In recent years, there have been a number of scholarly or journalistic attempts to relate the phenomenon of unusually successful industrialisation and economic development in Japan and other latedeveloping Asian countries, namely Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea, to the Confucian tradition which all of these countries are thought to share. As MacFarquhar (1985:1) puts it:

The significance of coincidence is culture, the shared heritage of centuries of inculcation with Confucianism. That ideology is as important to the rise of the East Asian hyper-growth economies as the conjunction of Protestantism and the rise of capitalism in the west.