Confucius Has 2 Million Descendants

Oct 18, 2009 12:19 AM

by binsar

I always thought that Batak’s family tree is the complete and best family tree ever. You can trace back your descendants until 19 generations above. You can meet someone with the same family name anywhere in this world and trace back your family line, and you will find out in which descendant you were separated. But I was wrong. Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher turns out to have 2 million descendants who can be validated by a certificate. This means there are 2 million people aware of their connection with Confucius who was born in 551 B.C., in or near the city of Qufu (??), in the Chinese State of Lu (?) (now part of Shandong Province).

Confucius is said to have risen to the position of Justice Minister (???) in Lu at the age of 53, wrote some important philosophy in the Analect, and died at the age of 72 or 73.He is seen by the Chinese people as the Greatest Master. He wanted his disciples to think deeply for themselves and relentlessly study the outside world, mostly through the old scriptures and by relating the moral problems of the present to past political events (like theAnnals) or past expressions of feelings by common people and reflective members of the elite, preserved in the poems of the Book of Odes (??). Because his moral teachings emphasise self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules, Confucius’s ethics may be considered a type of virtue ethics. His teachings rarely rely on reasoned argument, and ethical ideals and methods are conveyed more indirectly, through allusions, innuendo, and even tautology. This is why his teachings need to be examined and put into proper context in order to be understood. Perhaps his most famous teaching was the Golden Rule stated in the negative form, often called the silver rule:

Adept Kung asked: “Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?”

The Master replied: “How about ’shu’ [reciprocity: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?”

Analects XV.24, tr. David Hinton

BBC News said that the 10m yuan ($1.4m; £1m) new family tree cost, paid for by the descendants, has 43,000-page document, spreading over 80 books, with 87 generations of descendants. The newest family lines now included women, adds 1.4 million names to the family tree of Confucius, known in China as Kong Fuzi, and is believed by the authorities to be the world’s largest. Are you one of them?

Read the news on BBC below.


Two million people are now recognised as being descendants of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, more than tripling the number in the last count.

The announcement was made as the fifth update to Confucius’ family tree was unveiled on the 2,560th anniversary of his birth, say Chinese state media.

Last updated in 1937, the book lists all 83 generations of descendents.

For the first time women, ethnic minorities and descendants living overseas have been included.

The 43,000-page document, spreading over 80 books, was unveiled at a ceremony in Confucius’ home town of Qufu, said Xinhua news agency.

It adds 1.4 million names to the family tree of Confucius, known in China as Kong Fuzi, and is believed by the authorities to be the world’s largest.

“Confucius’ family tree is a national treasure,” said Kong Deyong, a 77th generation descendant and head of the International Confucius Association.

Mr Kong said the family tree was important not only for academic research, but also for “helping Confucius’ descendants around the world discover their ancestors and strengthen family bonds”.

Confucius’ blood is flowing in our body

Kong Dejun

Confucianism has traditionally given women a lower status than men in its strict hierarchy, so female descendants were not counted, but genealogists announced in 2006 that they had decided to “move with the times”.

Mr Kong said that even if many descendants were not Chinese nationals or Han Chinese – the majority ethnic group in China – “we should count them in because we are one big family”.

Kong Dejun, a former university teacher who travelled from Switzerland for the ceremony, said being included in the book was “the most exciting moment in my life”.

“In terms of genes, Confucius’ blood is flowing in our body,” she told Xinhua, adding that the inclusion of women “shows Chinese females’ status is improving”.

The new family tree cost 10m yuan ($1.4m; £1m) to produce, paid for by the descendants.

Confucius was dismissed as bourgeois and a relic of China’s feudal past by Mao Zedong during the 1960s Cultural Revolution.

But Confucian thought has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years and the Chinese government has even funded a film of the philosopher’s life, starring Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-Fat.

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