How Did Confucianism Spread?

Confucianism is notable among world religions in that it was not spread via conquerors or crusades. Instead it was spread in a “soft power” way through significant Chinese influence at the time. It became a sort of state cult perpetuated by the Han Dynasty and eventually spread to Japan and Korea.

Confucianism is less of a religion and more of a philosophy. However, because of its somewhat religious following, it is often confused for a religion. Confucian ideals are ingrained in many Far East cultures, primarily Chinese. The founder of Confucianism was Kung Fu Tzu, but he was never considered to be a deity among his followers. Much of the philosophy of Confucianism revolves around relationships, specifically familial relationships. It directs ideal behaviors between the person on top and the person on the bottom. It generally dictates that the person in a superior position, such as a ruler, husband or older brother, must treat the person below them with benevolence and righteousness. On the other hand, the person in the lower position, such as a wife, subject or younger brothers, need to be respectful, loyal and obedient to the person in the higher position. These attitudes are specific to the Far East cultures.