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...

Manga
(Japanese comics),
Manhua () are Chinese comics a medium Medium may refer to: Science and technology Aviation *Medium bomber, a class of war plane *Tecma Medium, a French hang glider design Communication * Media (communication), tools used to store ...

Manhua
(Chinese comics),
Manhwa (; ) is the general Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Kore ...
(Korean comics), Truyện tranh (Vietnamese comics). * Martial Arts: see, '''' (Kung fu), ''
Kuntao Kuntao or kuntau ( 拳 道, Pe̍h-ōe-jī (; abbreviated POJ; literally ''vernacular writing''; also sometimes known as the Church Romanization) is an orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a mediu ...

Kuntao
'', ''
Karate (; ; Okinawan Okinawan may refer to: * Something of or relating to: ** Okinawa Island ** Okinawa Islands ** Okinawa Prefecture * Okinawan language, an endangered language spoken by the people of Okinawa Island * Okinawan people, a subgroup o ...

Karate
'', ''
Taekwondo ''Taekwondo'', ''Tae Kwon Do'' or ''Taekwon-Do'' (; ko, 태권도/跆拳道 ) is a Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean langua ...

Taekwondo
'', '''', ''
Sumo is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a ''rikishi'' (wrestler) attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring (''dohyō'') or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet (usually by thr ...

Sumo
'', '' Nhất Nam'', and ''
Vovinam Vovinam (short for ''Võ Việt Nam''; literally meaning Vietnamese Martial Arts, or vi, Việt Võ Đạo, meaning Vietnamese Way of Martial Arts) is a Vietnamese martial art, It was founded in 1938 by Nguyễn Lộc. It is based on tradition ...
'' * Music:
Chinese musical instruments Chinese musical instruments are traditionally grouped into eight categories known as (). The eight categories are silk, bamboo, wood, Rock (geology), stone, metal, clay, gourd and skin; other instruments considered traditional exist that may not f ...
, such as ''
erhu The ''erhu'' (; ), is a two-stringed Bowed string instrument, bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a ''Southern Fiddle'', and is sometimes known in the Western world as the ''Chinese violin'' or ...

erhu
'', have influenced those of
Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...
,
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...
, and
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...
.


Cuisine

The cuisine of East Asia shares many of the same ingredients and techniques.
Chopsticks Chopsticks are shaped pairs of equal-length sticks of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and depend ...

Chopsticks
are used as an eating utensil in all of the core East Asian countries. The use of soy sauce, which is made from fermenting soybeans, is also widespread in the region. Rice is a main staple food in all of East Asia and is a major focus of
food security Food security is the measure of the availability of food and individuals' Economic inequality, ability to access it. According to the United Nations' Committee on World Food Security, food security is defined as meaning that all people, at all t ...
. Moreover, in East Asian countries, the word for 'cooked rice' can embody the meaning of food in general. Popular terms associated with East Asian cuisine include boba,
kimchi ''Kimchi'' (; ko, 김치, gimchi, ), a staple food 215px, Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, ...

kimchi
,
sushi is a traditional Japanese dish of prepared , usually with some sugar and salt, accompanied by a variety of , such as seafood Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish Fish are Aquatic an ...

sushi
, hot pot,
tea Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease. Cure, or similar, may also refer to: Places * Cure (river), a river in France * Cures, Sabinum, an ...

tea
, dimsum, ramen, as well as
phở Phở or pho (, , ; ) is a Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamese soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles (), herbs, and meat (usually beef (), sometimes chicken ()). Pho is a popular food in Vietnam where it is served in households, street stall ...

phở
,
sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of fresh raw fish Raw is an adjective usually describing: * Raw materials, basic materials from which products are manufactured or made * Raw food, uncooked food Raw or RAW may also refer to: Computing * .RA ...

sashimi
,
udon Udon ( or ) is a thick noodle made from wheat flour, used in Japanese cuisine Japanese cuisine encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan, which have developed through centuries of political, economic, and social changes. The ...

udon
, among others.


