Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: 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 BCE 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 ritual ceremonies 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 follower of the sage.

Additional Reading

Analects of Confucius Book 12: practical solutions and high-minded principles

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius

Book 2, Chapter 20
Book 6, Chapter 8
Book 10, Chapter 16
Book 11, Chapter 7
Book 11, Chapter 17
Book 12, Chapter 17
Book 12, Chapter 18
Book 12, Chapter 19
Book 14, Chapter 19

Book 2
Chapter 20
Ji Kangzi asked: “What should I do to make the people respectful, loyal, and diligent?” Confucius said: “Treat them with dignity, and they will be respectful. Be filial to your parents and kind to the young, and they will be loyal. Promote those who are capable and teach those who are not, and they will be diligent.”

Book 6
Chapter 8
Ji Kangzi asked: “Is Zilu fit for government office?” Confucius said: “Zilu is resolute. Why isn’t he fit for government office?” Ji Kangzi asked again: “Is Zigong fit for government office?” Confucius said: “Zigong is intelligent. Why isn’t he fit for government office?” Ji Kangzi asked again: “Is Ran Qiu fit to be appointed to government office?” Confucius said: “Ran Qiu has many talents. Why isn’t he fit for government office?”

Book 10
Chapter 16
When Ji Kangzi sent him some medicine, Confucius bowed as he accepted the gift but said: “Since I don’t know what this substance is, I dare not taste it.”

Book 11
Chapter 7
Ji Kangzi asked: “Which of your followers love learning?” Confucius replied: “There was Yan Hui who loved learning. Sadly, his life was cut short and he died. Now there’s nobody.”
Chapter 17
The head of the Ji Family was wealthier than the Duke of Zhou ever was, but Ran Qiu still assisted him with the collection of taxes to further increase his wealth. Confucius said: “He’s no longer my follower. You may beat the drum and attack him, my young friends.”

Book 12
Chapter 17
Ji Kangzi asked Confucius about governance. Confucius replied: “To govern effectively is to do the right thing. If you do the right thing who would dare not to do it?”

Chapter 18
Ji Kangzi was troubled by bandits in the state of Lu and asked Confucius how to sort out the problem. Confucius replied: “If you could get rid of your own avaricious desires, they wouldn’t steal even if you paid them to.”

Chapter 19
Ji Kangzi asked Confucius about governance, saying: “What would you think if I were to execute people who don’t follow the way in order to advance the people who do follow the way?” Confucius replied: “You are here to govern; what need is there to execute people? If you desire goodness, the people will be good. The virtue of a leader is like the wind; the virtue of the common people is like the grass. When the wind blows over the grass it will surely bend.”

Book 14
Chapter 19
Confucius said that Duke Ling of Wei didn’t follow the way. Ji Kangzi said: “If this is the case, how come he hasn’t lost his state?” Confucius said: “He has Kong Wenzi looking after guests and foreign delegations, Zhu Tuo taking care of the ancestral temple, and Wangsun Jia in charge of defense. With such officials as these, how could he possibly lose his state?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *