Confucian Values and Japan's Industrialization

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Confucian Values and Japan's Industrialization

Many factors helped aid in the dynamic growth that occurred in Japan and the four little dragons during the post-World War 2 period. Some of these factors were situational factors unique to the time but some of the factors were cultural. The legacy of Confucianism in Japan and the four little dragons helped to further the goals of industrialization that these nations had. The traditions of Confucianism provided for Japan and the four little dragons both a pliant public and a model for choosing competent leaders.

Confucian traditions placed an emphasis on the values of the group over the individual. This helped industrialism by creating a pliant populace who were willing to accept long hours and low wages and not question government policies. The traditions of Confucianism taught workers not to question authority. These traditions carried over into the post war period and allowed authoritarian regimes in the four little dragons to go unquestioned by the public. This lack of dissent allowed the four little dragons to have stable governments which were critical to investment and industrialization. The stability of these nations was a direct result of Confucian values being indoctrinated into the population. Confucian placement of the group over the individual and strong belief in filial piety also caused families and local communities to accept social responsibility for members of their community. This safety net that was provided by communities and families allowed the government to limit it's spending on social welfare programs and thus channel more funds into infrastructure and industry. Confucianism also placed an emphasis on self-cultivation which has helped East Asian Countries to have a skilled and ambitious work force. The tradition of self-cultivation like the work ethic that Max Weber credited Protestantism of producing lead people to strive to acquire new skills, speak foreign languages,...
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