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(kənfyo͞o`shəs), Chinese K'ung Ch'iu or K'ung Fu-tzu, Pinyin Kong Fuzi, c.551–479? B.C., Chinese sage. Positive evidence concerning the life of Confucius is scanty; modern scholars base their accounts largely on the Analects, a collection of sayings and short dialogues apparently collected by his disciples, and discard most of the later legends. Confucius was born in the feudal state of Lu, in modern Shandong prov. Distressed by the constant warfare between the Chinese states and by the venality and tyranny of the rulers, he urged a system of morality and statecraft that would preserve peace and provide people with stable and just government. He gathered about him a number of disciples, some occupying high positions, although Confucius himself was at most granted an insignificant sinecure, possibly because of his extremely outspoken manner toward his superiors. From about his 55th to his 65th year he journeyed to several neighboring states, but he was never able to induce any ruler to grant him high office so that he might introduce his reforms. Later tradition depicts Confucius as a man who made special study of ancient books, in an effort to restore an older social order. It is said that he was a minister of state and the author, editor, or compiler of the Wu Ching [five classics] (see Chinese literatureChinese literature,
the literature of ancient and modern China. Early Writing and Literature

It is not known when the current system of writing Chinese first developed. The oldest written records date from about 1400 B.C.
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). His supposed doctrines are embodied in Confucianism.


For bibliography, see ConfucianismConfucianism
, moral and religious system of China. Its origins go back to the Analects (see Chinese literature), the sayings attributed to Confucius, and to ancient commentaries, including that of Mencius.
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Early nineteenth-century French aquatint of Confucius, Chinese philosopher, teacher, and political theorist, whose ideas became known as Confucianism. The Art Archive/The Art Archive.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Confucius (551-479 BCE) was born, lived, and died in the Chinese province of Lu. He was raised by his mother after his father died when Confucius was a young child. A member of the ru class, he learned the "six arts" of ceremony, music (in which he is said to have excelled), archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and arithmetic.

By the time he was thirty-two he was a teacher. This was about the time he was said to have visited with Lao Tzu (see Confucianism/ Daoism). At the age of fifty-one he became active in political life. But after only four years he was forced to leave his position of influence. For about twelve years he wandered, hoping to be called back into active politics where he could use his influence, believing he had the answer for China's volatile social climate. Although he never again filled an important political post, his writings exerted a profound influence on Chinese history. On the last day of his life Confucius is reported to have said, "The great mountain must collapse, the mighty beam must break and the wise man wither like a plant.... No wise ruler arises, and no one in the Empire wishes to make me his teacher. The hour of my death has come." He died at the age of seventy-three, never knowing he would one day be acknowledged as one of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known. Twenty-five hundred years later, people would apply his wisdom to everyday problems by saying, "Confucius said...." But all this took time. It wasn't until 56 CE that Chinese children began to offer sacrifices to him, and in 1908 he was finally granted a form of divinity when he was declared "equal with heaven and earth."

Meanwhile, Confucian scholars would pride themselves on studying his writings, showing their dedication by growing two-inch-long fingernails. After all, anyone with two-inch fingernails can't be doing any manual labor, so he must be studying. In this society, at least, the pen really was thought to be mightier than the sword.



(K’ung-tzu). Born circa 551 B.C.; died 479 B.C. Ancient Chinese thinker; founder of Confucianism.

Confucius was the son of an impoverished noble. He spent most of his life in the kingdom of Lu. In his youth he worked as a minor official; later he founded China’s first private school. The basic ideas of Confucius are set forth in the Analects (Lun yü literally, “conversations and opinions”), which is a record of Confucius’ sayings and conversations with his closest students and followers. Jen (“humaneness”) is the most important concept of the ethical and political teachings of Confucius: it is the totality of ethical and social relations between people, based on respect for and deference to elders and superiors and devotion to the sovereign. The pronouncements of Confucius reflect the class, aristocratic bias of his teachings. He resolutely contrasted ch’ün tzu (“noble men”) with commoners, or hsiao jen (“little people”). The first were called upon to rule over the second and to serve as an example for them. When Confucianism became a state doctrine (after 136 B.C.), Confucius was declared “teacher of ten thousand generations.” His cult was officially supported until 1911 (the beginning of the bourgeois Hsin-hai Revolution).


Popov, P. S. Izrecheniia Konfutsiia, uchenikov ego i drugikh lits. Saint Petersburg, 1910. (Translated from Chinese.)
Petrov, A. A. “Ocherk filosofii Kitaia.” In the collection Kitai. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957. Chapter 1.
Vasil’iev, L. S. Kul’ty, religii, traditsii v Kitae. Moscow, 1970.
Li Chang-chih. Kung-tzu-te ku-shih. (Biography of Confucius.) Shanghai, 1957.
Rygaloff, A. Confucius. Paris, 1946.

Confucius (c. 551–479 B.C.)

classic Chinese sage. [Chinese Hist.: NCE, 625]


(551–479 B.C.) Chinese philosopher and writer. [Chinese Hist.: Parrinder, 65]
See: Wisdom


Chinese name Kong Zi or K'ung Fu-tse. 551--479 bc, Chinese philosopher and teacher of ethics (see Confucianism). His doctrines were compiled after his death under the title The Analects of Confucius
References in periodicals archive ?
Ultimately, Master Kong broke with the flawed leader of the chief Lu family, following his own doctrine that if an adviser can't improve the ruler's virtue then the adviser should step aside so that someone else may try.
Therefore: Master Kong did not sit down if the mat was not [placed] correctly, he did not eat what was not cut correctly, and he did not drink water from the "Robber's Spring"--he accumulated correctness.
Though the work was arduous and vast (he refers to more than 300 Chinese commentators in notes to the translations), Legge also set out a wide-ranging assessment of Chinese culture and its intellectual cult focused on the figure of Master Kong.
In an exclusive interview with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) recently, Wei Yingzhou, chairman of Master Kong, stressed that it was an uphill battle to overtake Coca Cola in sales in China last year for the American brand has been in the Chinese beverage market for over 30 years, compared with 13 for Master Kong, whose passing of Coca Cola is three years ahead of schedule.
In tea beverage, Master Kong has also become the top brand in China with a market share by sales value reaching 51.
Table 62: Chinese Market for Pack Type Instant Noodles (2004): Product Price Comparison for Master Kong, Hualong, and UnI-44President (includes corresponding Graph/Chart) III-44 How Ingredient Prices Impact Bottom Lines?
Traditional industrial brands, such as Master Kong, Want Want, Cheng Shin Tire, and Giant, Taiwan's leading bicycle brand, manage to muscle into the top-10 ranking, thanks to their solid presence in the Chinese market.
Master Kong leads China's instant noodle brands, generating 54.
Taipei, March 23, 2010 (CENS) -- Master Kong had a banner year in 2009, generating revenues exceeding US$5 billion and profits topping US$500 million, both record highs.
2, 2009 (CENS) -- The issuance of Taiwan depository receipts (TDR) by Master Kong, a leading Taiwanese-invested foodstuff firm in China, will enter a six-day book-building period starting today (Dec.
The market value for Master Kong on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is approximately NT$422.
To achieve the goal, said Wei, Master Kong will focus its capital outlay on expanding beverage capacity next year.