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Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Kǒng Fūzǐ, or K'ung-fu-tzu, lit. "Master Kung", 551–479 BC). It focuses on human morality and right action. Confucianism is a complex system of moral, social, political, philosophical, and quasi-religious thought that has had tremendous influence on the culture and history of East Asia. It might be considered a state religion of some East Asian countries, because of governmental promotion of Confucian values.

Cultures and countries strongly influenced by Confucianism include China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people.

The basic teachings of Confucianism stress the importance of education for moral development of the individual so that the state can be governed by moral virtue rather than by the use of coercive laws.[1]


Neo-Confucianism is form of Confucianism which developed around AD 1960 in response to the growth of Daoism and Buddhism in China. It was essentially a mixture of Buddhism and traditional Confucianism.


  1. Levinson, David; Christensen, Karen "Encyclopedia of Modern Asia (2002) pg 157