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. Family Tree Of Confucius Has One And A Half Million Members

New statue of Chinese philosopher Confucius.
by Staff Writers
Qufu, China (XNA) Sep 28, 2006
The family tree of Confucius, the revered Chinese thinker and educator, will number 1.5 million when the current update is completed. "More than 1 million descendants of Confucius will be added to the family tree in this update. Women members will be recorded for the first time," said Kong Dehong, a Confucius descendant directing the fifth update of the family tree, at a festival commemorating Confucius in his hometown -- Qufu in east China's Shandong province.

Kong said the job of registering new members has been more or less completed. The new family tree will be edited and printed in 2009, on the 2560th anniversary of the birth of the famous sage.

"We have to adapt to the times. Men and women are equal now. Even if a woman has to leave the family when she gets married to live with her husband, that doesn't change the fact that she is descended from Confucius," Kong said at a gathering of Confucius' descendants from around the world.

Confucius' family tree is regarded as the world's longest, recording more than 80 generations of the Confucius family.

Kong said the family tree doesn't include all Confucius' descendants because links with some branches have been lost and some people in high places are cautious about entering their names in the family tree.

He estimated there are more than 3 million descendants of Confucius living in the world, including 2.5 million on the Chinese mainland. There are several thousand Confucius descendants living in Taiwan, he said.

According to Kong, the updated family tree will include the name of the spouse, as well as the educational background and posts held by the descendants. Presented in user-friendly digital form, the family tree can be displayed just by clicking on the mouse.

Chinese scholars say Confucius' thoughts, including putting people first, cultivating fraternity, loyalty, filial piety and integrity of personality, and seeking harmony while keeping differences in thoughts and culture, are important to boosting world harmony.

related report
Confucius Family Tree To Include Women For First Time
Beijing (AFP) Sep 27 - Women will be listed on the family tree of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius for the first time in a radically updated version set to mushroom to 1.5 million members, state press said Wednesday. "We have to adapt to the times. Men and women are equal now," Xinhua news agency quoted Kong Dehong, a Confucius descendant in charge of updating the family tree, as saying.

"More than one million descendants of Confucius will be added to the family tree in this update. Women members will be recorded for the first time."

The new family tree, the fifth such version, will be edited and printed in 2009, on the 2,560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius, the report said.

Confucianism, a body of ethical principles derived from his thinking, has been a dominant force throughout Chinese history, although the emergence of the communists last century pushed it into the background for a few decades.

The philosophy has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years often attributed to a moral void in Chinese society created by the nation's rush into capitalism.

The family tree is regarded as the world's biggest as it records more than 80 generations of the Confucius family, the Xinhua report said.

The family records have been kept in the philosopher's hometown of Qufu in eastern China's Shandong province.

Kong said the Confucius family tree does not include all the descendants of the sage as some family branches have been lost and other family members did not want to be included.

He estimated there were more than three million descendants of Confucius around the world, including 2.5 million in China proper and several thousand living in Taiwan.

Traditionally family trees in China contained the wives of husbands, but rarely recorded the female offspring.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Source: Xinhua News Agency
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