Traditions

* Fashion: see, ''
Hanfu is a term used for the historical styles of clothing worn by the Han people The Han Chinese,
...
'' and ''
Cheongsam The ''cheongsam'' (, ), also known as the ''qipao'' (), is a type of body-hugging dress of Manchu origin. It is a high-necked, closefitting dress with the skirt slit partway up the side. It was known as the mandarin gown during the 1920s an ...
'' (or ''Qipao'') (China); '''' and '' Việt phục'' (Vietnam); ''Hanbok'' (Korea); ''Kimono'' and ''Wafuku'' (Japan). * Dance: The Lion dance, Lion Dance is a form of traditional dance in Culture of China, Chinese culture and other culturally East Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume to bring good luck and fortune. Aside from China, versions of the lion dance are found in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Taiwan. Lion Dances are usually performed during Chinese New Year, religious and cultural celebrations. * New Year: China (''Chinese New Year, Zhōngguó Xīn Nián''), Korea (''Korean New Year, Seollal''), Vietnam (''Tết''), Japan (''Koshōgatsu''), and Taiwan traditionally observe the same Lunar New Year. However, Japan has moved its New Year (''Japanese New Year, Shōgatsu'') to fit the New Year, Western New Year since the Meiji Restoration. Although mainland Japan may not celebrate the Lunar New Year anymore, there are some indigenous minority ethnic groups in Japan that still do such as the Okinawan people, Okinawan/Ryukyuan people. Okinawa has traditionally observed the Lunar New Year because of heavy Chinese influence in its past. Festivities nowadays aren't as elaborate as the Western new year but, Okinawans still celebrate and partake in many traditions for Lunar New Year.


Literature

East-Asian literary culture is based on the use of Literary Chinese, which became the medium of scholarship and government across the region. Although each of these countries developed vernacular writing systems and used them for popular literature, they continued to use Chinese for all formal writing until it was swept away by rising nationalism around the end of the 19th century. Throughout East Asia, Literary Chinese was the language of administration and scholarship. Although Vietnam, Korea, and Japan each developed writing systems for their languages, these were limited to popular literature. Chinese remained the medium of formal writing until it was displaced by vernacular writing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though they did not use Chinese for spoken communication, each country had its tradition of reading texts aloud, the so-called Sino-Xenic pronunciations, which provide clues to the pronunciation of Middle Chinese. Chinese words with these pronunciations were also borrowed extensively into the local vernaculars, and today comprise over half their vocabularies. Books in Literary Chinese were widely distributed. By the 7th century and possibly earlier, woodblock printing had been developed in China. At first, it was used only to copy the Buddhist scriptures, but later secular works were also printed. By the 13th century, metal movable type was used by government printers in Korea but seems to have not been extensively used in China, Vietnam, or Japan. At the same time manuscript reproduction remained important until the late 19th century. Japan's textual scholarship had Chinese origin which made Japan one of the birthplaces of modern Sinology.


Philosophy and religion

''The Art of War'', ''Tao Te Ching'', ''I Ching'' and ''Analects'' are classic Chinese texts that have been influential in East Asian history.


Taoism

The countries of China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan have been influenced by Taoism. Developed from Eastern philosophy, known as ''Tao'', the religion was created in China from the teachings of Lao Tse. It follows the search for the ''tao'', a concept that is equivalent to a path or course and represents the cosmic force that creates the universe and all things According to this belief, the wisdom of the ''Tao'' is the only source of the universe and must be a natural path of life events that everyone should follow. Thus, the adherents of Taoism follow the search for Tao, which means path and represents the strength of the universe. The most important text in Taoism, the Tao Te Ching (Book of the Way and Virtue, c. 300 BC), declares that the Tao is the “source” of the universe, thus considered a creative principle, but not as a deity. Nature manifests itself spontaneously, without a higher intention, it is up to the human being to integrate, through "non-action" ("wuwei") and spontaneity ("ziran"), to its flow and rhythms, to achieve happiness and a long life. Taoism is a combination of teachings from various sources, manifesting itself as a system that can be philosophical, religious or ethical. This tradition can also be presented as a worldview and a way of life.


Buddhism

The countries of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam share a history of Mahayana Buddhism. It spread from India via the Silk Road through North India, north-North India, west India and modern day Pakistan, Xinjiang, eastward through Southeast Asia, Vietnam, then north through Guangzhou and Fujian. From China, it proliferated to Korea and Japan, especially during the Six Dynasties. It could have also re-spread from China south to Vietnam. East Asia is now home to the largest Buddhism by country, Buddhist population in the world at around 200-400 million, with the top five countries including China, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Vietnam—three of which falling within the East-Asian Cultural Sphere. Buddhist philosophy is guided by the teachings of the Buddha, which lead the individual to full happiness through meditative practices, mind control and self-analysis of their daily actions. Buddhists believe that physical and spiritual awareness leads to enlightenment and upliftment, called nirvana. Nirvana is the highest state of meditation. According to Buddha, it is when the individual finds peace and tranquility, stopping the oscillations of thoughts and emotions, getting rid of the suffering of the physical world.


