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} Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a
Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural development ...
,
poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, soun ...
and
politician A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking an elected legal seat, seat in government. Politicians propose, support, and create laws that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "p ...
of the
Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the ...
who was traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Confucius's teachings and philosophy formed the basis of East Asian culture and society, and continues to remain influential across
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
and
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
as of today. His philosophical teachings, called
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. Confucianism was part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the
Hundred Schools of Thought The Hundred Schools of Thought () were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century BC to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese histo ...
era, only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Francis Wade, during the mid-19th ...

Qin dynasty
. Following the victory of
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...

Han
over
Chu Chu or CHU may refer to: Chinese history * Chu (state) (c. 1030 BC–223 BC), a state during the Zhou dynasty * Western Chu (206 BC–202 BC), a state founded and ruled by Xiang Yu * Chu Kingdom (Han dynasty) (201 BC–70 AD), a kingdom of the Han ...

Chu
after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction in the new government. During the Tang and
Song A song is a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an piece or work of , either or , the of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called s ...
dynasties, Confucianism developed into a system known in the West as
Neo-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism (, often shortened to ''lixue'' 理學, literally "School of Principle") is a morality, moral, ethics, ethical, and metaphysics, metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, and originated with Han Yu and Li Ao (p ...
, and later as
New Confucianism New Confucianism () is an intellectual movement of Confucianism , Shanxi Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a ...
. Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the
Chinese classic texts Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () i ...
, including all of the
Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world ...
, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself.
Aphorism An aphorism (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἀφορισμός: ''aphorismos'', denoting 'delimitation', 'distinction', and 'definition') is a concise, terse, laconic, or memorable expression of a general truth or principle. They are often handed do ...
s concerning his teachings were compiled in the ''
Analects The ''Analects'' (; ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...

Analects
'', but only many years after his death. Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. With
filial piety In Confucian ethics, Confucian, Chinese Buddhist ethics, Buddhist and Taoism, Taoist ethics, filial piety (, ''xiào'') is a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors. The Confucian ''Classic of Filial Piety'', thought to be wri ...
, he championed strong family loyalty,
ancestor veneration The veneration Veneration in Noto St Conrad of Piacenza (San Corrado) Veneration ( la, veneratio; el, τιμάω ), or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as havi ...
, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the
Golden Rule The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated. It is a maxim that is found in most religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, ...

Golden Rule
.


Name

The name "Confucius" is a
Latinization Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names Latinisation (or Latinization) of names, also known as onomastic Latinisation (or Latinization), is the practice of rendering a ''non''-Latin name in a Latin style. It is commonl ...

Latinization
of the
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic languages, Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of the phonology of Standard Chinese. Because Mandarin ...
title ''Kǒng Fūzǐ'' (), meaning "Master Kong", and was coined in the late 16th century by the early Jesuit missionaries to China. Confucius's family name (
''xìng'': 姓
''xìng'': 姓
) was and his given name (''míng'':名) was . His "
courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The courtesy ...
", a capping (''guan'': 冠) given at his coming of age ceremony, and by which he would have been known to all but his older family members, was , the "Zhòng" indicating that he was the second son in his family.


Life


Early life

It is thought that Confucius was born on September 28, , in Zou (, in modern
Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subn ...

Shandong
province). The area was notionally controlled by the kings of
ZhouZhou may refer to: Chinese history * King Zhou of Shang () (1105 BC–1046 BC), the last king of the Shang dynasty * Predynastic Zhou (), 11th-century BC precursor to the Zhou dynasty * Zhou dynasty () (1046 BC–256 BC), a dynasty of China ** Weste ...
but effectively independent under the local lords of Lu, who ruled from the nearby city of Qufu. His father
Kong He Kong He (孔紇), (622 BC–548 BC) also known as Shuliang He (叔梁紇), was the father of Confucius and an officer in the Lu state military. Kong died when Confucius was three years old, and Confucius was raised by his mother Yan Zhengzai (顏 ...
(or Shuliang He) was an elderly commandant of the local Lu garrison. His ancestry traced back through the dukes of Song to the
Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history. From ...

Shang dynasty
which had preceded the Zhou. Traditional accounts of Confucius's life relate that Kong He's grandfather had migrated the family from Song to Lu. Kong He died when Confucius was three years old, and Confucius was raised by his mother Yan Zhengzai () in poverty. His mother later died at less than 40 years of age. At age 19 he married Qiguan (), and a year later the couple had their first child, their son Kong Li (). Qiguan and Confucius later had two daughters together, one of whom is thought to have died as a child. Confucius was educated at schools for commoners, where he studied and learned the
Six ArtsThe Six Arts formed the basis of education in ancient Chinese culture. History During the Zhou dynasty (1122–256 BCE), students were required to master the "liù yì" (六藝) (''Six Arts''): # Li (Confucianism), Rites (禮) # Music of China, Mus ...
. Confucius was born into the class of '' shi'' (), between the aristocracy and the common people. He is said to have worked in various government jobs during his early 20s, and as a bookkeeper and a caretaker of sheep and horses, using the proceeds to give his mother a proper burial. When his mother died, Confucius (aged 23) is said to have , as was the tradition.


