East Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. Geographically and geopolitically, it includes China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan; Mongolia, Korea (North and South) and Japan; it covers about 12,000,000 km2 (4,600,000 sq mi), or about 28% of the Asian continent, about twice the area of Europe.
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Historically, societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, and East Asian vocabulary and scripts are often derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script. Major religions include Buddhism (mostly Mahayana), Confucianism or Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese folk religion in China and Taiwan, Shinto in Japan, Korean shamanism in Korea. Shamanism is also prevalent among Mongolians and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia. The Chinese calendar is the root from which many other East Asian calendars are derived.
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