Review of The Book Confucius Lives in The Neighborhood

“Confucianism, the way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6th–5th century BCE and followed by the Chinese people for more than two millennia. Although transformed over time, it is still the substance of learning, the source of values, and the social code of the Chinese. Its influence has also extended to other countries, particularly Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.”

The view of Confucianism can be appropriately considered as one of the broadly acknowledged religions in the East Asian locale. The idea can be named as a religious conviction which will in general fuse satisfactory proportions of moral and philosophical strategy that has been developed by the instructing of the past Chinese sage ‘Confucius.’ When different religions try to blend the hole among God and human being, the part of Confucianism will in general locate the real way of achieving harmony and soundness.

R. Reid’s book “Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us about Living in the West” concisely unfolds the experience of Reid’s family concerning the Confucian ethos. Moreover, the report would also reveal the influence of Confucian ethos within the modern Japanese culture to identify the lesson which might contribute to a better social experience within the western culture (Reid 29-66).

The philosopher attracts on the expertise of his own and his family life in Tokyo and different East Asian opinions. Philosopher has written a paean to what he calls “East Asia’s Social Miracle.” It’s however the Asians have designed trendy industrial societies characterized by the safest streets and best colleges with the foremost stable families within the world. He holds that Asians features a sense of civility and harmony that you’ll be able to truly feel. He says that they need achieved their social miracle by primarily holding to a group of moral values that they decision Confucian values.

Knowing Japanese and having studied Asian matters for many years, Reid dispatched his kids to a super Japanese public college and learned to put up cheerfully with his Japanese neighbors codified concerns. He happily notes that the Japanese are human beings that love rules. His book is written with grace, understanding and humor and is a sympathetic Baedeker to the Japanese way of life. It is well worth reading. He says that, now not many foreigners have been able to match in so properly with their neighbors while dwelling there. The clarification of present day Japan and its Confucian heritage are accurate and useful; if once in a while wrongheaded.

One value the Japanese have taken very critically is the importance of education. Confucius rejected the notion that rulers be chosen based on the family they had been born into, and that instead they have to be chosen for their education and fitness to govern. Therefore, it was once in the great pastime of the complete nation to teach all children so that as many manageable leaders may want to be identified as possible. This view is evident in the instructional tracking device in Japan, where college students take excessive school entrance assessments to determine if their high college years will focal point on challenging academic curricula or greater vocational studies.

The Japanese have also accompanied the Confucian concept that advantage and excellent behavior had been as necessary to be taught in schools as any tutorial subject. While in the U.S. such character training meets with harsh criticism and accusations of violating the separation of church and state, the Japanese think about ethical education “too necessary to be left to parents, or churches, or Boy Scout Troops.” If fact, it is regarded so necessary that moral education doesn’t stop when one is out of school. Reid committed an entire chapter, Continuing Education, to the ceremonies younger adults attend that lay out their expectations as individuals of new agencies and the “Manner Posters” that line transit stations encouraging appropriate behavior.

The Confucian ethos has survived all the way into modern-day Japanese subculture typically due to the fact of the sturdy ideals and success of practicing those ideals. According to Reid East Asian nations have two miracles. A economic miracle that has allowed “most people to have about as plenty as anybody else” (Reid 14) and a social miracle the place they have “[managed] to hold minimal rates of violent crime, property crime, and drug use, along with egalitarian distribution of wealth and chance and an experience of civility and concord that you can experience when you stroll down the street” (Reid 228).

Learning these information about East Asia nearly makes me favor to bounce on a plane and relocate there immediately. How attractive is the idea of safety and concord specifically in a surroundings the place the majority of human beings assume and behave equally? It almost sounds like some type of Utopia and this is an extraordinary finding when you consider that I am from the West and have tailored to the battle or flight instinct, always wanting to be organized in case my protection has been compromised. Through some of Reid’s accounts, I have been able to understand some of the Japanese lifestyle.

During his time in japan, Reid skilled the five Confucian virtues and how they were honestly proven in the East Asian society. The 5 Confucian virtues jen, yi, li, chih and hsin, showed their magnitude in the way human beings lived in the East Asian region. They have unique meanings that relate to the way people live in the society. To begin with is jen, which represents love and has names such as human-heartedness, manhood being used as English equivalents. An individual following jen will likely make sure that they no longer do to others what they would now not wish others to do to them.

This is what made the human beings from the East stay in harmony because no one would suppose of hurting the different person. This meant that they all cherished one another. Yi emphasized righteousness or the ethical disposition for human beings to do what is good. It also emphasizes the capacity to be aware of what is properly or awful and in such circumstances decide to do the proper thing. In the society, the people from the East would attempt to do the proper issue at all times. Li is the principle of benefit, gain, order or the guide to the movements of humans. This is in the feel that for a society to be in peace there has to be an order that can assist each and every method an easy and smooth one. In Reid’s experience, he cited that every undertaking accompanied a precise order that made every person comfortable in any service they get. Chi involves ethical knowledge where its source is the information proper or wrong.

Overall, Confucianism is reflected in ways lived such as love and respect for their elders, family over self, giving to help the needy, high priority given to education, fugal and thrifty, saving for the future instead of spending it away. I can honestly say that my values and beliefs are somewhat similar to that of the Japanese culture. For one, the Yi principle, my belief system believes that all human beings should do what is good. I honestly can apply some of the principles that Reid experienced to my daily life for the better.

Work Cited

  1. • Weiming, Tu. “Confucianism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 16 Aug. 2018,
  2. • Reid, T. R. Confucius Lives next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us about Living in the West. Vintage Books, 2000.
  3. • “Confucius Lives Next Door.” The Washington Post, WP Company,
  4. • Schumacher, Mark. “Confucius and Confucianism in Japanese Art and Culture.” Shoki – Demon Queller of Japan (of Chinese Origin),
Did you like this example?

Cite this page

Review of The Book Confucius Lives in The Neighborhood. (2021, May 27). Retrieved June 13, 2024 , from

This paper was written and submitted by a fellow student

Our verified experts write
your 100% original paper on any topic

Check Prices

Having doubts about how to write your paper correctly?

Our editors will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Get started
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Go to my inbox