Getting Prepared for a Meeting with Western Civilization
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Far from being a purely academic concept in early modern China, “civilization” was a discourse constructed under the dual influence of Western ideas and Chinese social trends. And it was indeed Liang who made indelible contributions to the spread of the notion of “civilization” in China. He was one of the first reformist thinkers to have used the term “civilization” in its modern sense, while plainly establishing it as a modern concept at the time of the Reform Movement, as well. In spreading the concept of “civilization,” Japanese people played a significant role. The wide spread of the modern concept of “civilization” increasingly influenced the country’s political reform movement and started to change the values and ideals of many people, thus becoming a salient factor affecting peoples’ everyday life.