子貢曰：「貧而無諂，富而無驕，何如？」子曰：「可也，未若貧而樂，富而好禮者也。」子貢曰：「詩云：『如切如磋，如琢如磨』，其斯之謂與？」子曰：「賜也，始可與言詩已矣，告諸往而知來者。」 Zigong said: “’Poor but not subservient; wealthy but not arrogant.’ What do you think of that?” Confucius said: “Not bad, but this would be better still: ‘Poor but content; wealthy but loves ritual.’” Zigong said: “In the Book of Songs it is said: ‘Like carving and polishing stones, like cutting and grinding gems.’ Is this not the same idea?” Confucius said: “Wonderful, Zigong! At last I can discuss the Book of Songs with you! Based on what I’ve already said, you can work out what’s coming next!” (1) (2)
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→
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.
More by accident than design, I was lucky enough to finish off my travels this year with a weekend trip to Qufu, the hometown of Confucius and the site of the oldest and largest temple dedicated to the sage. The early winter weather was absolutely wonderful with its clear blue skies and sunshine, and the lack of tourists gave me the opportunity to explore the complex and other sites in the area virtually undisturbed. Continue reading Qufu Temple of Confucius→