Political career

In Confucius's time, the state of Lu was headed by a ruling ducal house. Under the duke were three aristocratic families, whose heads bore the title of viscount and held hereditary positions in the Lu bureaucracy. The Ji family held the position "Minister over the Masses", who was also the "Prime Minister"; the Meng family held the position "Minister of Works"; and the Shu family held the position "Minister of War". In the winter of , Yang Hu—a retainer of the Ji family—rose up in rebellion and seized power from the Ji family. However, by the summer of , the three hereditary families had succeeded in expelling Yang Hu from Lu. By then, Confucius had built up a considerable reputation through his teachings, while the families came to see the value of proper conduct and righteousness, so they could achieve loyalty to a legitimate government. Thus, that year (), Confucius came to be appointed to the minor position of governor of a town. Eventually, he rose to the position of Minister of Crime. Confucius desired to return the authority of the state to the duke by dismantling the fortifications of the city—strongholds belonging to the three families. This way, he could establish a centralized government. However, Confucius relied solely on diplomacy as he had no military authority himself. In , Hou Fan—the governor of Hou—revolted against his lord of the Shu family. Although the Meng and Shu families unsuccessfully besieged Hou, a loyalist official rose up with the people of Hou and forced Hou Fan to flee to the
Qi state ''QI'' (short for ''Quite Interesting'') is a British comedy panel game television game show, quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd (writer), John Lloyd, and features permanent panellist Alan Davies. Stephen Fry was host of the show f ...
. The situation may have been in favor for Confucius as this likely made it possible for Confucius and his disciples to convince the aristocratic families to dismantle the fortifications of their cities. Eventually, after a year and a half, Confucius and his disciples succeeded in convincing the Shu family to raze the walls of Hou, the Ji family in razing the walls of Bi, and the Meng family in razing the walls of Cheng. First, the Shu family led an army towards their city Hou and tore down its walls in . Soon thereafter, Gongshan Furao (also known as Gongshan Buniu), a retainer of the Ji family, revolted and took control of the forces at Bi. He immediately launched an attack and entered the capital Lu. Earlier, Gongshan had approached Confucius to join him, which Confucius considered as he wanted the opportunity to put his principles into practice but he gave up on the idea in the end. Confucius disapproved the use of a violent revolution by principle, even though the Ji family dominated the Lu state by force for generations and had exiled the previous duke. Creel (1949) states that, unlike the rebel Yang Hu before him, Gongshan may have sought to destroy the three hereditary families and restore the power of the duke. However, Dubs (1946) is of the view that Gongshan was encouraged by Viscount Ji Huan to invade the Lu capital in an attempt to avoid dismantling the Bi fortified walls. Whatever the situation may have been, Gongshan was considered an upright man who continued to defend the state of Lu, even after he was forced to flee. During the revolt by Gongshan,
Zhong You Zhong You (542–480BC), commonly known by his courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural s ...
had managed to keep the duke and the three viscounts together at the court. Zhong You was one of the disciples of Confucius and Confucius had arranged for him to be given the position of governor by the Ji family. When Confucius heard of the raid, he requested that Viscount Ji Huan allow the duke and his court to retreat to a stronghold on his palace grounds. Thereafter, the heads of the three families and the duke retreated to the Ji's palace complex and ascended the Wuzi Terrace.. Confucius ordered two officers to lead an assault against the rebels. At least one of the two officers was a retainer of the Ji family, but they were unable to refuse the orders while in the presence of the duke, viscounts, and court. The rebels were pursued and defeated at Gu. Immediately after the revolt was defeated, the Ji family razed the Bi city walls to the ground. The attackers retreated after realizing that they would have to become rebels against the state and their lord. Through Confucius' actions, the Bi officials had inadvertently revolted against their own lord, thus forcing Viscount Ji Huan's hand in having to dismantle the walls of Bi (as it could have harbored such rebels) or confess to instigating the event by going against proper conduct and righteousness as an official. Dubs (1949) suggests that the incident brought to light Confucius' foresight, practical political ability, and insight into human character. When it was time to dismantle the city walls of the Meng family, the governor was reluctant to have his city walls torn down and convinced the head of the Meng family not to do so. The '' Zuozhuan'' recalls that the governor advised against razing the walls to the ground as he said that it made Cheng vulnerable to the
Qi state ''QI'' (short for ''Quite Interesting'') is a British comedy panel game television game show, quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd (writer), John Lloyd, and features permanent panellist Alan Davies. Stephen Fry was host of the show f ...
and cause the destruction of the Meng family. Even though Viscount Meng Yi gave his word not to interfere with an attempt, he went back on his earlier promise to dismantle the walls. Later in , Duke Ding personally went with an army to lay siege to Cheng in an attempt to raze its walls to the ground, but he did not succeed. Thus, Confucius could not achieve the idealistic reforms that he wanted including restoration of the legitimate rule of the duke. He had made powerful enemies within the state, especially with Viscount Ji Huan, due to his successes so far.. According to accounts in the '' Zuozhuan'' and ''
Shiji The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...

Shiji
'', Confucius departed his homeland in after his support for the failed attempt of dismantling the fortified city walls of the powerful Ji, Meng, and Shu families. He left the state of Lu without resigning, remaining in self-exile and unable to return as long as Viscount Ji Huan was alive.


Exile

The ''
Shiji The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...

Shiji
'' stated that the neighboring
Qi state ''QI'' (short for ''Quite Interesting'') is a British comedy panel game television game show, quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd (writer), John Lloyd, and features permanent panellist Alan Davies. Stephen Fry was host of the show f ...
was worried that Lu was becoming too powerful while Confucius was involved in the government of the Lu state. According to this account, Qi decided to sabotage Lu's reforms by sending 100 good horses and 80 beautiful dancing girls to the duke of Lu. The duke indulged himself in pleasure and did not attend to official duties for three days. Confucius was disappointed and resolved to leave Lu and seek better opportunities, yet to leave at once would expose the misbehavior of the duke and therefore bring public humiliation to the ruler Confucius was serving. Confucius therefore waited for the duke to make a lesser mistake. Soon after, the duke neglected to send to Confucius a portion of the sacrificial meat that was his due according to custom, and Confucius seized upon this pretext to leave both his post and the Lu state. After Confucius's resignation, he began a long journey or set of journeys around the principality states of north-east and central China including Wey,
Song A song is a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an piece or work of , either or , the of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called s ...
, Zheng,
Cao Calcium oxide (CaO), commonly known as quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter ...
,
Chu Chu or CHU may refer to: Chinese history * Chu (state) (c. 1030 BC–223 BC), a state during the Zhou dynasty * Western Chu (206 BC–202 BC), a state founded and ruled by Xiang Yu * Chu Kingdom (Han dynasty) (201 BC–70 AD), a kingdom of the Han ...
, Qi,
Chen Chen may refer to: People *Chen (surname) Chen () () is a common East Asian surname and one of the most common surnames in the world. It is the most common surname in Taiwan (2010) and Singapore (2000). Chen is also the most common family na ...
, and Cai (and a failed attempt to go to Jin). At the courts of these states, he expounded his political beliefs but did not see them implemented.


Return home

According to the '' Zuozhuan'', Confucius returned home to his native Lu when he was 68, after he was invited to do so by Ji Kangzi, the chief minister of Lu. The ''Analects'' depict him spending his last years teaching 72 or 77 disciples and transmitting the old wisdom via a set of texts called the
Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world ...
. During his return, Confucius sometimes acted as an advisor to several government officials in Lu, including Ji Kangzi, on matters including governance and crime. Burdened by the loss of both his son and his favorite disciples, he died at the age of 71 or 72 from natural causes. Confucius was buried in which lies in the historical part of
Qufu Qufu ( ; ) is a city in southwestern Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
in the Shandong Province. The original tomb erected there in memory of Confucius on the bank of the Sishui River had the shape of an axe. In addition, it has a raised brick platform at the front of the memorial for offerings such as sandalwood incense and fruit.


Philosophy

Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, many argue that its values are secular and that it is, therefore, less a religion than a secular morality. Proponents argue, however, that despite the secular nature of Confucianism's teachings, it is based on a worldview that is religious. Confucianism discusses elements of the
afterlife The afterlife (also referred to as life after death or the world to come) is an existence in which the essential part of an individual's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group ...
and views concerning
Heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common religious cosmological or transcendent supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also ...

Heaven
, but it is relatively unconcerned with some spiritual matters often considered essential to religious thought, such as the nature of
souls In many religious, philosophical, and myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude ...
. In the ''
Analects The ''Analects'' (; ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...

Analects
'', Confucius presents himself as a "transmitter who invented nothing". He puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the
Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Chinese character
for study () that opens the text. Far from trying to build a systematic or formalist theory, he wanted his disciples to master and internalize older classics, so that their deep thought and thorough study would allow them to relate the moral problems of the present to past political events (as recorded in the ''Annals'') or the past expressions of commoners' feelings and noblemen's reflections (as in the poems of the '''').


Ethics

One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. Confucian ethics may, therefore, be considered a type of
virtue ethics Virtue ethics (also aretaic ethics, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...
. His teachings rarely rely on reasoned argument, and ethical ideals and methods are conveyed indirectly, through
allusion Allusion is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persu ...
,
innuendo An innuendo is a hint, insinuation An innuendo is a hint, insinuation or wikt:intimation, intimation about a person or thing, especially of a denigrating or a derogatory nature. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also ...
, and even tautology. His teachings require examination and context to be understood. A good example is found in this famous anecdote: :: ::When the stables were burnt down, on returning from court Confucius said, "Was anyone hurt?" He did not ask about the horses. :::::::''Analects'' X.11 (tr. Waley), 10–13 (tr.
LeggeLegge is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Alexander Legge (1866–1933), US businessman, president of International Harvester * Anthony Legge (1939–2013), British archaeologist specialized in zooarchaeology * Arthur Kaye Legge ...

Legge
), or X-17 (tr. Lau) By not asking about the horses, Confucius demonstrates that the sage values human beings over property (which animals seem to represent in this example); readers are led to reflect on whether their response would follow Confucius's and to pursue self-improvement if it would not have. One of his teachings was a variant of the
Golden Rule The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated. It is a maxim that is found in most religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, ...

Golden Rule
, sometimes called the " Silver Rule" owing to its negative form: :: ::"What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others." :: ::Zi Gong discipleasked: "Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?" The Master replied: "How about 'reciprocity'! Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." :::::::''Analects'' XV.24, tr. David Hinton Often overlooked in Confucian ethics are the virtues to the self: sincerity and the cultivation of knowledge. Virtuous action towards others begins with virtuous and sincere thought, which begins with knowledge. A virtuous disposition without knowledge is susceptible to corruption, and virtuous action without sincerity is not true righteousness. Cultivating knowledge and sincerity is also important for one's own sake; the superior person loves learning for the sake of learning and righteousness for the sake of righteousness.. The Confucian theory of ethics as exemplified in '' '' () is based on three important conceptual aspects of life: (a) ceremonies associated with sacrifice to ancestors and deities of various types, (b) social and political institutions, and (c) the etiquette of daily behavior. Some believed that ''lǐ'' originated from the heavens, but Confucius stressed the development of ''lǐ'' through the actions of sage leaders in human history. His discussions of ''lǐ'' seem to redefine the term to refer to all actions committed by a person to build the ideal society, rather than those simply conforming with canonical standards of ceremony. In the early Confucian tradition, ''lǐ'' was doing the proper thing at the proper time; balancing between maintaining existing norms to perpetuate an ethical social fabric, and violating them in order to accomplish ethical good. Training in the ''lǐ'' of past sages, cultivates virtues in people that include ethical judgment about when ''lǐ'' must be adapted in light of situational contexts. In Confucianism, the concept of ''li'' is closely related to ''yì'' (), which is based upon the idea of reciprocity. ''Yì'' can be translated as
righteousness Righteousness is the quality or state of being morally correct and justifiable. It can be considered synonymous with "rightness" or being "upright". It can be found in Indian religions Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religion ...
, though it may simply mean what is ethically best to do in a certain context. The term contrasts with action done out of
self-interest Self-interest generally refers to a focus on the needs or desires (''interests'') of one's . Most times, actions that display self-interest are often performed without conscious knowing. A number of , , and theories examine the role of self-inte ...
. While pursuing one's own self-interest is not necessarily bad, one would be a better, more righteous person if one's life was based upon following a path designed to enhance the greater good. Thus an outcome of ''yì'' is doing the right thing for the right reason. Just as action according to '' '' should be adapted to conform to the aspiration of adhering to ''yì'', so ''yì'' is linked to the core value of ''rén'' ().'' Rén'' consists of five basic virtues: seriousness, generosity, sincerity, diligence, and kindness.. ''Rén'' is the virtue of perfectly fulfilling one's responsibilities toward others, most often translated as "benevolence" or "humaneness"; translator
Arthur Waley Arthur David Waley (born Arthur David Schloss, 19 August 188927 June 1966) was an English orientalist Orientalist may refer to: *A scholar of Oriental studies *A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as ...
calls it "Goodness" (with a capital ''G''), and other translations that have been put forth include "authoritativeness" and "selflessness." Confucius's moral system was based upon
empathy Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of emotional s ...

