International Education Journal

WCCES 2001 Commission 6 Special Congress Issue: Japanese Education in Transition

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Confucianism as Cultural Constraint: A Comparison of Confucian Values of Japanese and Korean University Students


Ken Tamai
Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Kobe, Japan
tamaken@aol.com

Jonghwan Lee
KPMG SeBit Accounting Corporation, Seoul, South Korea
jonghwanlee@kr.kpm.com

 

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Abstract

Although the influence of Confucianism over the behaviour and thought of people in East Asia has often been discussed, not much reference has been made with regard to differences in Confucian orientations between countries. This paper examines the proposition that observable Confucian orientations today vary from country to country and that clarifying their differences would help account for the variance of communication styles and attitudes in East Asia. We outline today's Confucian beliefs in Korea and Japan, and then compare beliefs in these two societies based on results from a survey carried out among university students in the two countries. Analysis was carried out from two perspectives: characteristic differences and level of strength in belief. The results of factor analysis suggest the presence of differences in Confucian values between the two countries. Further comparisons concerning the strength of beliefs, based on the values of 48 items using ANOVA, clarified these differences and suggested important educational implications which are presented in this paper.

Confucianism, communication, values, Japan, Korea

 

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Tamai, K. and Lee, J. (2002) Confucianism as Cultural Constraint: A Comparison of Confucian Values of Japanese and Korean University Students. International Education Journal, 3 (5), 33-49.
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