Tag Archives: Nan Rong

Biography of Mengpi: the elder step-brother of Confucius

step-brother of Confucius

Mengpi (孟皮), the elder step-brother of Confucius, was the son of the first wife of their father Shuliang He (叔梁纥) and had nine sisters. Although he was the only son of the couple, Mengpi had a handicapped foot that meant he wasn’t considered eligible to carry on the family name. Desperate for an heir, Shuliang took Confucius’s mother Yan Zhengzai (颜徵在) as his concubine or second wife while in his early sixties to preserve the family line.

Shuliang died only three years after Confucius’s birth in 548 BCE, leaving Zhengzai and Confucius poor and of uncertain social status because of the cloudy circumstances of their marriage. Unable or unwilling to live with Shuliang’s first wife and daughters, Zhengzai is said to have returned to her father’s home together with her son and Mengpi – who was presumably regarded as a burden by his birth mother. Continue reading Biography of Mengpi: the elder step-brother of Confucius

Leadership lessons from Confucius: a sensible choice

sensible choice

子謂南容,「邦有道不廢,邦無道免於刑戮。」以其兄之子妻之。
Confucius said of Nan Rong: “In a well-governed state, he will not be overlooked for an official position. In a badly-governed state, he will avoid punishment and disgrace.” Confucius arranged for him to marry his niece. (1) (2)

What are the qualities you would prize in a business or life partner? Would you look for someone who is more outgoing and ambitious than you are to move things forward faster than you would be able to? Or would you go for someone who is calmer and more measured than you are who would bring more stability to the union? Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: a sensible choice

White jade scepter

南容三復白圭,孔子以其兄之子妻之。
Nan Rong constantly repeated a refrain from the poem “white jade scepter”. Confucius gave him his elder brother’s daughter in marriage.

Nan Rong was first mentioned in Chapter II of Book 5 of the Analects in which Confucius gave him the hand of his niece because: “In a well-governed state, he will not be overlooked for an official position. In a badly-governed state, he will avoid punishment and disgrace.” Continue reading White jade scepter