Confucianism, Modernities and Knowledge: China, South Korea and Japan

  • Terri Kim
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 22)

This chapter offers a critique of the Confucian legacies in East Asian modernities, knowledge and pedagogies. Specifi c examples are drawn from China, Korea and Japan for comparative analysis. The three countries in East Asia have all experienced the historical repetitions of discarding and then reviving the Confucian legacy at different times of modernisation. However, they all have kept the strong Confucian pedagogic culture, which frames the ways in which knowledge is transmitted and applied to defi ne modernities in East Asia.

Confucianism has a huge continuity — although it has been travelling widely and rewritten over time. There have been various East Asian historiographies, writing and rewriting the Confucian legacy in East Asian modernisation since the late nineteenth century. Scholars attributed the lack of development in East Asia to that tradition initially, before more recently attributing the success of these countries to the same tradition (Bellah, 1957, 1968; Eisenstadt, 1968; Morishima, 1982; Weede, 1996; Bell & Hahm, 2003).


East Asian Country Private Tutoring Korean Student Confucian Tradition Protestant Ethic 
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  • Terri Kim

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