Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Meng Yizi

Meng Yizi (孟懿子) is said to have been one of two young nobles from the state of Lu who were entrusted by their father Meng Xizi (孟僖子) to Confucius for tutoring when he was starting out as a teacher. Meng subsequently rose to become head of the Mengsun (孟孙) clan, one of the notorious Three Families that were the real power in behind the throne of the state of Lu. In Chapter 5 of Book 2, Confucius criticizes him obliquely for holding over-elaborate ceremonies that violated the conventions of ritual.

Meng was the father of Meng Wubo (孟武伯), who is featured in Chapter 6 of Book 2 and also asks Confucius about filial devotion. He may also have been the elder brother of Nan Rong (南容), who some scholars identify as Nangong Jingshu (南宮敬叔), the younger son of Meng Xizi, though others dispute this. 

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 2, Chapter 5

Book 2
Chapter 5
Meng Yizi asked Confucius about filial devotion. Confucius said: “Never disobey.” While Fan Chi was driving him in his chariot, Confucius told him: “Meng Yizi asked me about filial devotion and I replied: ‘Never disobey.’” Fan Chi asked: “What does that mean?” Confucius replied: “When your parents are alive, serve them according to ritual. When they die, bury them according to ritual and make sacrifices to them according to ritual.”

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