Philosophy, Culture and Sino-Japanese Relations

  • Takeshi Uemura


This chapter attempts to provide a Cultural Constructivist perspective to explain Sino-Japanese relations. Rather than substantiating the agents and issues, its central theme is to bring forth the relational dynamics of the two nations, against the backdrop of their philosophical ontologies and cultural behavior patterns. From a relational angle, this chapter analyzes how China and Japan are related to each other. The epistemological methodology here is interpretive, based on the ontological assumption that social relationality might be different across cultural boundaries. The purpose of examining the cultural differences between the two peoples is not to distinguish each of their national characters. Rather, it aims to reinterpret the meanings and implications culture has for comprehending contemporary world affairs. Longitudinally reviewing bilateral relations since the 1972 rapprochement, the chapter argues that mutual misunderstandings, born not out of lack of information, but a cultural fault line of relationality, have exacerbated distrust between the two peoples. Thus, the first step towards disentangling the strand must begin with fostering mutual understanding of each other’s philosophical world views and cultural behavior patterns.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Uemura
    • 1
  1. 1.International Studies and Regional DevelopmentUniversity of Niigata PrefectureNiigataJapan

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