Many scholars argue that Confucianism has had a great deal to do with creating the cultures and societies of East Asian nations.
Confucianism emphasized people living in harmony with each other. One of the main ways to accomplish this was essentially to know one's place in the social order and to act in ways appropriate to that place. Scholars argue that this emphasis on harmony and order has shaped East Asian culture. They argue, for example, that it has been crucial in allowing people in countries like Japan and South Korea to exhibit the sort of self-sacrifice that was needed to create the economic "miracles" that those societies underwent. It has also been argued that Confucianism is a key to understanding the willingness of people in places like China to accept authoritarian governments.