While my trip to Qufu was definitely the highlight of my travels this year, I do think I should give an honorable mention to the Tanzhe Temple in the Western Hills just outside Beijing. Continue reading Tanzhe Temple, Beijing Western Hills
A spirited discussion about books at lunchtime inspired me to put together a short list of ones I would recommend from this year. Continue reading From Shoe Dog to Effortless Action: Favorite 2016 Books
The history of Qufu stretches back far beyond the lifetime of the Confucius to the dawn of recorded antiquity when the foundations of the Chinese state were laid by the mythical sages known as The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. Continue reading Shouqiu and the Tomb of Shaohao
Mencius is second only to Confucius in the Confucian pantheon. Born in 372 BC, just over a hundred years after the sage’s death, he was also born in the state of Lu only twenty or so kilometers away from Qufu in the small town of Zoucheng. Continue reading Temple of Mencius and Meng Family Mansion
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
The Temple of Yan Hui may not be as large and grandiose as the Temple of Confucius, but it has a tranquil beauty that makes it well worth a visit. The temple is a fifteen-minute walk from the exit of the Kong Mansion. You can stop off there before heading on to the Kong Forest. Continue reading Temple of Yan Hui
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
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.