empathy
and understanding others, rather than divinely ordained rules. To develop one's spontaneous responses of ''rén'' so that these could guide action intuitively was even better than living by the rules of ''yì''. Confucius asserts that virtue is a mean between extremes. For example, the properly generous person gives the right amount — not too much and not too little.


Politics

Confucius's political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He argued that the best government is one that rules through "rites" (''lǐ'') and people's natural morality, and ''not'' by using bribery and coercion. He explained that this is one of the most important analects: "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of the shame, and moreover will become good." (Translated by
James Legge James Legge (; 20 December 181529 November 1897) was a Scottish sinologist, missionary, and scholar, best known as an early and prolific translator of Classical Chinese texts into English. Legge served as a representative of the London Miss ...

James Legge
) in the
Great Learning The ''Great Learning'' or ''Daxue'' was one of the "Four Books The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a la ...
(). This "sense of shame" is an internalisation of
duty A duty (from "due" meaning "that which is owing"; fro, deu, did, past participle of ''devoir''; la, debere, debitum, whence "debt Debt is an obligation that requires one party, the debtor A debtor or debitor is a legal entity (legal ...

duty
, where the punishment precedes the evil action, instead of following it in the form of laws as in Legalism. Confucius looked nostalgically upon earlier days, and urged the Chinese, particularly those with political power, to model themselves on earlier examples. In times of division, chaos, and endless wars between feudal states, he wanted to restore the
Mandate of Heaven The Mandate of Heaven () is a Chinese political philosophy that was used in ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsconservatism Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of ae ...
, but a closer look at what he proposes often shows that he used (and perhaps twisted) past institutions and rites to push a new political agenda of his own: a revival of a unified royal state, whose rulers would succeed to power on the basis of their moral merits instead of lineage. These would be rulers devoted to their people, striving for personal and social
perfection Perfection is a state, variously, of completeness, flawlessness, or supreme excellence. The term is used to designate a range of diverse, if often kindred, concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive r ...

perfection
, and such a ruler would spread his own virtues to the people instead of imposing proper behavior with laws and rules. While Conficius supported the idea of government ruling by a virtuous king, his ideas contained a number of elements to limit the power of rulers. He argued for representing
truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In ...

truth
in language, and
honesty Honesty or truthfulness is a facet Facets () are flat faces on geometric shapes. The organization of naturally occurring facets was key to early developments in crystallography Crystallography is the experimental science of determining the ...
was of paramount importance. Even in
facial expression A facial expression is one or more motions or positions of the muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that ...
, truth must always be represented.. Confucius believed that if a ruler is to lead correctly, by action, that orders would be unnecessary in that others will follow the proper actions of their ruler. In discussing the relationship between a king and his subject (or a father and his son), he underlined the need to give due respect to superiors. This demanded that the subordinates must advise their superiors if the superiors are considered to be taking a course of action that is wrong. Confucius believed in ruling by example, if you lead correctly, orders by force or punishment are not necessary.


Music and Poetry

Confucius heavily promoted the use of music with rituals or the rites order. The scholar Li Zehou argued that Confucianism is based on the idea of rites. Rites serve as the starting point for each individual and that these sacred social functions allow each person's human nature to be harmonious with reality. Given this, Confucius believed that "music is the harmonization of heaven and earth; the rites is the order of heaven and earth." Thus the application of music in rites creates the order that makes it possible for society to prosper. The Confucian approach to music was heavily inspired by the
Shijing The ''Classic of Poetry'', also ''Shijing'' or ''Shih-ching'' (), translated variously as the ''Book of Songs'', ''Book of Odes'' or simply known as the ''Odes'' or ''Poetry'' (), is the oldest existing collection of , comprising 305 works dati ...
and the
Classic of Music The ''Classic of Music'' () was a Confucian classic Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the ...
, which was said to be the sixth Confucian classic until it was lost during the
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
. The Shijing serves as one of the current Confucian classics and is a book on poetry that contains a diversified variety of poems as well as folk songs. Confucius is traditionally ascribed with compiling these classics within his school. In the Analects, Confucius described the importance of the art in the development of society:
"The Master said, ‘My children, why do you not study the Book of Poetry? ‘The Odes serve to stimulate the mind. ‘They may be used for purposes of self-contemplation. ‘They teach the art of sociability. ‘They show how to regulate feelings of resentment. ‘From them you learn the more immediate duty of serving one’s father, and the remoter one of serving one’s prince. ‘From them we become largely acquainted with the names of birds, beasts, and plants.’"


