East Asian people (East Asians) is a racial classification specifier, used for people descended from the East Asian region, which is usually described to consist of Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea. In Singapore, East Asians make up the majority of the population, at almost 80%. The total population of all countries within this region is estimated to be 1.677 billion and 21% of the world's population in 2020.[a] However, large East Asian diasporas, such as the Chinese diaspora, Japanese diaspora, Korean diaspora, Mongol diaspora and the Singaporean diaspora, as well as diasporas of other East Asian ethnic groups, mean that the 1.677 billion does not necessarily represent an accurate figure for the numbers of East Asian people worldwide.
The major ethnic groups[b] that form the core of East Asia are the Han, Korean and Yamato. Genealogical research has indicated extremely similar genetic profiles of a less than 1% total variation in spectrum between these three groups. Other ethnic groups of East Asia include: the Ainu, Bai, Hui, Manchus, Mongols, Ryukyuan, Tibetans, Uyghurs and Zhuang. Mostly all Southeast Asian populations such as the Austronesians are genetically related to East Asians, adding on to the close cultural and religious similarities.
The major East Asian language families are the Sinitic, Japonic, and Koreanic families. Other language families include the Tibeto-Burman, Ainu languages, Mongolic, Tungusic, Turkic, Miao–Yao, Tai–Kadai, Austronesian and Mon–Khmer.
Throughout the ages, the greatest influence on East Asia historically has been from China, where the span of its cultural influence is generally known as the Sinosphere laid the foundation for East and Southeast Asian civilization. Chinese culture not only served as the foundation for its own society and civilization, but for also that of its East Asian neighbors, Japan and Korea. The knowledge and ingenuity of Chinese civilization and the classics of Chinese literature and culture were seen as the foundations for a civilized life in East Asia. China served as a vehicle through which the adoption of Confucian ethical philosophy, Chinese calendar systems, political and legal systems, architectural style, diet, terminology, institutions, religious beliefs, imperial examinations that emphasized a knowledge of Chinese classics, political philosophy and culture, as well as historically sharing a common writing system reflected in the histories of Japan and Korea. The relationship between China and its cultural influence on East Asia has been compared to the historical influence of Greco-Roman civilization on Europe and the Western World. Major characteristics exported by China towards Japan and Korea include shared Chinese-derived language characteristics, as well as similar social and moral philosophies derived from Confucianist thought.
The script of the Han Chinese characters has long been a unifying feature in East Asia as the vehicle for exporting Chinese culture to its East Asian neighbors. Chinese characters became the unifying language of bureaucratic politics and religious expression in East Asia. The Chinese script was passed on first to Korea and then to Japan, where it forms a major component of the Japanese writing system. In Korea, however, Sejong the Great invented the hangul alphabet, which has since been used as the main orthographic system for the Korean language. In Japan, much of the Japanese language is written in hiragana, katakana in addition to Chinese characters.
Genealogical research has indicated that "all other Vietnamese groups", apart from the Mang and the Cham people, show "ancestry sharing" with southern Han Chinese, even though on average the Vietnamese people are similar to other Southeast Asians.
Alcohol flush reaction
Alcohol flush reaction is the characteristic physiological facial flushing response to drinking alcohol experienced by 36% of East Asians. Around 80% of East Asians carry an allele of the gene coding for the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase called ADH1B*2, which results in the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme converting alcohol to toxic acetaldehyde more quickly than other gene variants common outside of East Asia. According to the analysis by HapMap project, another allele responsible for the flush reaction, the rs671 (ALDH2*2) of the ALDH2 is rare among Europeans and Sub-Saharan Africans, while 30% to 50% of people of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ancestry have at least one ALDH2*2 allele. The reaction has been associated with lower than average rates of alcoholism, possibly due to its association with adverse effects after drinking alcohol.
- Not all ethnic groups within these countries are part of the East Asian race, i.e. Uyghyrs, Kazakhs, Negritos etc.
