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A temple of Confucius
Confucius
or Confucian temple is a temple for the veneration of Confucius
Confucius
and the sages and philosophers of Confucianism in Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion
and other East Asian religions. They were formerly the site of the administration of the imperial examination in China and Vietnam
Vietnam
and often housed schools and other studying facilities.

Contents

1 Names 2 History 3 Structure 4 Worship 5 Outside mainland China

5.1 Hong Kong 5.2 Taiwan 5.3 Vietnam 5.4 Korea 5.5 Japan 5.6 Indonesia 5.7 Malaysia

6 List of temples 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Names[edit] The temples are known by a variety of names throughout East Asia. The two greatest temples in Qufu
Qufu
and Beijing are now known in Chinese as "Temples of Confucius" (Kǒngmiào). In Shanghai, Vietnam, Korea, and Indonesia, they are known as "Temples of Literature" (Chinese: wénmiào; Vietnamese: văn miếu; Korean: munmyo; Indonesian: boen bio) or "Temples of the Sage of Literature" (Vietnamese: văn thánh miếu). In Southern China, however, temples by that name generally honor Wenchang Wang, a separate deity associated with the scholar Zhang Yazi. In Japan, they are usually known as "Temples" or "Halls of the Sage" (Japanese: seibyō or seidō, respectively). History[edit]

Hall of Great Perfection (Dacheng Hall) of the Confucius
Confucius
temple in Qufu

The development of state temples devoted to the cult of Confucius
Confucius
was an outcome of his gradual canonisation. In 195 BC, Han Gao Zu, founder of the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
(r. 206–195 BC), offered a sacrifice to the spirit of Confucius
Confucius
at his tomb in Qufu. Sacrifices to the spirit of Confucius
Confucius
and that of Yan Hui, his most prominent disciple, began in the Imperial University (Biyong) as early as 241. In 454, the Liu Song
Liu Song
dynasty of southern China built a prominent state Confucian temple. In 489, the Northern Wei
Northern Wei
constructed a Confucian temple in the capital, the first outside of Qufu
Qufu
in the north. In 630, the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
decreed that schools in all provinces and counties should have a Confucian temple, as a result of which temples spread throughout China. Well-known Confucian shrines include the Confucian Temple
Temple
in Jianshui, the Confucian Temple
Temple
in Xi'an
Xi'an
(now the Forest of Steles), the Fuzi Miao in Nanjing, and the Confucian Temple
Temple
in Beijing, first built in 1302. The Confucian Temple
Temple
of old Tianjin is located on Dongmennei Dajie, a short distance west of Traditional Culture Street (Gu Wenhua Jie). Occupying 32 acres of land, The Confucian Temple
Temple
is the largest extant traditional architectural complex in Tianjin. The largest and oldest Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
is found in Confucius' hometown, present-day Qufu
Qufu
in Shandong
Shandong
Province. It was established in 479 BC, one year after Confucius's death, at the order of the Duke Ai of the State of Lu, who commanded that the Confucian residence should be used to worship and offer sacrifice to Confucius. The temple was expanded repeatedly over a period of more than 2,000 years until it became the huge complex currently standing. There is another temple in Quzhou. In addition to Confucian temples associated with the state cult of Confucius, there were also ancestral temples belonging to the Kong lineage, buildings commemorating Confucius's deeds throughout China, and private temples within academies. Structure[edit]

The gates of the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Datong, Shanxi.

Beginning in the Tang dynasty (618–907), Confucian temples were built in prefectural and county schools throughout the empire, either to the front of or on one side of the school.[1] The front gate of the temple is called the Lingxing Gate (simplified Chinese: 棂星门; traditional Chinese: 欞星門). Inside there are normally three courtyards, although sometimes there are only two. However, the complex in Qufu
Qufu
has nine courtyards containing scores of steles commemorating visits by an emperor or imperial grants of noble titles upon descendants of Confucius. The main building, situated in the inner courtyard with entry via the Dachengmen (simplified Chinese: 大成门; traditional Chinese: 大成門), is called the Dachengdian (Chinese: 大成殿), variously translated as "Hall of Great Achievement", "Hall of Great Completion", or "Hall of Great Perfection". In imperial China, this hall housed the Spirit Tablets (Chinese: 神位) of Confucius
Confucius
and those of other important sages (simplified Chinese: 圣; traditional Chinese: 聖) and worthies (simplified Chinese: 贤; traditional Chinese: 賢). In front of the Dachengdian in Qufu
Qufu
is the Apricot Pavilion or Xingtan (simplified Chinese: 杏坛; traditional Chinese: 杏壇). Another important building behind the main building is the Shrine of Adoring the Sage (Chongshengci simplified Chinese: 崇圣祠; traditional Chinese: 崇聖祠), which honoured the ancestors of Confucius
Confucius
and the fathers of the Four Correlates and Twelve Philosophers.