Legacy

Confucius's teachings were later turned into an elaborate set of rules and practices by his numerous disciples and followers, who organized his teachings into the Analects. Confucius's disciples and his only grandson,
Zisi Zisi (; c. 481–402 BCE), born Kong Ji (孔伋), was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought" ...
, continued his philosophical school after his death. These efforts spread Confucian ideals to students who then became officials in many of the royal courts in China, thereby giving Confucianism the first wide-scale test of its
dogma Dogma is a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted. It may be in the form of an official system of principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior ...

dogma
. Two of Confucius's most famous later followers emphasized radically different aspects of his teachings. In the centuries after his death,
Mencius Mencius ( ); born Mèng Kē (); or Mengzi (; 372–289 BC) was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's R ...

Mencius
() and
Xun Zi Xun Kuang ( ; BCE, alt. BCE), also widely known as Xunzi (, "Master Xun"), was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the ...
() both composed important teachings elaborating in different ways on the fundamental ideas associated with Confucius.
Mencius Mencius ( ); born Mèng Kē (); or Mengzi (; 372–289 BC) was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's R ...

Mencius
() articulated the innate goodness in human beings as a source of the ethical intuitions that guide people towards ''rén'', ''yì'', and ''lǐ'', while
Xun Zi Xun Kuang ( ; BCE, alt. BCE), also widely known as Xunzi (, "Master Xun"), was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the ...
() underscored the realistic and materialistic aspects of Confucian thought, stressing that morality was inculcated in society through tradition and in individuals through training. In time, their writings, together with the ''Analects'' and other core texts came to constitute the philosophical corpus of Confucianism.. This realignment in Confucian thought was parallel to the development of Legalism, which saw filial piety as self-interest and not a useful tool for a ruler to create an effective state.A disagreement between these two political philosophies came to a head in when the Qin state conquered all of China.
Li Si Li Si (; 280 BCSeptember or October 208 BC) was a Chinese calligrapher, philosopher, and politician of the Qin dynasty. He served as Chancellor (China), Chancellor (or Prime Minister) from 246 to 208 BC under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang, the ki ...

Li Si
, Prime Minister of the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Francis Wade, during the mid-19th ...

Qin dynasty
, convinced
Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 259–210 BCE), or Shihuangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty, and first Emperor of China, emperor of a unified China. Rather than maintain the title of "Chinese king, king" ( ''wáng'') borne by the previous Shang dyna ...
to abandon the Confucians' recommendation of awarding fiefs akin to the
Zhou Dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China ...
before them which he saw as being against to the Legalist idea of centralizing the state around the ruler. When the Confucian advisers pressed their point, Li Si had many Confucian scholars killed and their books burned—considered a huge blow to the philosophy and Chinese scholarship. Under the succeeding
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...

Han
and Tang dynasties, Confucian ideas gained even more widespread prominence. Under , the works of Confucius were made the official imperial philosophy and required reading for civil service examinations in which was continued nearly unbroken until the end of the 19th century. As
Mohism Mohism or Moism () was an ancient Chinese philosophy Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was character ...
lost support by the time of the Han, the main philosophical contenders were Legalism, which Confucian thought somewhat absorbed, the teachings of
Laozi Lao Tzu (),"Lao Zi"
''
, whose focus on more spiritual ideas kept it from direct conflict with Confucianism, and the new
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
religion, which gained acceptance during the
Southern and Northern Dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding ...
era. Both Confucian ideas and Confucian-trained officials were relied upon in the
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming Dynasty
and even the
Yuan Dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
, although
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empir ...

Kublai Khan
distrusted handing over provincial control to them. During the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, the scholar
Zhu Xi Zhu Xi (; ; October 18, 1130 – April 23, 1200), Wade-Giles, W-G Chu Hsi, also known by his courtesy name Yuanhui (or Zhonghui), and self-titled Hui'an, was a Chinese Confucianism, Confucian scholar philosopher and government official of Son ...

Zhu Xi
() added ideas from
Daoism Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of c ...
and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
into Confucianism. In his life, Zhu Xi was largely ignored, but not long after his death, his ideas became the new orthodox view of what Confucian texts actually meant. Modern historians view Zhu Xi as having created something rather different and call his way of thinking ''
Neo-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism (, often shortened to ''lixue'' 理學, literally "School of Principle") is a morality, moral, ethics, ethical, and metaphysics, metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, and originated with Han Yu and Li Ao (p ...
''. Neo-Confucianism held sway in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam until the 19th century.. The works of Confucius were first translated into European languages by
Jesuit missionaries The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usu ...
in the 16th century during the late
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
. The first known effort was by
Michele Ruggieri Michele or Michael Ruggieri (1543– 11 May 1607), born Pompilio Ruggieri and known in China as Luo Mingjian, was an Italian Jesuit The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order of the Catholic Church The Catholi ...
, who returned to Italy in 1588 and carried on his translations while residing in
Salerno Salerno (, , ; nap, label=Neapolitan language, Salernitano, Saliernë, ) is an ancient city and ''comune'' in Campania (southwestern Italy) and is the capital of the province of Salerno, namesake province. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno o ...

Salerno
.
Matteo Ricci Matteo Ricci (; la, Mattheus Riccius; 6 October 1552 – 11 May 1610), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian ...
started to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and a team of Jesuits—
Prospero Intorcetta Prospero Intorcetta (1626–1696), known to the Chinese as Yin Duoze, was an Italian people, Italian Jesuit Jesuit China missions, missionary to the Qing Empire. Life Prospero Intorcetta was born in Piazza Armerina in 1626. Traveling with the Fle ...

Prospero Intorcetta
,
Philippe Couplet Philippe or Philip Couplet (1623–1693), known in China as Bai Yingli, was a Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch (), Belgian Dutch ( ), or South ...
, and two others—published a translation of several Confucian works and an overview of
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...

