Tag Archives: Ji Kangzi

Analects Book 2: contemporary figures

Although there is extensive (and inconclusive) debate over how high actually Confucius rose in the ranks of the bureaucracy of Lu, he was certainly extremely well connected with senior officials, members of the so-called Three Families that were the true powers in the state, and even its hereditary rulers. This gave him the opportunity to observe their character and behavior at first hand, and to offer them his counsel and wisdom (even if in most cases they chose to ignore it). Continue reading Analects Book 2: contemporary figures

Analects Book 2: on governance

Governance

Confucius lived during turbulent times of great political and social instability, in which the various feudal states that comprised the decaying Zhou dynasty were vying with each other for supremacy and the aristocracies within each state were fighting with the hereditary ruling families to gain more influence and power. Continue reading Analects Book 2: on governance

Ji Kangzi

Ji Kangzi (季康子) is the posthumous title given to Jisun Fei (季孫肥), the chief minister of Lu between 491 and 468 BC and head of the Jisun (季孫) clan, one of the notorious Three Families that ran the state. Although Confucius criticized him heavily for disrespecting the rites and introducing a field tax, Ji Kangzi invited him to return to Lu from his long exile at the request of his counselor Ran Qiu (冉求), who was also a disciple of the sage. Continue reading Ji Kangzi

Government affairs

冉子退朝,子曰:「何晏也?」對曰:「有政。」子曰:「其事也!如有政,雖不吾以,吾其與聞之!」
When Ran Qiu returned from court, Confucius said: “What kept you so long?” Ran Qiu replied: “Government affairs.” Confucius said: “Surely you mean private affairs. If it had been any government affairs I would have heard about them, even though I’m not in office.”

Confucius had a rather contentious relationship with his disciple Ran Qiu, who stayed on in the state of Lu after the sage went into exile in 497 BC and was subsequently appointed to a senior government position by  Ji Kangzi (季康子). Continue reading Government affairs

Homonyms and bandits

季康子問政於孔子,孔子對曰:「政者正也,子帥以正,孰敢不正?」
Ji Kangzi asked Confucius about governance. Confucius replied: “To govern is to be correct. If you show yourself to be correct, who would dare not to be correct?”

季康子患盜,問於孔子。孔子對曰:「苟子之不欲,雖賞之不竊。」
Ji Kangzi was troubled by bandits in the state of Lu and asked Confucius how to sort out the problem. Confucius replied: “If you were not avaricious yourself they wouldn’t rob you even if you paid them to.”

Leadership by example: Confucius returns to the subject time and time again in the Analects. What a pity that none of the worthies that he pitched the concept to never bothered to take it seriously. Continue reading Homonyms and bandits

An unnatural death

閔子侍側,誾誾如也;子路,行行如也;冉有、子貢,侃侃如也。子樂。若由也,不得其死然。
When at Confucius’s side, Min Ziqian looked respectful; Zilu looked feisty; Ran Qiu and Zigong looked relaxed. Confucius joked. “A man like Zilu will not die a natural death.”

Some succinct pen portraits that neatly crystalize the characters of four of Confucius’s closest disciples. Continue reading An unnatural death

A repeated question

季康子問:「弟子孰為好學?」孔子對曰:「有顏回者好學,不幸短命死矣!今也則亡。」
Ji Kangzi asked: “Which of your disciples loves learning?” Confucius replied: “There was Yan Hui who loved learning. Unfortunately, his life was cut short and he died. Now there is no one who loves learning as much as he did.”

This is almost a carbon copy of Chapter III of Book 6 of the Analects. The only differences are that it is Ji Kangzi, not Duke Ai, who pops the same question, and Confucius’s response is a little shorter:  Continue reading A repeated question