- David W. Hughes
- and Stephen Jones
East Asia will here be defined mainly as China, People’s Republic of (both the People's Republic and the Republic of China on Taiwan), Japan and Korea. This survey seeks to outline some general similarities and differences within this broad area, restricting itself for practical reasons to the majority cultures of each country. For more detailed discussions of these and the region’s minority cultures, see the relevant country article.
The dominant Han Chinese culture, which has influenced Japan, Korea and to a lesser extent other neighbours such as Vietnam, co-exists with substantial minority populations within Chinese borders. South-western groups have affinities with Thai-Burman tribal cultures, and the far west (Xinjiang) with Islamic Central Asia (see China, People’s Republic of, §IV, 5); to the north and west, Tibetan, Mongol and Manchu cultures are also distinct (see Inner Asia; Tibetan music; Mongol music); to the south, the Taiwanese aborigines constitute a distinct cultural group (...