Chinese history
in Paris in 1687.. François Noël, after failing to persuade that Chinese veneration of ancestors and
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...
did not constitute idolatry, completed the Confucian canon at
Prague Prague ( ; cs, Praha ; german: Prag, ; la, Praga) is the capital and largest city A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people ...

Prague
in 1711, with more scholarly treatments of the other works and the first translation of the collected works of
Mencius Mencius ( ); born Mèng Kē (); or Mengzi (; 372–289 BC) was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's R ...

Mencius
. It is thought that such works had considerable importance on European thinkers of the period, particularly among the Deists and other philosophical groups of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment who were interested by the integration of the system of morality of Confucius into western world, Western civilization. In the modern era Confucian movements, such as
New Confucianism New Confucianism () is an intellectual movement of Confucianism , Shanxi Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a ...
, still exist, but during the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism was frequently attacked by leading figures in the Chinese Communist Party. This was partially a continuation of the condemnations of Confucianism by intellectuals and activists in the early 20th century as a cause of the ethnocentric close-mindedness and refusal of the Qing Dynasty to modernize that led to the tragedies that befell China in the 19th century.. Confucius's works are studied by scholars in many other Asian countries, particularly those in the Chinese cultural sphere, such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Many of those countries still hold the traditional memorial ceremony every year. Among Tibetans, Confucius is often worshipped as a holy king and master of magic, divination and astrology. Tibetan Buddhists see him as learning divination from the Buddha Manjushri (and that knowledge subsequently reaching Tibet through Princess Wencheng), while Bon practitioners see him as being a reincarnation of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, the legendary founder of Bon. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes Confucius was a Prophets of Islam, Divine Prophet of God, as were Lao-Tzu and other eminent Chinese personages. In modern times, 7853 Confucius, Asteroid 7853, "Confucius", was named after the Chinese thinker.


Disciples

Confucius began teaching after he turned 30, and taught more than 3,000 students in his life, about 70 of whom were considered outstanding. His disciples and the early Confucian community they formed became the most influential intellectual force in the Warring States period. The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian dedicated a chapter in his ''Records of the Grand Historian'' to the biographies of Confucius's disciples, accounting for the influence they exerted in their time and afterward. Sima Qian recorded the names of 77 disciples in his collective biography, while ''Kongzi Jiayu'', another early source, records 76, not completely overlapping. The two sources together yield the names of 96 disciples. 22 of them are mentioned in the ''
Analects The ''Analects'' (; ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...

Analects
'', while the ''Mencius (book), Mencius'' records 24. Confucius did not charge any tuition, and only requested a symbolic gift of a bundle of dried meat from any prospective student. According to his disciple Duanmu Ci, Zigong, his master treated students like doctors treated patients and did not turn anybody away. Most of them came from Lu, Confucius's home state, with 43 recorded, but he accepted students from all over China, with six from the state of Wey (state), Wey (such as Zigong), three from Qin (state), Qin, two each from
Chen Chen may refer to: People *Chen (surname) Chen () () is a common East Asian surname and one of the most common surnames in the world. It is the most common surname in Taiwan (2010) and Singapore (2000). Chen is also the most common family na ...
and Qi, and one each from Cai,
Chu Chu or CHU may refer to: Chinese history * Chu (state) (c. 1030 BC–223 BC), a state during the Zhou dynasty * Western Chu (206 BC–202 BC), a state founded and ruled by Xiang Yu * Chu Kingdom (Han dynasty) (201 BC–70 AD), a kingdom of the Han ...
, and
Song A song is a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an piece or work of , either or , the of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called s ...
. Confucius considered his students' personal background irrelevant, and accepted noblemen, commoners, and even former criminals such as Yan Zhuoju and Gongye Chang. His disciples from richer families would pay a sum commensurate with their wealth which was considered a ritual donation. Confucius's favorite disciple was Yan Hui, most probably one of the most impoverished of them all. Sima Niu, in contrast to Yan Hui, was from a hereditary noble family hailing from the Song state. Under Confucius's teachings, the disciples became well-learned in the principles and methods of government. He often engaged in discussion and debate with his students and gave high importance to their studies in history, poetry, and ritual. Confucius advocated loyalty to principle rather than to individual acumen, in which reform was to be achieved by persuasion rather than violence. Even though Confucius denounced them for their practices, the aristocracy was likely attracted to the idea of having trustworthy officials who were studied in morals as the circumstances of the time made it desirable. In fact, the disciple Zhong You, Zilu even died defending his ruler in Wey (state), Wey. Yang Hu, who was a subordinate of the Ji family, had dominated the Lu government from 505 to 502 and even attempted a coup, which narrowly failed. As a likely consequence, it was after this that the first disciples of Confucius were appointed to government positions. A few of Confucius's disciples went on to attain official positions of some importance, some of which were arranged by Confucius. By the time Confucius was 50 years old, the Ji family had consolidated their power in the Lu state over the ruling ducal house. Even though the Ji family had practices with which Confucius disagreed and disapproved, they nonetheless gave Confucius's disciples many opportunities for employment. Confucius continued to remind his disciples to stay true to their principles and renounced those who did not, all the while being openly critical of the Ji family.


