Category Archives: Confucius

Analects Book 1: Confucius in his own words

Happy Chinese New Year of the Rooster! It looks like we have some interesting times ahead of us. I’ve been taking advantage of the holiday to clean up my translation of The Analects and organize the materials into a book. Continue reading Analects Book 1: Confucius in his own words

Nishan: the traditional birthplace of Confucius

Cave of Confucius, Nishan
Cave of Confucius, Nishan

No trip to Qufu is complete without a visit to Nishan. Located in hardscrabble countryside just 30km southeast of the city, this humble hill is home to the cave in which, depending on which story you want to believe, Confucius was either born or taken to for feeding by a friendly tiger after being abandoned by his father (some versions say his mother) who considered him too ugly to be his heir. Continue reading Nishan: the traditional birthplace of Confucius

Kong Forest

Kong Forest, Qufu
Kong Forest, Qufu

The Kong Forest provides a much richer and more evocative symbol of the enduring prestige of the Kong family than the Kong Mansion. In addition to the graves of Confucius, his son, and grandson, it is home to the tombs, burial mounds, and memorial tablets and arches of over 3,000 other members of the family in beautiful wooded grounds that cover over 200 hectares. Continue reading Kong Forest

Qufu Temple of Confucius: the shrine to the sage’s wife

Shrine honoring the wife of Confucius, Temple of Confucius, Qufu
Shrine honoring the wife of Confucius, Temple of Confucius, Qufu

Tucked away towards the rear of the Temple of Confucius in Qufu is the Living Palace, which is home to a shrine honoring Qiguan Shi (亓官氏), the wife of Confucius, as a paragon of traditional Chinese womanhood. Continue reading Qufu Temple of Confucius: the shrine to the sage’s wife

Qufu Temple of Confucius

Lingxing Gate, Temple of Confucius, Qufu
Lingxing Gate, Temple of Confucius, Qufu

More by accident than design, I was lucky enough to finish off my travels this year with a weekend trip to Qufu, the hometown of Confucius and the site of the oldest and largest temple dedicated to the sage. The early winter weather was absolutely wonderful with its clear blue skies and sunshine, and the lack of tourists gave me the opportunity to explore the complex and other sites in the area virtually undisturbed. Continue reading Qufu Temple of Confucius

Analects Book 4: Resources

Book 4 provides some interesting insights into Confucius’s thinking about goodness – an ambiguous concept that even he was unable (or perhaps unwilling) to clearly define. In addition to plenty of advice on learning and the practice of filial piety, the book also features for the first time in the Analects examples of the sage’s condemnation of the profit motive – which, according to some commentators at least, not held back China’s economic development for two thousand years but also made the nation ill-prepared to fight off the invasions of the Western imperialist powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Continue reading Analects Book 4: Resources