Mar 13, 2007
Aug 10, 2007
I took a daytrip by bus from Tai'an to Qufu, Confucius' home town. Confucius is the famous sage who lived about 2,500 years ago who developed a system of ethics about relationships in society that has dominated Chinese society ever since. He and his disciples were responsible for, among other things, every last one of those wise sayings that appear in fortune cookies, including my all time favorite, "Man who makes mountain out of molehill should open ski resort in Kansas". Confucius was not immediately famous, but his descendents became the Kong clan, one of the most prominent noble families in China and based in Qufu. Qufu is still a fairly small city with a well preserved/restored historic center within thick walls surrounded by a moat. Its main sights are the Confucius Mansion (residence of the Kong clan), Confucius Temple (largest Confucian temple in China), and the Confucius Cemetery (where the great one and his descendents are all buried). I thought the Confucius Temple was similar architecturally to all the Buddhist temples I've seen in China, but the interiors are far less ornate and decorated with Confucius's sayings rather than statues of the gods.