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Sep 15

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Qufu; birthplace of Confucius

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

Perhaps my favorite quote from Confucius. IMGP4289

 

In an earlier post, I stated incorrectly that Jinan was home of Confucius. Born 551 B.C., his birthplace, home and primary place of teaching was in Qufu. Jinan was, at the time, and remains so today, the largest city near to his home.

A quick trip by high speed rail from Jinan to the city of Qufu where I took a tour with a young man who identified himself as a 75th generation descendant of Confucius. He offered his English name as Tim and shared intimate knowledge of history on the subject of his great-great-great-great-great ….and so on ancestor.

This place had many similarities with the Forbidden City in Beijing; the typically walled complex, traditional architecture with ceramic tiles and dynastic ornamentation, a series of buildings for each group or family within the royal hierarchy, prayer/meditation rooms, Xing Tan (place of teaching) and ceremonial areas.

9 animals adorn the roof corners of the Hegemon.

9 animals adorn the roof corners of the Hegemon.

 

 

Throughout the grounds there are gardens and many ancient trees, one dated at 1800 years!

ancient wood

ancient wood

 

 

I was surprised that this picture turned out as well as it did. Looking up to the ceiling is generally void of light, but the architecture and art seemed to be in better state of preservation than in he super-city of Beijing.

I was surprised that this picture turned out as well as it did. Looking up to the ceiling is generally void of light, but the architecture and art seemed to be in better state of preservation than in he super-city of Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is amazing to see such old trees within a city. In America, most of the giant trees are in deep forests protected from logging. There are some examples of old trees at wineries in California or in historically preserved areas, particularly in the Southern states where the climate is milder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

One aspect of this place that gave a sense of history from an interesting perspective; headstones and mounds of earth indicating the burial sites of the many descendants of the sage. My guide informs that he and his sons will one day rest among them, though cremation is the only option, the place no longer accepts coffins in the mausoleum.

The sprawling family cemetery grounds of Kong Qui.

The sprawling family cemetery grounds of Kong Qui.

 

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”

Confucius

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/qulu-birthplace-of-confucius/

12 comments

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  1. Sandy

    I was very excited to read your Jinan travel article. These days I will always scan your blog and look for your newest post. Although I did not participate in your travel, your description and understanding of Chinese ancient culture made me feel I was traveling with you. This feeling is amazing! See you tonight!

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Sorry to miss you again, Sandy. I know we will meet up eventually find a time to get together for some fun.
      looking forward to speaking with you this evening.

  2. Morning

    Glad to know that you enjoyed a lot in this wonderful travelling.
    Welcome home again,you will find more and more interesting places,i promise^-^

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thank you, Mei Mei. I am looking forward to seeing and learning more.

  3. Summer

    Confucius,is one of the greatest thinkers and educators in the history of China .He is the founder of Confucianism.His thought has exerted a deep influence on China and its people even today.
    If you want to know more about Chinese culture,trying to learn more things about him is a good choice.
    “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Next time you come here,i believe you can still find the places you love.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      I look forward to my future exploration of and adventures in China!

  4. Lily

    In the development of thousand of years in China, Confucianism became the Chinese traditional culture representative. But as a Shandongnese, I have not been to Qufu yet. I am really impressed by your rich knowledge. You inspire me and I do learn a lot from you. Thank you!

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks, Lily.
      I think each member of the team has made significant progress in the previous months.
      Keep up the good work.

  5. Maggie

    At first, I was surprised you are interested in Confucious – a person who lived 2500 years ago. Thinking it over, I realize he is one of the best access to Chiniese culture. His philosophy was once the rule of whole society. Good for you, Kevin.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your comment, Maggie.
      Yes, his philosophical prose are central to Chinese culture and worthy of anyone interested in learning more about the Chinese mindset.

  6. spring

    “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
    In Chinese :学而不思则罔,思而不学则殆
    This quote is just a drop in the Chinese ancient culture’s ocean. After thousands of years’ historical sediment in culture, we do have so much essence to learn, to admire,and to remember. After reading your article, I am impressed by your understanding and interest of Chinese culture which I think we Chinese, including me, don‘t cherish anymore. This is a kind of reminder that we do have something to be proud of and learn from. In my primary school, the first time I learned this I just read the sentence but did not understand the essence. It’s common that we know many guiding words but we don’t know how to put them into practice. I know you have done it very well and I hope I will also.
    See you tomorrow.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Spring. My interest in Chinese culture goes back many years and I am fortunate to have experienced some of your country’s vast cultural offering in my recent travels. I look forward to learning more as I return for further exploration.

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