Confucianism

The countries of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam share a Confucian philosophical worldview. Confucianism is a humanism, humanistic philosophy that believes that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially including self-cultivation and self-creation. Confucianism focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, the most basic of which are:Edward Craig (philosopher), Craig, Edward. ''Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction''. . * ''Ren (Confucianism), rén'' (): an obligation of altruism and humaneness for other individuals; * ''Yi (Confucianism), yì'' (/): the upholding of righteousness and the moral disposition to do good; and * ''Li (Confucian), lǐ'' (/): a system of norms and propriety that determines how a person should properly act in everyday life.


Neo-Confucianism

Mid-Imperial China, Mid-Imperial Chinese philosophy is primarily defined by the development of Neo-Confucianism. During the Tang dynasty,
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
from Buddhism in Nepal, Nepal also became a prominent philosophical and religious discipline. Neo-Confucianism has its origins in the Tang dynasty; the Confucianist scholar Han Yu is seen as a forebear of the Neo-Confucianists of the Song dynasty.''Essentials of Neo-Confucianism: Eight Major Philosophers of the Song and Ming Periods'' by Huang, Siu-chi. . The Song dynasty philosopher Zhou Dunyi is seen as the first true "pioneer" of Neo-Confucianism, using Daoist metaphysics as a framework for his ethical philosophy.''A Sourcebook of Chinese Philosophy'' by Chan, Wing-tsit. . Elsewhere in East Asia, Japanese philosophy began to develop as indigenous Shinto beliefs fused with
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
,
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
and other schools of Chinese philosophy. Similar to Japan, in Korean philosophy elements of Korean Shamanism, Shamanism were integrated into the Korean Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism imported from China. In Vietnam, neo-Confucianism was developed into Vietnamese own Tam giáo as well, along with Vietnamese folk religion and Mahayana Buddhism.


Other religions

Though not commonly identified with that of East Asia, the following religions have been influential in its history: # Hinduism, see Hinduism in Vietnam, Hinduism in China # Islam, see Xinjiang, Islam in China, Islam in Hong Kong, Islam in Japan, Islam in Korea, Islam in Vietnam. # Christianity, one of the most popular religions in after Buddhism. Significant Christian communities also found in Christianity in China, China, Christianity in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Christianity in Japan, Japan, Christianity in Macau, Macau, Christianity in South Korea, South Korea, Christianity in Taiwan, Taiwan and Christianity in Vietnam, Vietnam.


