Sunday, June 14, 2015

"This man ceaseth not to speak" - Influence of Confucius


Influence of Confucius

In ancient China, people had two names each.  Their true names were used only by themselves to call themselves.  And, their adopted names were used by others to call them.

So, Confucius' true name was Kong Qiu and his adopted name was Zhongni. It is unknown exactly what were their parents.  However, it is widely accepted that his father was a kind of plain soldier and his mother was a kind of priestess.  And their marriage was not authentic or lawful.  His father died while Confucius (552 BC - 479 BC) was infant.  His mother died when he was a young man.  But as his mother didn't tell Confucius where his father had been buried, Confucius was troubled to find where to bury his mother.

Confucius married at the age of 19 in 534 BC.  The couple had a son and a daughter.  But almost nothing else was mentioned about the wife of Confucius.

Though it is said that Confucius taught 3,000 men at one time, he could not be successful in his career while he tried and shortly became a minister of a certain country in China 2500 years ago.  Confucius was disappointed since his teaching and philosophy about governance of a country and maintenance of order of the general public were not accepted well by kings and noblemen at the time.

So, he concentrated his efforts to write and edit books concerning teaching of politics, ethics, rituals, and way of living.  He expected that future generations would learn from these books, though people of his generation corrupted to neglect a need to improve their way of living.

However, what has been most read in the history is the Analects of Confucius, a book that depicted words and deeds of Confucius, which is not one of those books Confucius wrote and edited for the future generations.

According to the most important ancient Japanese history books the Chronicles of Japan and A Record of Ancient Matters, both established in the early 8th century, the Analects of Confucius was one of the two books a notable Korean scholar brought to the imperial court of Japan around the fifth century or before.  Since then, Japanese became familiar with Confucius and Confucianism.

As with Japan, other East Asian countries have been influenced by Confucianism.  Even Vietnam was once under a strong influence of Confucianism.

The culture in East Asia, including China, was first sophisticated spiritually with the teaching of Confucius.  Its influence can be still observed.  But, it is so interesting that those Asian people, including Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese, don't know the family of Confucius who was poor in his childhood and young ages.

Out of nowhere in history, sometimes such a great man appears as has a strong influence on minds of people of strong nations, such as Japan and China.  Anyway, without Confucius Japan and China might be more violent countries today.

A key point of Confucius teaching is related to how to manage and maintain the relationships between a father and a son, a master and a subject, a husband and a wife, a senior and a junior, and friends.  He stressed that benevolence should work to have a good influence on these relationships.

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Act 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
Act 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.