Main hall of the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Ningbo, Zhejiang.

Unlike Daoist
Daoist
or Buddhist
Buddhist
temples, Confucian temples do not normally have images. In the early years of the temple in Qufu, it appears that the spirits of Confucius
Confucius
and his disciples were represented with wall paintings and clay or wooden statues. Official temples also contained images of Confucius
Confucius
himself. However, there was opposition to this practice, which was seen as imitative of Buddhist
Buddhist
temples.[2] It was also argued that the point of the imperial temples was to honour Confucius's teachings, not the man himself. The lack of unity in likenesses in statues of Confucius
Confucius
first led Emperor Taizu of the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
to decree that all new Confucian temples should contain only spirit tablets and no images. In 1530, it was decided that all existing images of Confucius
Confucius
should be replaced with spirit tablets in imperial temples in the capital and other bureaucratic locations; nevertheless many modern Confucian temples do feature statues. Statues also remained in temples operated by Confucius's family descendants, such as that in Qufu. Worship[edit]

Prayer plaques in a temple of Confucius

The state cult of Confucius
Confucius
centred upon offering sacrifices to Confucius's spirit in the Confucian temple.

Aak
Aak
musicians at a Confucian ceremony in Munmyo
Munmyo
Shrine, Korea

A dance known as the Eight-Row Dance (八佾舞), consisting of eight columns of eight dancers each, was also performed. Originally this was a Six-Row Dance, as performed for the lesser aristocracy, but in 1477 Confucius
Confucius
was allowed the imperial honour of the eight-row dance since he posthumously received the title of king. Musicians who accompanied this dance played a form of music termed yayue. In addition to worshipping Confucius, Confucian temples also honour the "Four Correlates", the "Twelve Philosophers", and other disciples and Confucian scholars through history. The composition and number of figures worshipped changed and grew through time. Since temples were a statement of Confucian orthodoxy, the issue of which Confucians to enshrine was a controversial one.

The Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Jiading, now a suburb of Shanghai. The Jiading Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
now operates a museum devoted to the imperial exam formerly administered at the temples.

By the Republican period (20th century), there were a total of 162 figures worshipped. The Four Correlates are Yan Hui, Zeng Shen, Kong Ji (Zisi), and Mencius. The Twelve Philosophers are Min Sun
Min Sun
(Ziqian), Ran Geng
Ran Geng
(Boniu), Ran Yong
Ran Yong
(Zhonggong), Zai Yu (Ziwo), Zi-gong, Ran You, Zi-Lu, Zi-You, Zi-Xia, Zi-Zhang, You Ruo, and Zhu Xi. A list of disciples of Confucius
Confucius
and their place in the Confucian temple can be found at Disciples of Confucius.

The Hall of Great Achievement of the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Harbin, Heilongjiang.

Outside mainland China[edit] With the spread of Confucian learning throughout East Asia, Confucian temples were also built in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. Starting in the 18th century, some were even built in Europe and the Americas. At their height, there are estimated to have been over 3,000 Confucian temples in existence. Hong Kong[edit] The bill allowing for the building of the very first Confucian Temple in Hong Kong, proposed by the Confucian Academy, passed in September 2013. The location of the temple was decided to be near the famous Taoist temple, Wong Tai Sin Temple, in Wong Tai Sin District.[3] Taiwan[edit] The first Confucian temple in Taiwan
Taiwan
to be constructed was the Taiwan Confucian Temple, which was built during the period of Tungning Kingdom in 1665 in Tainan. A more recent one, the Taipei
Taipei
Confucius Temple, was built on Wenwu Street in Taipei
Taipei
in 1879, torn down by Japanese in 1907 to make place for the Taipei
Taipei
First Girls' High School, and re-erected on Dalong Street from 1925 to 1939. The new temple was designed by Wang Yi-Shun, who also oversaw its construction. The design is an example of typical Fujian
Fujian
temple style. Every year on September the 28th, the birthday of Confucius, city authorities hold the Shidian (Chinese: 釋奠) Ceremony here. In addition, there is a Confucian temple located in Zuoying
Zuoying
District of Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung
that was completed in 1974 in the Northern Song architectural style. Other Confucian Temples are found in Chiayi City, Taipei, Taichung and Changhua County. Vietnam[edit] A Confucian Temple
Temple
in Vietnam
Vietnam
is called Văn Miếu.[4] The earliest recorded Văn Miếu in Vietnam
Vietnam
is the Văn Miếu, Hanoi, established in 1070. After 1397, with the construction of schools throughout Vietnam
Vietnam
under the Tran, Confucian temples began to spread throughout the country. Another renowned Vietnamese Confucian temple is the Văn Miếu, Hưng Yên, located in Hưng Yên City. Well-known Confucian temples were built in Huế, Tam Kỳ, Hội An, Hưng Yên, Hải Dương, Biên Hòa, Vĩnh Long
Vĩnh Long
and Bắc Ninh. Korea[edit] Outside China, the largest number of Confucian temples is found in Korea. Temples were first built during the Goryeo
Goryeo
period (918–1392). In the time of Yi Seonggye
Yi Seonggye
(r. 1392–1398), it was decreed that Confucian temples should be built in all areas of the nation. Although Chinese models were followed, variations in layout and construction were common, such as the building of schools in front of temples. Korea
Korea
also added its own scholars (the eighteen scholars of the East) to the Confucian pantheon. Historically, Korea
Korea
had a total of 362 temples devoted to the cult of Confucius. After World War II
World War II
and the division of the country, those in the North were converted to other uses. However, many of the 232 temples in the South continued their activities (see Munmyo). In addition to temples devoted to the cult of Confucius, the Republic of Korea
Korea
also has twelve Confucian family temples, two temples in private schools, and three libraries. Japan[edit] Confucian temples (孔子廟, kōshi-byō) were also widely built in Japan, often in conjunction with Confucian schools. The most famous is the Yushima Seido, built in 1630 during the Edo period as a private school connected with the Neo-Confucianist scholar Hayashi Razan. Originally built in Shinobi-ga-oka in Ueno, it was later moved to Yushima (Ochanomizu) by the Tokugawa Shogunate and reopened as a school of Confucianism
Confucianism
to spread the teachings of the Hayashi school. Other well-known Confucian temples are found in Nagasaki, Bizen, Okayama prefecture; Taku, Saga
Taku, Saga
prefecture; and Naha, Okinawa prefecture.[citation needed] Indonesia[edit]

