China and Japan

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Throughout the dynasties in China and Japan, religion, economy and politics have been affected by each other in various ways. In the book “Religion and Making of Modern East Asia”, Thomas Dubois brings to light the impact religion made on both politics and economy in China and Japan throughout the historical period up till date. In his words, he describes “religion as an extremely political force” (Dubois, 2011, pp. 7-16). As various religions were introduced, it shaped the politics of leaders as most of them saw it as an avenue to impose their religion on the citizens. In all, religion invented political and economic stabilities and instabilities in various dynasties throughout Japan and China

Ming China also known as “Great Ming” Reigned in China for many years and saw through many religions. However, most Chinese attest to three major religions; Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. In the early centuries, Shang dynasty, known as the “origin of Chinese civilization” was very powerful and dominated the Ming China for over five centuries. In this period, the rulers imposed their religion on the citizens and made it compulsory as the state religion. Later on, Zhou over-threw the Shang dynasty bringing in another perspective of religion known as Confucianism, this particular religion, believed that “authority was not by chance but given a greater power which was higher than man” (Dubois, 2011, p. 17). Most of the citizens embraced this new religion as it brought about peace and good virtue. “Confucianism reigned through the Han dynasty, until it was finally over-thrown by the Sung Dynasty. Were the whole imperial system finally fell” (Dubois, 2011, p. 23). Although Confucianism came to the people as a religion, ...

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... of China and Japan denied the citizens that right.

Some religions were still being outlawed in Japan, contrary to restrictions which allow every citizen a right to worship.” (Dubois, p. 202). With the help of the Americans, the political hierarchy was adjusted thereby allowing citizens the right to free religion.

In concluding, juxtaposing China and Japan’s history, both have similarities. Inevitably, religion continuously, affects politics and economics, most times producing ethno-political identities. Even in Nigeria today, religion affects the economic and political sects. The domineering religious group is often politicized and tends to favor its own religion either through finances or privileges. It is therefore evident that religion, economy and politics are inter-twined and will continue to affect the changes around us just like China and Japan.

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