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Despite repeated dynastic change in China, the title of Duke Yansheng was bestowed upon successive generations of descendants until it was abolished by the Nationalist Government in 1935. The last holder of the title, Kung Te-cheng of the 77th generation, was appointed Sacrificial Official to Confucius. Te-Cheng died in October 2008, and his son, Kung Wei-yi, the 78th lineal descendant, had died in 1989. Kung Te-cheng's grandson, Kung Tsui-chang, the 79th lineal descendant, was born in 1975; his great-grandson, Kung Yu-jen, the 80th lineal descendant, was born in Taipei on January 1, 2006. Te-Cheng's sister, Kong Demao, lives in mainland China and has written a book about her experiences growing up at the family estate in Qufu. Another sister, Kong Deqi, died as a young woman.

Confucius' descendants were repeatedly identified and honored by successive imperial governments with titles of nobility and official posts. They were honored with the rank of a marquis thirty-five times since Gaozu of the Han Dynasty, and they were promoted to the rank of duke forty-two times from the Tang Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang first bestowed the title of "Duke Wenxuan" on Kong Suizhi of the 35th generation. In 1055, Emperor Renzong of Song first bestowed the title of "Duke Yansheng" on Kong Zongyuan of the 46th generation.

During the Song Dynasty, the scholar Zhu Xi (1130-1200 CE) added ideas from and into Confucianism. In his life, Zhu Xi was largely ignored, but not long after his death his ideas became the new orthodox view of what Confucian texts actually meant. Modern historians view Zhu Xi as having created something rather different, and call his way of thinking . Both Confucian ideas and Confucian-trained officials were relied upon in the Ming Dynasty and even the Yuan Dynasty, although Kublai Khan distrusted handing over provincial control. In the modern era Confucian movements, such as New Confucianism, still exist but during the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism was frequently attacked by leading figures in the Communist Party of China. This was partially a continuation of the condemnations of Confucianism by intellectuals and activists in the early 20th Century as a cause of the ethnocentric close-mindedness and refusal of the Qing Dynasty to modernize that led to the tragedies that befell China in the 19th Century.

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During the Han dynasty, four main Confucian books were canonized and became the core education and culture in China. Despite the strong influence of Buddhism and Daoism, Confucian ethics had the strongest influence on the moral fabric of the Han dynasty. Further, during the Han dynasty, Confucius was presented as possessing nominal insight and enjoying a special relationship with heaven. His physical appearance was likened to the sage-kings of the past and understood to be an emblem of his sage-hood. In the Mengzi, already Mencius made use of the popular belief that a great sage comes forth at the end of every 500 years to rule China. This made Mencius refer to Confucius as a master for his generation, suggesting that he had been neglected at the time by the corrupt rulers of the era. Actually, the Han dynasty exhumed some texts and presented them as esoteric and secret teachings of Confucianism. Moreover, in the development of the Han dynasty, beliefs were held that its rulers were instantiating the chizhi, what was known as the red governance. The red governance was instantiated in a five phase system because they believed it possessed the mandate of heaven to rule. Therefore, Confucius gave the knowledge and power of the chizhi to the Han rulers. The circulation of a number of sayings collections and pieces of the teachings of Confucius created a very open dialog on the spiritual alternatives for citizens of the Han dynasty.

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Three Sages Tasting Vinegar (see above) is a popular theme in Chinese and Japanese art. One important variation on this theme was to show each of the three patriarchs with different facial expressions. After tasting the vat’s content, Confucius is shown with a sour face, Shakyamuni (Buddha) with a bitter expression, and Lao tsu with a smiling face. This painting theme is allegorical. Since each represents one of the three great philosophies of China, each wears an expression appropriate to that philosophy. To Confucius, the father of Confucianism, life was sour and chaotic because rules and regulations were not strictly obeyed. Indeed, the typical Chinese Confucian scholar pursued a very harsh lifestyle -- little laugher came forth from the study. This rigidity is captured nicely in an old Chinese saying about Confucius: "If the mat is not straight, the Master will not sit." To , the Historical Buddha and the patriarch of Buddhism, life was bitter, filled with suffering, sickness, old age, and death. Shakyamuni believed that suffering originated from desire and attachment, and to overcome suffering one had to overcome worldly desire. Lastly we have the smiling face of Lao Tsu, the father of Taoism, whose philosophy is to “flow like water,” to live in harmony with life’s circumstances, to turn the negative into the positive, to refrain from making quick opinions about good and bad. Life is sweet, not sour or bitter, if one flows like water, without trying to dam, redirect, or interfere with the natural path of the water (stream of life).


Confucianism failed to inspire any great schools of art in Japan, nor did it become a religion or gain a religious following. Yet it greatly influenced social behavior. Confucian concepts are still clearly evident in modern Japanese society, but most Japanese people don’t recognize them as such, as modern Japan has dressed itself predominately in Shinto and Buddhist garb. Below are a few examples of Confucian influences in modern Japan.

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Scholars down the ages have always maintained that "benevolence" is the core of Confucian teaching. "Benevolence" found its expression through the performance of li, a term usually translated as rites, but which actually encompassed a great deal more: not just rituals but the social and , the etiquette of behavior between human beings.


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Confucianism Essays

(Confucius) and his influence on China is an item of study in many western universities. There are many thesis papers and dissertations on the effects of Confucianism on China. Such papers are important since Confucianism the Han dynasty has influenced the politics and socio economic landscape of modern china. You can have your essays on Confucianism or paper on Han dynasty completed by writing experts here. You can also have any other custom paper writing help from this assignment writing website. We can help do your paper. Read on about Confucianism and Han dynasty.