Historical figures in the Analects of Confucius: Ji Wenzi

Ji Wenzi (季文子) was the posthumous title given to Jisun Xingfu (季孫行父), the most influential minister in Confucius’s home state of Lu (魯) serving three dukes between 600 and 568 BCE.

Ji was the head of the the Jisun (季孫) clan, one of the notorious Three Families that ran Lu in reality if not in name, though he is reported to have governed the state with great integrity during a very tumultuous period of its history.

Known for his austere lifestyle, Ji was also popular with the common people due to his efforts to promote talent and aid the poor. He died in 568 BCE – over fifteen years before the birth of Confucius in 551 BCE.

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 5, Chapter 20

Book 5
Chapter 20
季文子三思而後行。子聞之,曰:「再斯可矣。」
Ji Wenzi always thought three times before taking action. When he heard this, Confucius said: “Twice is quite sufficient.”

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