- There are no universally accepted and precise definitions of the terms "ethnic group" and "nationality". In the context of East Asian ethnography in particular, the terms ethnic group, people, nationality and ethno-linguistic group, are mostly used interchangeably, although preference may vary in usage with respect to the situation specific to the individual countries of East Asia.
- "Introducing East Asian Peoples" (PDF). International Mission Board. September 10, 2016.;
Minahan, James B. (2014). Ethnic Groups of North, East, and Central Asia: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. xx. ISBN 978-1610690171.;
"How Asians view each other". The Economist. September 18, 2015.;
Khoo, Isabelle (May 30, 2017). "The Difference Between East Asians And South Asians Is Pretty Simple". Huffington Post.;
Silberman, Neil (1996). The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Volume 1. Oxford University Press (published December 5, 1996). p. 151. ISBN 978-0195076189.;
Lim, SK (2011-11-01). Asia Civilizations: Ancient to 1800 AD. ASIAPAC. p. 56. ISBN 978-9812295941.
- Statistics Singapore:
- "East Asia Countries Total Population".
- "Large East Asian Diaspora figures" (PDF).
- Pan and Pfeil (2004), "Problems with Terminology", pp. xvii–xx.
- Siska, Veronika; Jones, Eppie Ruth; Jeon, Sungwon; Bhak, Youngjune; Kim, Hak-Min; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hyunho; Lee, Kyusang; Veselovskaya, Elizaveta; Balueva, Tatiana; Gallego-Llorente, Marcos; Hofreiter, Michael; Bradley, Daniel G.; Eriksson, Anders; Pinhasi, Ron; Bhak, Jong; Manica, Andrea (2017). "Genome-wide data from two early Neolithic East Asian individuals dating to 7700 years ago" (PDF). Science Advances (published February 1, 2017). 3 (2): e1601877. Bibcode:2017SciA....3E1877S. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601877. PMC 5287702. PMID 28164156.;
Wang, Yuchen; Lu Dongsheng; Chung Yeun-Jun; Xu Shuhua (2018). "Genetic structure, divergence and admixture of Han Chinese, Japanese and Korean populations" (PDF). Hereditas. SpringerLink. 155: 19. doi:10.1186/s41065-018-0057-5. PMC 5889524. PMID 29636655.;
Wang, Yuchen; Lu, Dongsheng; Chung, Yeun-Jun; Xu, Shuhua (April 6, 2018). "Genetic structure, divergence and admixture of Han Chinese, Japanese and Korean populations". Hereditas. SpringerLink. 155. doi:10.1186/s41065-018-0057-5. PMC 5889524. PMID 29636655.;
"Introducing East Asian Peoples" (PDF). International Mission Board. September 10, 2016.;
Sloan, Kathleen; Krimsky, Sheldon (2011). Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture. Columbia University Pres. p. 156. ISBN 978-0231156967.;
Herreria, Carla (May 17, 2017). "Basically Nobody Knows Who Counts As An Asian Person". The Huffington Post.;
Lin, Yu-Cheng; Wang, Mao-Jiun J.; Wang, Eric M. (June 23, 2003) . "The comparisons of anthropometric characteristics among four peoples in East Asia". Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. Applied Ergonomics. Elsevier Ltd. 35 (2): 173–8. doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2004.01.004. PMID 15105079. S2CID 6640984.;
Machery, Edouard; O'Neill, Elizabeth (2014). Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy (Current Controversies in Philosophy). Routledge (published February 28, 2014). p. 6. ISBN 978-0415519670.;
Ludwig, Theodore M. (2003). Spiritual Care in Nursing Practice. LWW. pp. 165. ISBN 978-0781740968.;
Shaules, Joseph (2007). Deep Culture: The Hidden Challenges of Global Living. Multilingual Matters. pp. 43. ISBN 978-1847690173.;
Kowner, Rotem; Demel, Walter (2014). Race and Racism in Modern East Asia: Western and Eastern Constructions (1st ed.). Brill Academic Publishing. p. 41. ISBN 978-9004285507.;
Leach, Mark M. (2006). Cultural Diversity and Suicide: Ethnic, Religious, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Perspectives. Routledge. p. 127. ISBN 978-0789030184.;
Leibo, Steve (2016). East and Southeast Asia 2016-2017. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 1. ISBN 978-1475829068.;
Steinberg, Shirley R.; Kehler, Michael; Cornish, Lindsay (June 17, 2010). Boy Culture: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Greenwood. p. 58. ISBN 978-0313350801.;
Salkind, Neil J. (2008). Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology. Sage Publications. pp. 56. ISBN 978-1412916882.;
Minahan, James B. (2014). Ethnic Groups of North, East, and Central Asia: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. xx–xxvi. ISBN 978-1610690171.;
Stodolska, Monika (2013). Race, Ethnicity, and Leisure: Perspectives on Research, Theory, and Practice. Human Kinetics. p. 229. ISBN 978-0736094528.;
Lim, SK (2011-11-01). Asia Civilizations: Ancient to 1800 AD. ASIAPAC. p. 56. ISBN 978-9812295941.
