Tag Archives: Confucius on women

Biography of Qiguan Shi: the wife of Confucius

wife of Confucius

The wife of Confucius was a woman from his ancestral state of Song with the family name of Qiguan (亓官). Her first name isn’t known. She is often referred to as Qiguan Shi (亓官氏) or Lady Qiguan.

Confucius married her in 533 BCE at the age of 19.  A year later, Qiguan bore the couple’s only son Boyu (伯魚). She and Confucius are believed to have had two daughters as well, both of whose names are unknown. One of them probably died at an early age, while the other was married off by Confucius to a convicted criminal called Gongye Chang (公冶長), who he deemed “would make a good husband” and be declared “innocent” of his alleged crime. There are no records of whether Confucius consulted his wife or daughter about this decision. Presumably, given the prevailing customs of the time, the answer is negative. Continue reading Biography of Qiguan Shi: the wife of Confucius

Analects of Confucius Book 8: resources

Here is a list of resources covering Book 8 of the Analects of Confucius. You can click on the links below to learn more about the main themes of the book:

Analects of Confucius Book 8: translation
Analects of Confucius Book 8: overview 

Here is a list of articles I have written about each chapter in the book. Again, click on the links to learn more. Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 8: resources

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: are talented people hard to find?

talented people

舜有臣五人,而天下治。武王曰:「予有亂臣十人。」孔子曰:「才難,不其然乎,唐虞之際,於斯為盛,有婦人焉,九人而已。三分天下有其二,以服事殷,周之德,其可謂至德也已矣。」
Shun ruled his empire with only five ministers. King Wu of Zhou said: “I have ten able ministers to keep everything in order.” Confucius said: “Talented people are hard to find: are they not? The times of Yao and Shun were said to be rich in talent, but King Wu was only able to find nine such men because one of his ministers was a woman. Although the Zhou controlled over two-thirds of the empire, it still served the Shang. You can truly say that the virtue of the Zhou was supreme.”

Is it true that talented people are hard to find? It can be tempting to think so when you read about skills shortages in hot new fields like data science and hear your colleagues complain about how tough it is to hire qualified staff. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: are talented people hard to find?

Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Nanzi

Nanzi (南子) was the consort or wife of Duke Ling of Wei (衛靈公) and took part in the most scandalous incident of Confucius’s life. She gained an unsavory reputation for political scheming and loose morals and was widely believed to have been the real power behind the throne during the tumultuous later years of the duke’s reign (543 – 493 BCE).

Nanzi was at the height of her powers when Confucius arrived in Wei after leaving his home state of Lu for exile in 496 BCE. She was anxious to meet the famous sage but had to send multiple invitations before he finally agreed to attend an audience with her. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Nanzi