Geography and History of the World © 2010 Indiana Edition

Chapter 27: Cultural Geography of East Asia

“East Asian Customs”

Ancient religions and philosophies shaped the interwoven yet distinct cultures and traditions of East Asia's countries. Today, the people of East Asia maintain many customs that reflect their ancient histories. In this activity you will learn more about the cultures of China, Japan, and Korea.

Destination Title: AskAsia

Start at the Asia Society's AskAsia Web site.
  • Click on Teachers and then on Background Essays.
  • Scroll through the results until you find Chinese Language: Myths and Facts. Explore the article, taking notes as you read.
  • Return to the “Background Essays” page and find Japan’s Sins of Omission, and Japanese New Year. Take notes while reading the articles.
  • Return to the “Background Essays” page again and find the article Korean Thought.

Using the information you have gathered from this site, answer the following questions.

What is China doing to promote literacy among its people? What is Pinyin?
Why are many South Koreans displeased with Japan’s textbooks?
What do many Japanese people do on the second day of New Year’s? Why?
What aspects of Korean history and society indicate that Koreans focus on their time and place on Earth?
Imagine you will have a Japanese exchange student at your house during the New Year holiday. Write an essay describing some of your New Year’s traditions and explain how they are similar to or different from those in Japan.
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