Japan versus China in the Industrial Race by Wei-Bin Zhang

By Wei-Bin Zhang

Why has eastern industrialisation been a lot swifter than that of China? The relative fiscal improvement of Japan and China from comparable nineteenth-century stipulations are tested in extensive philosophical, social, political and old point of view. The ebook demanding situations a typical assumption that chinese language Confucianism doesn't motivate modernisation, whereas jap Confucianism propelled industrialisation ahead. It examines additional the explanation why Max Weber's judgement, 'the chinese language will be most likely extra able than the japanese, of assimilating capitalism', has no longer been borne out.

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If they have not a certain livelihood, they have not a fixed heart. Mencius Japan has a warm, humid climate. It is a country of mountain ranges, characterised by steep mountain ridges enclosing narrow plains. Only around 14 per cent of its land is flat enough to be cultivated. The traditional Japanese economy is built upon the cultivation of rice. Wet-rice agriculture puts a premium on the intensive use of human labour. Japanese peasants relied little on the use of draught animals or machinery; instead they relied heavily on the labour of their own hands and on their own muscles.

It may be worth mentioning that in viewing modern history, we can clearly identify the development patterns in terms of national psychology and economic conditions of the Confucian regions. Each Confucian culture, China, Korea and Vietnam, has been segregated into two parts, communist and capitalist, in modern times; the culturally peripheral part developed first; Japan is exceptional perhaps because of its high adaptability and its 'escape' from being colonised. The rise of the economies of Confucian cultures, led by Japan in the 1950s, and followed first by the four 'mini-dragons' (Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore) in the 1960s, and then by China and Vietnam in the 1980s and 1990s, has given rise in its turn to many issues related to the Confucian cultures.

Individual interpretations of a philosophical system may vary among different people. Differences may result from the ambiguity of language, the philosophy's internal ambiguity or misunderstanding by the interpreter. Marxism may mean different things in different cultures. The situation is similar for Confucianism. Confucianism is interpreted differently in China, Japan and Korea. 'Benevolence' is a common term in both China and Korea, but it is rarely mentioned in Japan. Loyalty is highly valued in both Japan and Korea, but is not so high on China's list of virtues.

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