- Wang, Yuchen; Lu, Dongsheng; Chung, Yeun-Jun; Xu, Shuhua (2018). "Genetic structure, divergence and admixture of Han Chinese, Japanese and Korean populations". Hereditas. 155 (19). doi:10.1186/s41065-018-0057-5. PMID 29636655.
- Vickers, Edward (2010). History Education and National Identity in East Asia (published October 21, 2010). p. 125. ISBN 978-0415948081.
- Demel, Walter; Kowner, Rotem (2015). Race and Racism in Modern East Asia: Interactions, Nationalism, Gender and Lineage. Brill (published April 23, 2015). p. 255. ISBN 978-9004292925.
- Liu, Dang; Duong, Nguyen Thuy; Ton, Nguyen Dang; Van Phong, Nguyen; Pakendorf, Brigitte; Van Hai, Nong; Stoneking, Mark. "Extensive ethnolinguistic diversity in Vietnam reflects multiple sources of genetic diversity". Molecular Biology and Evolution. doi:10.1093/molbev/msaa099.
- Sinitic means relating to China or the Chinese. It is derived from the Greco-Latin word Sīnai ('the Chinese'), probably from Arabic Ṣīn ('China'), from the Chinese dynastic name Qín. (OED)
- Shimabukuro, Moriyo. (2007). The Accentual History of the Japanese and Ryukyuan Languages: a Reconstruction, p. 1.
- Miyake, Marc Hideo. (2008). Old Japanese: a Phonetic Reconstruction. p. 66., p. 66, at Google Books
- Kim, Chin-Wu (1974). The Making of the Korean Language. Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawai'i.
- Miller, David (2007). Modern East Asia: An Introductory History. Routledge (published December 15, 2007). p. 7–8. ISBN 978-0765618221.
- Walker, Hugh Dyson (2012). East Asia: A New History. AuthorHouse. p. 2.
- Hayes, Louis D (2009). Political Systems of East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan. Greenlight. pp. xi. ISBN 978-0765617866.
- Hazen, Dan; Spohrer, James H. (2005). Building Area Studies Collections. Otto Harrassowitz (published December 31, 2005). p. 1. ISBN 978-3447055123.
- Richter, Frank-Jurgen (2002). Redesigning Asian Business: In the Aftermath of Crisis. Quorum Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-1567205251.
- Kang, David C. (2012). East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute. Columbia University Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-0231153195.
- Lewis, Mark Edward (2012). China's Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Belknap Press (published April 9, 2012). p. 156. ISBN 978-0674064010.
- Edwin O. Reischauer, "The Sinic World in Perspective," Foreign Affairs 52.2 (January 1974): 341—348. JSTOR Archived 2017-01-15 at the Wayback Machine
- Lim, SK (2011-11-01). Asia Civilizations: Ancient to 1800 AD. ASIAPAC. p. 89. ISBN 978-9812295941.
- Goscha, Christopher (2016). The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam: A History. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1846143106.