Visual portraits

No contemporary painting or sculpture of Confucius survives, and it was only during the
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
that he was portrayed visually. Carvings often depict his legendary meeting with
Laozi Lao Tzu (),"Lao Zi"
''
. Since that time there have been many portraits of Confucius as the ideal philosopher. The oldest known portrait of Confucius has been unearthed in the tomb of the Han dynasty ruler Marquis of Haihun (died ). The picture was painted on the wooden frame to a polished bronze mirror. In former times, it was customary to have a portrait in Temple of Confucius, Confucius Temples; however, during the reign of Hongwu Emperor (Taizu) of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
, it was decided that the only proper portrait of Confucius should be in the Temple of Confucius, Qufu, temple in his home town,
Qufu Qufu ( ; ) is a city in southwestern Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
in Shandong. In other temples, Confucius is represented by a memorial tablet. In 2006, the China Confucius Foundation commissioned a standard portrait of Confucius based on the Tang dynasty portrait by Wu Daozi. The South Wall Frieze in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States depicts Confucius as a teacher of harmony, learning, and virtue.


Fictional portrayals

There have been two film adaptations of Confucius' life: Confucius (1940 film), ''Confucius'' (1940) starring Tang Huaiqiu, and Confucius (2010 film), ''Confucius'' (2010) starring Chow Yun-fat. In music, Tori Amos imagines Confucius as working on a crossword puzzle in her 1992 song "Happy Phantom."


Memorials

Soon after Confucius's death,
Qufu Qufu ( ; ) is a city in southwestern Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
, his home town, became a place of devotion and remembrance. The Han dynasty ''Records of the Grand Historian'' records that it had already become a place of pilgrimage for ministers. It is still a major destination for cultural tourism, and many people visit his grave and the surrounding temples. In Sinic cultures, there are many temples where representations of the Gautama Buddha, Buddha,
Laozi Lao Tzu (),"Lao Zi"
''
, and Confucius are found together. There are also many Temple of Confucius, temples dedicated to him, which have been used for Confucian ceremonies. Followers of Confucianism have a tradition of holding spectacular memorial ceremonies of Confucius () every year, using ceremonies that supposedly derived from Zhou Li () as recorded by Confucius, on the date of Confucius's birth. In the 20th century, this tradition was interrupted for several decades in mainland China, where the official stance of the Communist Party and the State was that Confucius and Confucianism represented reactionary Feudalism, feudalist beliefs which held that the subservience of the people to the Aristocracy (class), aristocracy is a part of the natural order. All such ceremonies and rites were therefore banned. Only after the 1990s did the ceremony resume. As it is now considered a veneration of Chinese history and tradition, even Communist Party members may be found in attendance. In Taiwan, where the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) strongly promoted Confucian beliefs in ethics and behavior, the tradition of the memorial ceremony of Confucius () is supported by the government and has continued without interruption. While not a national holiday, it does appear on all printed calendars, much as Father's Day or Christmas, Christmas Day do in the Western world. In South Korea, a grand-scale memorial ceremony called Seokjeon Daeje is held twice a year on Confucius's birthday and the anniversary of his death, at Hyanggyo, Confucian academies across the country and Sungkyunkwan in Seoul.


