My Individualism Written by Natsume Soseki

1658 Words7 Pages
Japanese and Chinese culture had different response towards the western modernization. The two document of “The Heritage of Japanese Civilization” written by Albert M. Craig will help us analyzed the differences and perspective from the Chinese reforming its country. The four document in “The Heritage of Chinese Civilization” which also written by Albert M. Craig will help us see a better perspective from different authors of Chinese culture changes through modernization. This will help us understands the difference between the Chinese and Japanese culture response of western modernization.
The document My Individualism written by Natsume Soseki describes how Japanese society wanted individuality because the people of the country wanted to do everything to benefit for themselves rather than doing it for the country. It states that “His only aim is to earn a living though as a result he may meet a social need and indirectly benefit the nation… but would it be awful if a person always had to keep the nation in mind…” This is an example of an ordinary person earning money and doing everything to keep himself living, but since Japan has encountered the western cultures, the Japanese feels as if they also need to improve themselves. When Japan was adjusting to the western ideals, many of the older generation was still living in the past while they are unable to move forward compare to the newer generation. As for this, the ordinary people are working every day for the sake of the country rather than doing this because they wanted to. It also stated “…if he had to eat his meal or the sake of the nation, wash his face for the sake of the nation, and go to the toilet for the sake of the nation!” This describes they everything they...

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...r old systems. Japan was more about changing and advancing the country, while for China they were comfortable with what they had, until realizing that they didn’t want to lose to the world. As well it also felt like China was very intimidated by the west because of their strong and powerful military. A small country like Japan had won wars after altering their country, it gave China more reasons that they need to be aware of modernization.

Works Cited

1. Albert M. Craig, The Heritage of Japanese Civilization (New York: Prentice Hall, 2011), 118.
2. Craig, Japanese Civilization, 118.
3. Craig, Japanese Civilization, 128.
4. Craig, Japanese Civilization, 128.
5. Albert M. Craig, The Heritage of Chinese Civilization (New York: Prentice Hall, 2011), 134.
6. Craig, Chinese Civilization, 139.
7. Craig, Chinese Civilization, 144.
8. Craig, Chinese Civilization, 145.

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