In modern East Asia, including Vietnam and Japan, many Chinese-based neologisms combining two Chinese characters have been coined to indicate new scientific and abstract concepts derived from the West. Even today, these new terms, both national and regional, continue to be used throughout East Asia. Previously, such a largescale reconstruction of vocabulary without loanwords was rare. For the last 30 years, many Japanese, Chinese and, recently, Korean scholars have investigated this phenomenon, especially the role of Japanese intellectuals in the invention of several important terms. In this article, I will briefly introduce the process of coining these neologisms, in particular focusing on Vietnam, to which few outside scholars have referred. I will concentrate on the diversity rather than the parallelism within this phenomenon.