East Asian Cultural Region


The East Asian cultural Region consists of China and the nations in East and Southeast Asia that were influenced by the Chinese culture like Japan, Korea, Vietnam. Other names for the concept include the Confucian world, the Taoist world, and the Chinese cultural area.

The same cultural points of the regional countries


In history, China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam all used Chinese writing. During the Edo period of Japan, Japanese Confucianists and Korean ones often used pens to discuss Confucian issues. Annam’s ambassadors and Korea’s ones usually give each other the poems written in Chinese writing. Today, it is mainly used in China and Japan. Although It is not commonly used in Vietnam and Korea, It is still necessary for studying the literature and history of these two countries. Today, Chinese writing is still found easily in temples and pagodas in these two countries.


The majority of people in the East Asian Cultural Region follow Mahayana Buddhism. This is clearly known through the way of worship (Maitreya Buddha, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, many Buddhas and other Bodhisattvas.), eating and drinking (eating vegan food regularly or eating vegan food for 2, 4, 6 or 10 days per month. The vegetarians with the term can add in January, February and October), wearing (the long dress that is fastened on one side).

Confucianism is a school of philosophy, not a religion (Religion must be organized closely) but it affects the thought and behavior of people in this region very strongly. The most prominent is the dogma of Three main relationships in society – Five things should be practiced regularly. Confucian philosophy was featured in feudal times. Today, in democracy, people still select the positive points in Confucianism to apply in life.

Although Taoism is a philosophy school, not a religion, it also affects the worldview and lifestyle of people in this region, especially intellectuals. The most important is the philosophy about Tao; Tao is the source of the universe. It gives birth and runs all things. In addition, the philosophy of Three Jewels (3 precious things in each person) is also known by many people. Three Jewels includes human sperm, the body’s energy, the brain’s energy. Those are the three precious things that humans need to preserve and train. Besides, the secluded lifestyle of some old intellectuals is also an expression of Taoism.

The folk belief of the countries in the East Asian Cultural Region also has commonalities. Most obviously, the majority of families in the sphere worship the God of Wealth, the Earth God, Quan Yu; and some exhibit 3 gods: Fu, Lu and Shu. Some places in the country have Jade Emperor Temple and Mazu Temple.


In the past, Chinese novels were fascinated by many people in East Asia, the most famous were Investiture of the Gods, Chronicles of the Eastern Zhou Kingdoms, Records of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Journey to the West, Dream of the Red Chamber. Folk tales from China were widely popularized among the common people such as Chang’e – Hou Yi, Butterfly Lovers. Tang poetry was highly admired by intellectuals.


The cuisine of the region has many the same ingredients and processing. All 4 countries use chopsticks to eat. The use of soy sauce made from soya bean fermentation is also common in the countries. Rice is a staple food and a major focus of food security.


Talking about the East Asian Cultural Region, people immediately think of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, which are influenced by Chinese culture. However, Chinese culture not only affects these 4 countries but also spread to other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, through the overseas Chinese communities.

In spite of being influenced by Chinese culture, each country is mentioned above having its own cultural identity. Since contacting western countries, these countries have received many culture points from it. In the context of global integration today, cultural interference of countries becomes wider and faster.

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