Understanding the Roots and Basics of East Asian History, Essay Example

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Essay

The Roots of East Asian History

Covering about 12,000,000 km2 of the entire Asian continent, the East Asian region is noted to take up 28% of the entire geographical makeup of Asia. Having such a geographical measure of land area, it is also considered to be the world’s most populated area. Consisting of countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea, these countries share specific cultures that are usually considered and represented as one. China, being the biggest nation in the region contributes to at least 65% of the area’s overall known culture. Due to this fact, most of the ancient manuscripts known to East Asia are that of those closely related to Chinese sphere.

When it comes to the belief and religion notably evident in the region, these relative bases of social belief include Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto. Most of these beliefs are related to how humans are interconnected with their counterparts in nature. The environment is believed by East Asians to be the core source of life and thus should be given particular reverence. The ancient beliefs in the region know not one god but many other deities that serve their own purpose in the process by which human living develops as a whole.

Japan, although it often separates itself from Asia as an independent nation, also correlates to a distinctive identification that the entire region is known for, its colorful culture, its beliefs and its food. Noted for the wide capability of the East Asians to enjoin in trading agreements, individuals from these region are known for their skills in business. Utilizing the uniqueness of their culture and their resources, East Asians are proud of their roots and are not afraid to share what they have with the world. Through commercial trade, even in the ancient times, East Asia became notably known to other parts of the world. China, being an aggressive and strategic trader in the past left several relics around different parts of the world marking their role in developing the international system of commerce and trade that is enjoyed by several countries at present.

When it comes to tradition and cultural values, East Asian nations are very strict and definitive as to what defines them as a unified region of tradition. Giving high regard to family ties, friendships and other prominent human relationships, the East Asian nations are most often than not regarded as a solid region that defies modernity at the most. However, through the years, the situations change, and the strong clinging of the people towards their tradition slowly faded as new generations come into existence within the said region.

Invasions, Colonies and the Impact of Western Culture to the Eastern Lifestyle

During the time of imperial invasions and the establishment of colonies by the Westerners, the East Asian lifestyle started to become more endowed to being affected by the new cultures that were entering their territories. The Spanish regime for example left several relics in certain areas in the region. However, because of the strong connection of the people with their religion and culture, it was not that easy for the European and Western invaders to completely attract the attention of the East Asian society. Putting a fair fight with regards retaining their culture’s integrity in the face of cultural exchange between nations, the East Asian culture remained intact.

However, the while the invasions were unsuccessful in destabilizing the cultural makeup of the countries within the East Asian region, it was evident that at the entrance of the early 19th century towards the current years, commercial authority came to change the attitude of the people towards traditional culture. This further influenced how the people lived and decided to handle particular courses of development they wanted to achieve. True, with the power of consumerism and the battle for global recognition, the East Asian region’s new generation of civilizations begin to see the need to change and adjust what has been established in the past. The westernization of the east region of Asia is considered to have a great impact on how people lived, how they decided on matters and how they consider living as a whole. With the flooded condition of the market when it comes to the influx of imports towards the East Asian region, people in the said area are left with no choice but to embrace globalization and become more enticed with everything else that the said principle of living offers.

Notably, urbanized regions in Korea, China, Japan and Vietnam could be recognized to follow the same trend of cultural development. Relatively, embracing the western way of living placed these countries in the face of choosing whether or not to preserve their culture over what modern living offers. Due to the mind controlling effect of commerce and its systems to the new age of generation, it could be analyzed how strong the impact of the western influence is in the said countries as the young generation embraces modernity more than they value the ancient traditions of their country. Yes, through the historical pattern of development that the East Asian region took into account, it could be analyzed that in the future, it is not impossible if the said areas would become more westernized having less control of how their new age generation of young citizens decide to embrace the modern life over the traditional one.

References

Dent, Christopher M. (2008). East Asian regionalism. London: Routledge. pp. 1-8.

Harvie, Charles, Fukunari Kimura, and Hyun-Hoon Lee (2005), New East Asian regionalism. Cheltenham and Northamton: Edward Elgar, pp.3-6.

Katzenstein , Peter J. and Takashi Shiraishi (2006), Beyond Japan: the dynamics of East Asian regionalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp.1-33.

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