Descendants

Confucius's descendants were repeatedly identified and honored by successive imperial governments with titles of nobility and official posts. They were honored with the rank of a marquess, marquis 35 times since Gaozu of Han, Gaozu of the Han dynasty, and they were promoted to the rank of duke 42 times from the Tang dynasty to the Qing dynasty. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang first bestowed the title of "Duke Wenxuan" on Kong Suizhi of the 35th generation. In 1055, Emperor Renzong of Song first bestowed the title of "Duke Yansheng" on Kong Zongyuan of the 46th generation. During the Southern Song dynasty, the Duke Yansheng Kong Duanyou fled south with the Song Emperor to Quzhou in Zhejiang, while the newly established Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in the north appointed Kong Duanyou's brother Kong Duancao who remained in Qufu as Duke Yansheng. From that time up until the Yuan dynasty, there were two Duke Yanshengs, one in the north in Qufu and the other in the south at Quzhou. An invitation to come back to Qufu was extended to the southern Duke Yansheng Kong Zhu by the Yuan-dynasty Emperor Kublai Khan. The title was taken away from the southern branch after Kong Zhu rejected the invitation, so the northern branch of the family kept the title of Duke Yansheng. The southern branch remained in Quzhou where they live to this day. Confucius's descendants in Quzhou alone number 30,000. The Hanlin Academy rank of Wujing boshi w:zh:五經博士, 五經博士 was awarded to the southern branch at Quzhou by a Ming Emperor while the northern branch at Qufu held the title Duke Yansheng. The leader of the southern branch is 孔祥楷 Kong Xiangkai. In 1351, during the reign of Emperor Toghon Temür of the Yuan dynasty, 53rd-generation descendant Kong Huan ()'s 2nd son Kong Shao () moved from China to Korea during the Goryeo, Goryeo Dynasty, and was received courteously by Queen Noguk, Princess Noguk (the Mongolian-born wife of the future king Gongmin of Goryeo, Gongmin). After being naturalized as a Korean citizen, he changed the hanja of his name from "昭" to "紹" (both pronounced ''so'' in Korean), married a Korean woman and bore a son (Gong Yeo (), 1329–1397), therefore establishing the Changwon Gong clan (), whose ancestral seat was located in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. The clan then received an Korean nobility, aristocratic rank during the succeeding Joseon, Joseon Dynasty. In 1794, during the reign of King Jeongjo of Joseon, Jeongjo, the clan then changed its name to Qufu Kong clan, Gokbu Gong clan () in honor of Confucius's birthplace
Qufu Qufu ( ; ) is a city in southwestern Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
().
Famous descendants include actors such as Gong Yoo (real name Gong Ji-cheol (공지철)) & Gong Hyo-jin (공효진); and artists such as male idol group B1A4 member Gongchan (real name Gong Chan-sik (공찬식)), singer-songwriter Minzy (real name Gong Min-ji (공민지)), as well as her great-aunt traditional folk dancer :ko:공옥진, Gong Ok-jin (공옥진). Despite repeated dynastic change in China, the title of Duke Yansheng was bestowed upon successive generations of descendants until it was abolished by the Nationalist Government in 1935. The last holder of the title, Kung Te-cheng of the 77th generation, was appointed Sacrificial Official to Confucius. Kung Te-cheng died in October 2008, and his son, Kung Wei-yi, the 78th lineal descendant, had died in 1989. Kung Te-cheng's grandson, Kung Tsui-chang, the 79th lineal descendant, was born in 1975; his great-grandson, Kung Yu-jen, the 80th lineal descendant, was born in Taipei on January 1, 2006. Te-cheng's sister, Kong Demao, lives in mainland China and has written a book about her experiences growing up at the family estate in Qufu. Another sister, Kong Deqi, died as a young woman.. Many descendants of Confucius still live in Qufu today. A descendant of Confucius, H. H. Kung was the Premier of the Republic of China. One of his sons, Kong Lingjie w:zh:孔令傑, 孔令傑 married Debra Paget who gave birth to Gregory Kung (). Confucius's family, the Kongs, have the longest recorded extant pedigree in the world today. The father-to-son family tree, now in its 83rd generation, has been recorded since the death of Confucius. According to the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (CGCC), he has two million known and registered descendants, and there are an estimated three million in all.. Of these, several tens of thousands live outside of China. In the 14th century, a Kong descendant went to Korea, where an estimated 34,000 descendants of Confucius live today. One of the main lineages fled from the Kong ancestral home in
Qufu Qufu ( ; ) is a city in southwestern Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
during the Chinese Civil War in the 1940s and eventually settled in Taiwan. There are also branches of the Kong family who have converted to Islam after marrying Muslim women, in Dachuan in Gansu province in the 1800s, and in 1715 in Xuanwei in Yunnan province. Many of the Muslim Confucius descendants are descended from the marriage of Ma Jiaga (), a Muslim woman, and Kong Yanrong (), 59th generation descendant of Confucius in the year 1480 and are found among the Hui people, Hui and Dongxiang people, Dongxiang peoples. The new genealogy includes the Muslims. Kong Dejun () is a prominent Islamic scholar and Arabist from Qinghai province and a 77th generation descendant of Confucius. Because of the huge interest in the Confucius family tree, there was a project in China to test the DNA of known family members of the collateral branches in mainland China. Among other things, this would allow scientists to identify a common Y chromosome in male descendants of Confucius. If the descent were truly unbroken, father-to-son, since Confucius's lifetime, the males in the family would all have the same Y chromosome as their direct male ancestor, with slight mutations due to the passage of time. The aim of the genetic test was to help members of collateral branches in China who lost their genealogical records to prove their descent. However, in 2009, many of the collateral branches decided not to agree to DNA testing.. Bryan Sykes, professor of genetics at Oxford University, understands this decision: "The Confucius family tree has an enormous cultural significance," he said. "It's not just a scientific question." The DNA testing was originally proposed to add new members, many of whose family record books were lost during 20th-century upheavals, to the Confucian family tree. The main branch of the family which fled to Taiwan was never involved in the proposed DNA test at all. In 2013 a DNA test performed on multiple different families who claimed descent from Confucius found that they shared the same Y chromosome as reported by Fudan University. The fifth and most recent edition of the Confucius genealogy was printed by the CGCC. It was unveiled in a ceremony at Qufu on September 24, 2009.. Women are now included for the first time..


References


Citations


Bibliography

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Further reading

* Jonathan Clements, Clements, Jonathan (2008). ''Confucius: A Biography''. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England: Sutton Publishing. . * Confucius (1997). ''Lun yu'', (in English ''The Analects of Confucius''). Translation and notes by Simon Leys. New York: W.W. Norton. . * Confucius (2003). ''Confucius: Analects – With Selections from Traditional Commentaries''. Translated by E. Slingerland. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. (Original work published c. ) . * Herrlee Glessner Creel, Creel, Herrlee Glessner (1949). ''Confucius and the Chinese Way''. New York: Harper. * * Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2005). "Confucianism: An Overview". In Encyclopedia'' of Religion'' (Vol. C, pp. 1890–1905). Detroit: MacMillan Reference * * * * * * Sterckx, Roel. ''Chinese Thought. From Confucius to Cook Ding.'' London: Penguin, 2019. * Van Norden, B.W., ed. (2001). ''Confucius and the Analects: New Essays''. New York: Oxford University Press. . * Van Norden, B.W., trans. (2006). ''Mengzi'', in Philip J. Ivanhoe & B.W. Van Norden, ''Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy''. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. .


External links

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Multilingual web site on Confucius and the Analects

The Dao of Kongzi
introduction to the thought of Confucius. * * *
Confucian Analects
(Project Gutenberg release of James Legge's Translation)

in the ''Analects of Confucius''. {{Authority control Confucius, 551 BC births 479 BC deaths 6th-century BC historians 6th-century BC Chinese philosophers 6th-century BC Chinese poets 6th-century BC Chinese writers 5th-century BC historians 5th-century BC Chinese philosophers 5th-century BC Chinese poets 5th-century BC Chinese writers Aphorists Chinese educational theorists Chinese ethicists Chinese logicians Chinese political philosophers Classical humanists Confucianism Cultural critics Deified Chinese people Education theory Educators from Shandong Epistemologists Founders of philosophical traditions Founders of religions Gong clan of Qufu Guqin players Historians from Shandong Moral philosophers People from Qufu Politicians from Jining Philosophers from Lu (state) Philosophers from Shandong Philosophers of culture Philosophers of education Philosophers of ethics and morality Philosophers of law Chinese social commentators Social critics Social philosophers Writers from Jining Zhou dynasty historians Zhou dynasty philosophers Zhou dynasty poets Zhou dynasty politicians 5th-century BC Chinese musicians 6th-century BC Chinese musicians 6th-century BC religious leaders 5th-century BC religious leaders