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Confucius Teachings in Chinese / Japanese...

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 kǒng zǐ
 koushi
Confucius Scroll

孔子 is how to write the name of the great sage, known in the West as Confucius.

His real name is Kongzi (The name Confucius is a westernized version of his name - his family name is Kong, and “zi” was added as a title of distinction).

He lived some 2500 years ago in Qufu, a town in modern-day Shandong Province of Northern China (about 6 hours south of Beijing by bus). He was a consort to Emperors, and after his death, the impact of his philosophies still served to advise emperors, officials, and common people for generations.

Also during these thousands of years, the Kong family remained powerful in China, and the Kong estate was much like the Vatican in Rome. The Kong estate existed as if on sovereign ground with its own small garrison of guards and the privileges of a kingdom within an empire.

This was true up until the time the Kong family had to flee to Taiwan in 1949 when the Red Army took victory over the Nationalists during the Revolution. The home of Confucius was later razed and all statues were defaced or stolen during the Cultural Revolution. Finally, after years of smearing his name and image, it is once again okay to celebrate the teachings of Confucius in mainland China.


Known as Khổng Tử in Vietnamese.

The Five Tenets of Confucius

The Five Cardinal Rules / Virtues of Confucius

 rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
 jin gi rei tomo nobu
The Five Tenets of Confucius Scroll

仁義禮智信 are the core of Confucius's philosophy.

Simply stated:
仁 = Benevolence / Charity
義 = Justice / Rectitude
禮 = Courtesy / Politeness / Tact
智 = Wisdom / Knowledge
信 = Fidelity / Trust / Sincerity

Many of these concepts can be found in various religious teachings. It should be clearly understood that Confucianism is not a religion but should instead be considered a moral code for a proper and civilized society.

This title is also labeled “5 Confucian virtues.”


礼 If you order this from the Japanese calligrapher, expect the middle Kanji to be written in a more simple form (as seen to the right). This can also be romanized as "jin gi rei satoshi shin" in Japanese. Not all Japanese will recognize this as Confucian tenets but they will know all the meanings of the characters.


See Also:  Ethics

Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity

Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself

 jǐ suǒ bú yù wù shī yú rén
Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity Scroll

Some may think of this as a “Christian trait,” but actually, it transcends many religions.

This Chinese teaching dates back to about 2,500 years ago in China. Confucius had always taught the belief in being benevolent (ren), but this idea was hard to grasp for some of his students, as benevolence could be kind-heartedness or an essence of humanity itself.

When answering Zhong Gong's question as to what "ren" actually meant, Confucius said:

己所不欲勿施于人 or "When you go out, you should behave as if you were in the presence of a distinguished guest; when people do favors for you, act as if a great sacrifice was made for you. Whatever you wouldn't like done to you, do not do that thing to others. Don't complain at work or home.”

Hearing this, Zhong Gong said humbly, “Although I am not clever, I will do what you say.”

From this encounter, the Chinese version of the “Golden Rule” or “Ethic of Reciprocity” came to be.
The characters you see above express, “Do not do to others whatever you do not want to be done to yourself.”


See Also:   Benevolence

Daoism / Taoism

Literally: The Way or Road

 dào
 michi / -do
 
Daoism / Taoism Scroll

道 is the character “dao” which is sometimes written as “tao” but pronounced like “dow” in Mandarin.

道 is the base of what is known as “Taoism.” If you translate this literally, it can mean “the way” or “the path.”

Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)

The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.

More about Taoism / Daoism here.

Note that this is pronounced “dou” and sometimes “michi” when written alone in Japanese but pronounced “do” in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also “do” in Korean.

Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.

Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan so Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of when they read this character.


See our Taoism Page

Filial Piety

 xiào
 kou
 
Filial Piety Scroll

孝 represents filial piety.

Some will define this in more common English as “respect for your parents and ancestors.”

孝 is a subject deeply emphasized by the ancient philosophy and teachings of Confucius.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although generally not considered part of the 7 core virtues of the warrior.

Note: 孝 is not the best of meanings when seen as a single character. Some will read the single-character form to mean “missing my dead ancestors.” However, when written as part of Confucian tenets, or in the two-character word that means filial piety, the meaning is better or read differently (context is important for this character).

We suggest one of our other two-character filial piety entries instead of this one.




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Not the results for confucius teachings that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your confucius teachings search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

聖教


圣教

see styles
shèng jiào
    sheng4 jiao4
sheng chiao
 seikyou / sekyo
    せいきょう
(1) sacred teachings (esp. of Confucius); Confucianism; (2) Christianity; (3) Buddhism; (personal name) Seikyō
The teaching of the sage, or holy one; holy teaching.

孔孟の教え

see styles
 koumounooshie / komonooshie
    こうもうのおしえ
(exp,n) the teachings of Confucius and Mencius

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Confucius孔子koushi / koshikǒng zǐ / kong3 zi3 / kong zi / kongzik`ung tzu / kungtzu / kung tzu
The Five Tenets of Confucius仁義禮智信
仁义礼智信
jin gi rei tomo nobu
jingireitomonobu
rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
ren2 yi4 li3 zhi4 xin4
ren yi li zhi xin
renyilizhixin
jen i li chih hsin
jenilichihhsin
Confucius: Golden Rule
Ethic of Reciprocity
己所不欲勿施於人
己所不欲勿施于人
jǐ suǒ bú yù wù shī yú rén
ji3 suo3 bu2 yu4, wu4 shi1 yu2 ren2
ji suo bu yu, wu shi yu ren
jisuobuyu,wushiyuren
chi so pu yü, wu shih yü jen
chisopuyü,wushihyüjen
Daoism
Taoism
michi / -dodào / dao4 / daotao
Filial Pietykou / koxiào / xiao4 / xiaohsiao
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.


Dictionary

Lookup Confucius Teachings in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

Some people may refer to this entry as Confucius Teachings Kanji, Confucius Teachings Characters, Confucius Teachings in Mandarin Chinese, Confucius Teachings Characters, Confucius Teachings in Chinese Writing, Confucius Teachings in Japanese Writing, Confucius Teachings in Asian Writing, Confucius Teachings Ideograms, Chinese Confucius Teachings symbols, Confucius Teachings Hieroglyphics, Confucius Teachings Glyphs, Confucius Teachings in Chinese Letters, Confucius Teachings Hanzi, Confucius Teachings in Japanese Kanji, Confucius Teachings Pictograms, Confucius Teachings in the Chinese Written-Language, or Confucius Teachings in the Japanese Written-Language.