Language


Historical linguistics

Various languages are thought to have originated in East Asia and have various degrees of influence on each other. These include: #Sino-Tibetan languages, Sino-Tibetan: Spoken mainly in China, Singapore, Myanmar, Christmas Island, Bhutan, Northeast India, Kashmir and parts of Nepal. Major Sino-Tibetan languages include Varieties of Chinese, the varieties of Chinese, Tibetic languages, the Tibetic languages and Burmese language, Burmese. They are thought to have originated around the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin: uə xɔ Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is ...
north of the Yangtze, Yangzi. #Austronesian languages, Austronesian: Spoken mainly in what is today Taiwan, Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Madagascar and most of Oceania. Major Austronesian languages include the Formosan languages, Malay language, Malay, Filipino language, Filipino, Malagasy language, Malagasy and Māori language, Māori. #Turkic languages, Turkic: Spoken mainly in China, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Cyprus and Turkey. Major Turkic languages include Kazakh language, Kazakh, Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz, Uyghur language, Uyghur, Tuvan language, Tuvan and Southern Altai language, Altai. #Austroasiatic languages, Austroasiatic: Spoken mainly in Vietnam and Cambodia. Major Austroasiatic languages include Vietnamese language, Vietnamese and Khmer language, Khmer. #Kra–Dai languages, Kra-Dai: Spoken mainly in Thailand, Laos, and parts of Southern China. Major Kra-Dai languages include Zhuang language, Zhuang, Thai language, Thai, and Lao language, Lao. #Mongolic languages, Mongolic: Spoken mainly in Mongolia, China and Russia. Major Mongolian languages include Oirat language, Oirat, Mongolian language, Mongolian, Monguor language, Monguor, Dongxiang language, Dongxiang and Buryat language, Buryat. #Tungusic languages, Tungusic: Spoken mainly in China and Russia. Major Tungusic languages include Evenki language, Evenki, Manchu language, Manchu, and Xibe language, Xibe. #Koreanic languages, Koreanic: Spoken mainly in Korea. Major Korean languages include Korean language, Korean and Jeju language, Jeju. #Japonic languages, Japonic: Spoken mainly in Japan. Major Japonic languages include Japanese language, Japanese, Ryukyuan language, Ryukyuan and Hachijo language, Hachijo. #Ainu languages, Ainu: Spoken mainly in Japan. The only surviving Ainu language is Hokkaido Ainu. The core Languages of the East Asian Cultural Sphere generally include the varieties of Chinese, Japanese language, Japanese, Korean language, Korean, and Vietnamese language, Vietnamese. All of these languages have a well-documented history of having historically used Chinese characters, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese all having roughly 60% of their vocabulary stemming from Chinese. There is a small set of minor languages that are comparable to the core East Asian languages such as Zhuang languages, Zhuang and Hmong–Mien languages, Hmong-Mien. They are often overlooked since neither have their own country or heavily export their culture, but Zhuang has been written in
Hanzi Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Hanzi
inspired characters called Sawndip for over 1000 years. Hmong, while having supposedly lacked a writing system until modern history, is also suggested to have a similar percentage of Chinese loans to the core CJKV languages as well. While other languages have been impacted by the Sinosphere such as the Thai language, Thai with its Thai numerals, Thai numeral system and Mongolian language, Mongolian with its historical use of
Hanzi Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Hanzi
: the amount of Chinese vocabulary overall is not nearly as expansive in these languages as the core CJKV, or even Zhuang and Hmong. Various hypotheses are trying to unify various subsets of the above languages, including the Sino-Austronesian languages, Sino-Austronesian, Altaic languages, Altaic and Austric languages, Austric language groupings. An overview of these various language groups is discussed in Jared Diamond, Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, ''Germs, Guns, and Steel'', among other places.


Writing systems

East Asia is quite diverse in writing systems, from the Brahmic, inspired abugidas of SEA, the logographic hanzi of China, the syllabaries of Japan, and various alphabets and abjads used in Korea (Hangul), Mongolia (Cyrillic), Vietnam (Latin), etc.


Character influences

Hanzi Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Hanzi
( or ) is considered the common culture that unifies the languages and cultures of many East Asian nations. Historically, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam have used Chinese characters. Today, they are mainly used in China, Japan, and South Korea albeit in different forms. Mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore uses Simplified Chinese characters, simplified characters, whereas Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau use Traditional Chinese. Japan still uses kanji but has also invented kana, inspired by the Chinese cursive script. Korea used to write in hanja but has invented an alphabetic system called hangul (also inspired by Chinese and ʼPhags-pa script, phags-pa during the Mongol Empire) that is nowadays the majority script. However, hanja is a required subject in South Korea. Most names are also written in hanja. Hanja is also studied and used in academia, newspapers, and law; areas where a lot of scholarly terms and Sino-Korean vocabulary, Sino-Korean loanwords are used and necessary to distinguish between otherwise ambiguous homonyms. Vietnam used to write in History of writing in Vietnam, chữ Hán or Classical Chinese. Since the 8th century they began inventing many of their own chữ Nôm. Since French colonization, they have switched to using a modified version of the Latin alphabet called Vietnamese alphabet, chữ Quốc ngữ. However, Chinese characters still hold a special place in the cultures as their history and literature have been greatly influenced by Chinese characters. In Vietnam (and North Korea), chữ Hán can be seen in temples, cemeteries, and monuments today, as well as serving as decorative motifs in art and design. And there are movements to restore Hán Nôm in Vietnam. (Also see History of writing in Vietnam.) Zhuang people are similar to the Vietnamese in that they used to write in Sawgun (Chinese characters) and have invented many of their characters called Sawndip (Immature characters or native characters). Sawndip is still used informally and in traditional settings, but in 1957, the People's Republic of China introduced an alphabetical script for the language, which is what it officially promotes.


