Korea, China and Japan

For more than 200 countries in the world, neighboring countries have the most compassionate ties above all. They may have some things viewed differently, but at least they share some basic traits and culture. However, this is not the case of the countries Korea, China and Japan. These three countries are so close yet so far.

The prominent endurance of the civilization of the Chinese along with its phenomenal technological and economic progress, other cultures began to imitate China. Japan and Korea were all dragged into China's political and cultural orbit in the postclassical period. These two territories interacted with China differently, causing them to develop different cultural patterns adapted to local conditions. In all of the areas, Buddhism played a principal role in cultural transformation. Indian culture slowly went out of the picture through China passed on to these other regions. Buddhism also provided links between Korea and Japan.

Although these nations are so indifferent, it cannot be denied that at one point in time Koreans, Chinese and Japanese have also constantly interacted with each other, but only to a certain degree. Each nation didn’t want their country to be inferior, so they distant themselves from others and assemble their own unique and renowned history.

China, having the biggest territory among the three countries, considered itself as the center of the world. They set aside minority races and put them all together into one hug unified culture known as the Han culture. The concept of China’s spirit is “Yi” meaning unity and peace. However, this meant for them as “peace for unity”, they like border countries like Korea to allow invasions from them and make Korea their vassal country. The most important value in China is “one.” Absolute authority and a unified country is what the Chinese mean to acquire peace. This oneness has been the fundamental policy of China, it doesn’t matter what your original nationality is, as long as you are living in Chinese mainland, you are obliged to be a part of China and the Chinese people.

Japan, on the other hand, might have adapted Korean and Chinese cultures but lived without fear of foreign invasion. They consider ‘Wa” as their important value which in English means peace and harmony. Living in an island country, internal threats are higher than external struggles, because of this they had the intuition of not to fight with one another and spread peace and harmony throughout. This insight affected their political system, daily attitude or simple their whole culture itself. People tend to avoid conflict to the point of not saying what they really meant and avoid physical contact as much as possible. They became so considerate of the feelings of others, so everyone was so gentle and amiable.

Last but definitely not the least, Korea, the peninsula that fought for independence from China no matter what. Although it was agreed that their nation would still be a vassal country of China, Korea still managed to develop its own unique culture and customs. Constant invasions greatly afflicted the Koreans, because of the frequent wars they were used to battling and always ready for a fight off foreign attackers. This attitude became a part of their lifestyle which is very different from that of the Japanese who tend to be so gentle and amiable to others. Koreans were very tough, their personalities obviously became very extreme. The most important value for the Koreans was “choong” or justice, fairness and sharing. They believe people should be treated equally and fairly regardless of their status in life. But most of the time, what happened is that the poor tend to work as much harder so that they can be as wealthy as the rich. This resulted to the development of the Korean economy in time.

The obstacles these 3 countries encountered before being the nation they are now I think made a big impact to how they molded their culture and people. The absorbed various races through a policy of toleration and inclusion of the 2 countries, Japan and Korea, helped a lot in developing their own various cultures and customs. Every personality of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean has a history and foundation that’s why they have become what they are now. The Chinese trust only themselves and their families, care less about others and self-centered but this is only because they have suffered much throughout their history. The Japanese being gentle and amiable is because they grew up to a territory wherein internal conflicts are more alarming than external ones.

And the Koreans being the war freak ones is only the effect of being used to fighting for their rights and privileges. China’s attitude towards the two countries before, though was an act of selfishness, also has positive effects on Korea and Japan now. They have become stronger countries through all the impediments they encountered before. All these three countries learned to love their own nation and co-fellowmen even more and nationalism was strengthened too. Each of the countries’ cultures are a mixture of different customs but after a time of not interacting that much with each other, those cultures are now more unique and remarkable.