Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Zhu Tuo

Zhu Tuo (祝鮀) was a minister of the state of Wei responsible for the administration of its ancestral temple and other ritual matters. Confucius probably met him when he visited Wei in 496 BCE after leaving his home state of Lu for exile. 

Although Confucius voices his suspicion of of Zhu Tuo’s “smooth tongue” in 6.16 of the Analects, he does go on to commend him in 14.19 for the vital role he played along with his two fellow ministers Wangsun Jia and Kong Wenzi in keeping Wei functioning while it was under the capricious rule of the louche Duke Ling and and his lascivious consort Nanzi. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Zhu Tuo

Followers of Confucius: Yuan Xian

Yuan Xian (原憲) was also known by the courtesy name of Zisi (子思) and the name of Yuan Si (原思). Born into a poor family either in the state of Song (宋) or state of Lu (魯) in around 515 BCE, he was over thirty years younger than Confucius and was noted for the excessive, some might say ostentatious, zeal with which pursuing a path of fastidious purity.

Even Confucius was moved to criticize Yuan for going too far. In Chapter 5 of Book 6, the sage tells him that he shouldn’t decline the salary that goes with the job of steward that he offers him. Continue reading Followers of Confucius: Yuan Xian

Historical figures in the Analects of Confucius: Guan Zhong

As the chief minister of Duke Huan of Qi (齊桓公), Guan Zhong (管仲) was the driving force behind the transformation of the state into an economic, military, and political superpower in the first half of the seventh century BCE.

Born in 720 BCE, Guan Zhong managed to work his way out of an impoverished family background thanks in large part to his close friendship with the much wealthier and more influential Bao Shuya (鮑叔牙). The two men grew up in the same town of Yingshang in modern-day Anhui province, and became business partners. Guan Zhong reportedly took most of the profits from these, though Bao Shuya didn’t seem to mind because he sympathized with his friend’s poor background and was hugely impressed with his talents. Continue reading Historical figures in the Analects of Confucius: Guan Zhong

Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Ji Kangzi

Ji Kangzi (季康子) was the chief minister of Lu between 491 and 468 BCE and the head of the Ji Family, one of the notorious Three Families that were the true power behind the throne of the state.

Ji Kangzi had a very close relationship with Ran Qiu, one of Confucius’s most prominent followers, and employed him as his steward (宰/zǎi). After Ran Qiu successfully led the defense of Lu against an invasion from the state of Qi, he persuaded Ji to invite the sage to return to Lu after fourteen years of exile in 484 BCE. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Ji Kangzi

Contemporary figures in the Analects

Many contemporary figures who Confucius knew either by person or reputation pop up in the Analects like members of a large supporting cast for an epic movie or stage production. They are listed here in the order of their first appearance in the Analects.

Meng Yizi/孟懿子
Meng Wubo/孟武伯
Duke Ai of Lu/魯哀公
Ji Kangzi/季康子
Wangsun Jia/王孫賈
Duke Ding of Lu/魯定公
Zichan/子產
Yan Pingzhong/晏平仲
Zuo Qiuming/左丘明
Zisang Bozi/桑伯子
Meng Zhifan/孟之反
Priest Tuo/祝鮀
Song Chao/宋朝
Nanzi/南子
Duke Chu of Wei/衛出公
Duke of She/葉公
Huan Tui/桓魋
Chen Sibai/陳司敗
Duke Zhao of Lu/魯昭公
Wu Mengzi/吳孟子
Meng Jingzi/孟敬子
Music Master Zhi/師摯

Confucius in his own words: Analects Book 4

There are a lot of great quotes from Confucius in Book 4 of the Analects.  There’s no doubt in my mind that if he were alive today, he would have been able to more than hold his own as political pundit on TV with his strong opinions and (in Classical Chinese at least) snappy sound bites.  Continue reading Confucius in his own words: Analects Book 4

In-vehicle system design & development presentation at IoT Devcon 2016

I thought I might as well complete a SlideShare hat trick today with this link to the presentation I gave at IoT Devcon 2016 in Santa Clara last week. While there’s no doubt about the potential of the smart transportation market, it’s important not to get too carried away by the huge numbers that are being so breathlessly bandied about. Designing and manufacturing ultra-safe and ultra-reliable smart vehicles in massive volumes is going to be far more challenging than churning out billions of PCs and smart phones! Continue reading In-vehicle system design & development presentation at IoT Devcon 2016