I've been noticing this reliance on rote memorization in everything I've done that comes from Asia. E.g., if you read a Chess book, you will be given examples with explanations and a lot of text. If you read a Go book (a game from China), you will be given absolutely no explanation of any kind, and you are expected to pick up the concepts yourself from being presented with a large amount of examples that aren't explained - the concepts aren't even named. These books literally have no text in them, just images of Go boards. This is the wax-on-wax-off philosophy at work - do not question why you are being set a task, simply do it and trust that your better's have a good reason for having you do it. I saw a documentary where Chinese people were expected to learn English by repeating given sentences over and over until they could do so extremely quickly. Then they had to keep at it until they could say them backwards!