A Confucian church
Confucian church
in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Main article: Confucian church Confucian temples are also found in Indonesia, where they are often known as "Churches of Confucius" as Confucianism
Confucianism
is a recognised religion in that country. In Chinese, these establishments are known as litang (礼堂) or "halls of worship". The largest and oldest is the Boen Bio in Surabaya, originally built in the city's Chinatown
Chinatown
in 1883 and moved to a new site in 1907. There are reportedly more than 100 Confucianist halls of worship throughout Indonesia. Malaysia[edit] The first Confucian temple in Malaysia was built within a primary school known as Chung Hwa Confucian School (which has since split into SJK(C) Chung Hwa Confucian A, B and SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian) in Penang, in the early 20th Century. The building of the school was initiated by the Qing
Qing
dynasty ambassador to the British Straits Settlement at that time. In those days parents in Penang
Penang
brought their children to this temple for prayer before they began their schooling. The children prayed for excellence in their studies. There are also 2 Confucian schools in Kuala Lumpur, namely SMJK Confucian and Confucian Private School, and a Confucian school in Malacca
Malacca
where ceremonies in honour of Confucius
Confucius
are held annually. List of temples[edit] This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

The Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The Daizhou Confucian Temple
Temple
in Dai County, Shanxi.

Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Qufu, China (Confucius's home town) Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Beijing, China Temple
Temple
of the Master in Nanjing, China Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Shanghai, China Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Suzhou, China Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Jianshui, Yunnan, China (建水文庙) Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Daixian, Shanxi, China Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Taipei, Taiwan Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Kaohsiung, Taiwan Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Tainan, Taiwan
Taiwan
(" Taiwan
Taiwan
Confucian Temple") Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Changhua, Taiwan Confucius
Confucius
Shrine, the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Nagasaki, Japan Shiseibyō, the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Naha, Okinawa, Japan Seibyō, the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Taku, Japan Yushima Seidō, the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Tokyo, Japan Munmyo, the Temple
Temple
of Confucius
Confucius
in Seoul, South Korea Văn Miếu in Hanoi, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Hưng Yên, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Hải Dương, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Bắc Ninh, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Nghệ An, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Khánh Hòa, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Đồng Nai, Vietnam Văn Miếu in Vĩnh Long, Vietnam

See also[edit]

Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius Confucian churches Wenchang Wang

References[edit]

^ Liu, Xu. Tang shu 唐書. Beijing: Zhonghua shuji. p. 15.373.  ^ Sommer, Deborah (2002). "Destroying Confucius: Iconoclasm in the Confucian Temple". On Sacred Grounds: Culture, Society, Politics and the Formation of the Cult of Confucius: 95–133.  ^ "孔廟黃大仙新地標" [Wong Tai Sin Temple
Temple
of Confucius landmark]. The Sun (in Chinese). Hong Kong. 11 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013.  ^ "Dịch hai chữ Văn Miếu ra tiếng Tây". 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Confucian temples.

Images of the Temple
Temple
of Culture, with detailed history of Confucian temples Full Virtual Walk & Info on Confucius
Confucius
Temple, Beijing Asian Historical Architecture: Fuzimiao in Nanjing Asian Historical Architecture: Confucian temple in Suzhou The Confucian temple in Tainan Surabaya, with description of Boen Bio The Taipe

.