The Interflow and Adaptation of Cultures - Confucianism in Japan and Korea

The course aims at sharpening students’ sensitivity in appreciating the common ground as well as differences in the cultures of neighbouring peoples from the perspectives of cultural adaptation. It enables students to be more aware of their own cultural heritage and to gain a better understanding of neighbouring peoples, so as to ensure harmonious co-development in the future.


The course focuses on how cultures interflow and are adapted by studying the spread and localization of Confucianism in North East Asia, the so-called chopsticks – using cultural circle – Japan and Korea. Confucianism as a cultural factor have a profound influence on different outlets for creative expressions of Japan and Korea.


Students will be introduced to the fundamentals and developments of basic Confucian ideas, e.g. filial piety, harmony, respect for authority, sense of responsibility, followed by practices to identify and trace the influence of Confucianism in local popular cultures such as novels, comics, soap-operas, movies and sport activities. Students will be guided to discuss and explore how localization transforms Confucianism in different social contexts. In this connection the perspectives of philosophy, sociology such as sociology of family and literary representation will be key tools.


Students will be required to assess how Confucianism applies to these cultures and to evaluate the relevance of Confucianism in modern societies.


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