25 Interesting Facts About Confucius, A Great Chinese Philosopher
Here are some of the most interesting and important facts about Confucius.
1. Confucius, known in Chinese as Kung Fu-tzu, was born in the state of Lu, Northeast China in 551 BCE.
2. He was only 3 years of age when his father, Kong He, a military officer, died. He grew up a poor boy but attained a good education nonetheless.
3. Confucius married very early at the age of 19 and worked as a laborer in order to support his family. In addition, he also worked as worked as a shepherd, cowherd, clerk, and a book-keeper.
4. His wife’s name is Qi Guan. His first child was named Kong Li.
5. His mother died when he was 23. At the age of 24 in 527 BCE, he started a new career – teaching.
6. He taught his students the ideas of ancient Chinese wise men that he studied in order to achieve reform in the government which is lawless and corrupt
7. Confucius said that citizens must be good and should respect and honor their parents and ancestors.
8. He said, people should be honest, kind, obedient, polite and wise. He encouraged leaders to be role models of good behavior.
9. If leaders are good, he believed that people would do the same. Then it will result in a peaceful, happy and progressive society.
10. At the age of 50 in 501 BCE, he became a judge and was put in charge of law and order in the state of Lu, the following year.
11. The laws created by Confucius, which were based on his personal teachings, were very successful that crime almost disappeared.
12. After 5 years as judge, he was dismissed in 496 BCE because his jealous rivals plotted against him.
13. He went back to teaching once again and spent the next 12 years as a teacher and won great admiration, respect and fame.
14. At the age of 67, he retired to Lu state and died 5 years later in BCE at the age of 72. He died on November 21, 479 B.C. in Qufu, China.
15. The teachings of Confucius were written down by his students and were compiled in the Sishu or Four Books which were studied by Chinese for 24 hundred years.
16. Confucianism, which was founded by his followers, is one of the largest and oldest religions in China and in the world.
17. He is well remembered for his Golden Rule, "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others". Likewise, he is noted for this “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself”.
18. His family and personal name is "Kong Qiu" and his courtesy name was "Zhongni". A courtesy name, which is also known as “Chinese style name”, is a given name to be used later in life.
19. Confucius is the Latinized form of Kung-Fu-tzu. He is most often known in Chinese as "Kongzi" which literally means "Master Kong". He is also known by the honorific "Kong Fuzi" which literally means "Master Kong".
20. Confucius is also named "Laudably Declarable Lord Ni", "Extremely Sage Departed Teacher", the "Great Sage", "First Teacher" and "Model Teacher for Ten Thousand Ages"
21. One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior.
22. One of his most notable students is Mencius, another well-known Chinese philosopher, but his most favorite disciple was Yan Hui.
23. The family tree of Confucius, the Kongs, has the longest recorded extant pedigree in the world today. The father-to-son family tree, now in its 83rd generation, has been recorded since the death of Confucius.
24. According to the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee, he has 2 million known and registered descendants, and there are an estimated 3 million in all.
25. Several tens of thousands of the 3 million registered descendants of Confucius live outside of China. There are about 34,000 in Korea and many are also living in Taiwan.