Western Influence in China and Japan Essay

1649 Words May 31st, 2006 7 Pages
China and Japan are two unique civilizations that went through similar, yet vastly different changes throughout their histories. Their growth and response to other nations differed in many ways in government, lifestyle, and general well-being. One of the main causes for such difference between the countries is the way the West influenced each region, and the way China and Japan responded to this influence. China focused more on the idea of being a "status oriented" society, while Japan was more "goal oriented" based. In China, anyone had the ability to better themselves and change their status through civil examinations given by the government. Western impact however slowly changed this old age system. Japan's caste system viewed …show more content…
Life was not idle in China as everyone had something to do. Based on Confucian values, groups and classes respected each other and their work knowing the value of each. Chiang's father further demonstrated this by being an "honest and generous man, respected by the people of the village in particular and surrounding districts generally" (Chiang 29). By giving honor and reverence to others, Chiang's father in turn received such respect. His benevolence was noticed by the community and thus treated him in a higher light. However, relation with other classes was not always bright, especially in other nations. Chiang describes his encounters in America as he says "California was not so hospitable a land socially for the Chinese as to make on feel congenial or at ease" (Chiang 68). Regardless of being part of the elite class, he was not always treated with the utmost status. Skin color and national origin created barriers between individuals and societies in general. Chinese elite's relations with the other classes embodied more than the typical notion of master and servant. Individuals were respected for their own work and valued for what they brought to China. Fukuzawa in his autobiography details his relation with the lower classes in an act of respect and equality. Because he was originally born into a low rank family, he held those under him as
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