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Confucian Ideas in Confucius Lives Next Door - Book Report/Review Example

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In the assignment "Confucian Ideas in Confucius Lives Next Door" the writer analyzes the book titled "Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West" written by  T. R. Reid. The paper discusses used teachings of Confucius in the book…
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Confucian Ideas in Confucius Lives Next Door
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Download file to see previous pages Reid’s book provides both anecdotal and empirical evidence on the cultural results of this group-focused philosophy on life.
To provide a basis for his conclusions on the effects of Confucian ideals on East Asian cultures, Reid explains two important concepts that each member of any group has the responsibility to observe. First, each member of the group is responsible for avoiding meiwaku, or any action that is socially unacceptable and therefore brings shame upon not only the individual but by extension, the group. Second, every member of the group has the responsibility of preserving the way or social harmony and peace within the group. Preserving the way includes avoiding confrontation and achieving complete group consensus in decision making so that no one feels resentful. These two basic ideas provide the backdrop for why East Asians behave the way that they do. They are even evident in the language, which tends to include a lot of apologizing and self-effacing.
One Confucian ideal that the Japanese have taken very seriously is the importance of education. Confucius rejected the notion that rulers should be chosen based on the family they were born into, and that rather they should be chosen for their education and fitness to govern. Therefore, it was in the best interest of the entire nation to educate all children so that as many potential leaders could be identified as possible. This view is evident in the educational tracking system in Japan, where students take high school entrance exams to determine if their high school years will focus on challenging academic curricula or more vocational studies. The Japanese have also followed the Confucian idea that virtue and appropriate conduct were as important to be taught in schools as an academic subject.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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