- "How was Hangul invented?". The Economist. 2013-10-08. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- Liu, Dang; Nguyen, Thuy Duong; Nguyen, Dang Ton; Nguyen, Van Phong; Pakendorf, Brigitte; Nong, Van Hai; Stoneking, Mark (28 April 2020). "Extensive ethnolinguistic diversity in Vietnam reflects multiple sources of genetic diversity". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 37 (9): 2503–2519. doi:10.1093/molbev/msaa099. PMC 7475039. PMID 32344428.
- "Reference Populations – Geno 2.0 Next Generation". National Geographic. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
The reference population for Vietnamese (Kinh) used in the Geno 2.0 Next Generation is 83% Southeast Asia & Oceania, 12% Eastern Asia and 3% Southern Asia.
- Yuliwulandari, R.; Kashiwase, K.; Nakajima, H.; Uddin, J.; Susmiarsih, T. P.; Sofro, A. S. M.; Tokunaga, K. (January 2009). "Polymorphisms of HLA genes in Western Javanese (Indonesia): close affinities to Southeast Asian populations". Tissue Antigens. 73 (1): 46–53. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0039.2008.01178.x. PMID 19140832.
Western Javanese (Indonesia) was closest to Malay, then to Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese, followed by other southern minority group of East Asian populations such as Maonan (China), indigenous populations in Taiwan (Ami, Yami, Bunun)...
- Jin, Han-jun et al. (1999). Distribution of length variation of the mtDNA 9‐bp motif in the intergenic COII/tRNALys region in East Asian populations. Korean Journal of Biological Sciences 3(4). Pages 395 & 396. Retrieved March 2, 2018, from link to the article's abstract. QUOTE: "The mtDNA 9‐bp deletion frequencies in the intergenic COII/tRNALys region for Vietnamese (23.2%) and Indonesians (25.0%), which are the two populations constituting Southeast Asians in the study, are relatively high frequencies when compared to the 9-bp deletion frequencies for Mongolians (5.1%), Chinese (14.2%), Japanese (14.3%) and Koreans (15.5%), which are the four populations constituting East Asians in the study." and "The Cavalli-Sforza's chord genetic distance (4D), from Cavalli-Sforza & Bodmer (1971), which is based on the allele frequencies of the intergenic COII/tRNALys region, between Vietnamese and other Southeast and East Asian populations in the study, from least to greatest, are as follows: Vietnamese to Indonesian (0.0004), Vietnamese to Chinese (0.0135), Vietnamese to Japanese (0.0153), Vietnamese to Korean (0.0265) and Vietnamese to Mongolian (0.0750)."
- Erin Schumaker (December 20, 2019). "First national estimates on how common diabetes is among Hispanic and Asian Americans: CDC". ABC News.
- Lee H, Kim SS, You KS, Park W, Yang JH, Kim M, Hayman LL (2014). "Asian flushing: genetic and sociocultural factors of alcoholism among East asians". Gastroenterology Nursing. 37 (5): 327–36. doi:10.1097/SGA.0000000000000062. PMID 25271825. S2CID 206059192.
- Brooks PJ, Enoch MA, Goldman D, Li TK, Yokoyama A (March 2009). "The alcohol flushing response: an unrecognized risk factor for esophageal cancer from alcohol consumption". PLOS Medicine. 6 (3): e50. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000050. PMC 2659709. PMID 19320537.
- J. Yoo, Grace; Odar, Alan Y. (2014). Handbook of Asian American Health. Springer (published April 23, 2015). p. 132. ISBN 978-1493913442.
- Peng Y, Shi H, Qi XB, Xiao CJ, Zhong H, Ma RL, Su B (January 2010). "The ADH1B Arg47His polymorphism in east Asian populations and expansion of rice domestication in history". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 10: 15. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-15. PMC 2823730. PMID 20089146.
- Eng MY, Luczak SE, Wall TL (2007). "ALDH2, ADH1B, and ADH1C genotypes in Asians: a literature review". Alcohol Research & Health. 30 (1): 22–7. PMC 3860439. PMID 17718397.