Economy and trade

Before European imperialism, East Asia has always been one of the largest economies in the world, whose output had mostly been driven by China and the Silk Road. During the Industrial Revolution, East Asia modernized and became an area of economic power starting with the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century when Japan rapidly transformed itself into the only industrial power outside the North Atlantic area. Japan's early industrial economy reached its height in World War II (1939-1945) when it expanded its empire and became a major world power. The business cultures within the Sinosphere in some ways are heavily influenced by Chinese culture. Important in China is the social concept of ''guanxi'' (), which has influenced the societies of Korea, Vietnam and Japan as well. Japan often features hierarchically-organized List of companies of Japan, companies, and Japanese work environments place a high value on interpersonal relationships. Korean businesses, adhering to Confucian values, are structured around a patriarchy, patriarchal family governed by ''filial piety'' () between management and a company's employees.


Post-WW2 (Tiger economies)

Following Japanese defeat, economic collapse after the war, and Occupation of Japan, US military occupation, Japan's economy recovered in the 1950s with the Japanese economic miracle, post-war economic miracle in which rapid growth propelled the country to become the world's second-largest economy by the 1980s. Since the Korean War and again under Division of Korea#US occupation of South Korea, US military occupation, South Korea has experienced its postwar economic miracle called the Miracle on the Han River, with the rise of global tech industry leaders like Samsung, LG, etc. As of 2019 its economy is the 4th largest in Asia and the 11th largest in the world. Hong Kong became one of the Four Asian Tigers, Four Asian Tiger economies, developing strong textile and manufacturing economies.Compare: South Korea followed a similar route, developing the textile industry. Following in the footsteps of Hong Kong and Korea, Taiwan and Singapore quickly industrialized through government policies. By 1997, all four of the Asian Tiger economies had joined Japan as economically developed nations. As of 2019, South Korean and Japanese growth have stagnated (see also Lost Decade (Japan), Lost Decade), and present growth in East Asia has now shifted to China and to the Tiger Cub Economies of Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam.


Modern era

Since the Chinese economic reform, China has become the 2nd and 1st-largest economy in the world respectively by List of countries by GDP (nominal), nominal GDP and List of countries by GDP (PPP), GDP (PPP). The Pearl River Delta is one of the top startup regions (comparable with Beijing and Shanghai) in East Asia, featuring some of the world's top Unmanned aerial vehicle, drone companies, such as DJI (company), DJI. Up until the early 2010s, Vietnamese trade was heavily dependent on China, and many Chinese-Vietnamese speak both Cantonese and Vietnamese, which share many linguistic similarities. Vietnam, one of Jim O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley#Next Eleven, Next Eleven countries , is regarded as a rising economic Power (international relations), power in Southeast Asia. East Asia participates in numerous global economic organizations including: * Belt and Road Initiative * Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization * Bamboo network, Bamboo Network * Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Free Trade Area, AFTA * East Asia Summit * East Asian Community * Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership


See also

* Sinosphere (linguistics) * Adoption of Chinese literary culture *
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
* Sinophone, Sinophone world * Sino-Xenic pronunciations, Sino-xenic vocabulary * Chinese culture, Culture of China * Chinese influence on Korean culture * Chinese influence on Japanese culture * Culture of Japan * Culture of Korea * Culture of Hong Kong * Culture of Macau * Culture of Taiwan * Culture of Ryukyu * Culture of Vietnam * I Ching's influence * List of tributary states of China * List of Confucian states and dynasties * Little China (ideology) * ''Pax Sinica'' * Four Asian Tigers * Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere * Greater India * Indosphere * Greater Iran *Persianate society, Persianate Society * Sinicization


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * * Joshua Fogel, "The Sinic World," in Ainslie Thomas Embree, Carol Gluck, ed., ''Asia in Western and World History a Guide for Teaching.'' (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, Columbia Project on Asia in the Core Curriculum, 1997). . Access may be limited to NetLibrary affiliated libraries
EBSCOhost Login
* * * * * * * * *


External links


Asia for Educators
Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. {{Authority control Chinese culture Chinese nationalism Country classifications Cultural regions East Asia Southeast Asia East Asian culture Foreign relations of China Japanese culture Korean culture Vietnamese culture Spheres of influence