.. were old enough to eat should be given food and taught to use their right hands in eating. When they were old enough to walk they should be taught their names and greetings. When they failed to behave properly, they must be scolded and warned not to act like that again. At the age of six, they were taught words for numbers and directions. Boys were learning how to write and girls were taught simple women’s work.

Both boys and girls were both taught to recite the Analects. By the time they were ten they knew how to recite other important books. At ten, boys went away for school and the girls stayed home. Coming if Age Manhood and Womanhood were occasions that were celebrated through special ceremonies. The one for boys was when he was between 15 to 20. For girls it was somewhat the same when they became engaged, usually between 14 to 20.

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Marriage The parents of the people who were getting married arranged marriages. They consulted their ancestor first for permission. In the wedding day the groom picked up the bride on horseback bringing the traditional present of goose. The traditional bridal color was red. They then went back to groom’s house.

They were honored with a feast. No priest officially pronounced them wed. By exchanging cups of wine they made themselves a married couple. The day after that, the groom visits the bride’s family and they entertain him. Filial Piety A family unit remained together for life.

As long as the bride’s parents lived she had to serve them with humility and respect. This was the same for the groom. Even as adults they had to say when they were leaving the house. If children invited friends to the house, they could not hang out in the main room because it was only to be used by the parents. In his service to his parents, a son should like what his parents like and respect whomever his parents respect.

This holds for even dogs and horses, so of course even more for people. Said Zhu Xi. Children, back then, were not always kind and they did not behave well. Zhu Xi said to the parents that experienced this that , Should their son or daughter-in-law not be respectful, the parents should not try to take an immediate dislike. Instead they should teach him or her. I he or she remains intractable, they should try rebukes. If there is still no improvement, they should try a lashing.

If after many lashings, he or she still cannot behave properly, then they should expel their son or have their daughter-in-law divorced . . . Even if the son likes his wife very much, if his parents are displeased with her, he should divorce her. On the other hand, if the son dislikes his wife, yet his parents say she is good at serving them, then the son should fulfill his duty as husband for the rest of his life. Death Rites Confucianists respected the dead very much. Ceremonies for dead family member would be long and elaborate.

The head of the family would have the longest. Mourning lasted for about three years and family members wore special clothing during this time, the type of clothing was according to he length of time that passed since the death. There was much detail on the proper behavior one should have. If a person receives the news of a death while they were away from home , On entering the gate, he goes to the front of the coffin, bows twice, then changes his clothes twice, and take up his place for waiting. After the death of a loved one, one must first place rice in the mouth of the deceased. Second, the body would be washed, dressed, and placed in a coffin.

Third, next to the coffin there would be a soul seat and a soul cloth placed near the coffin. On the soul seat, food and drink would be placed there everyday. The soul sloth was the repository of the dead person; soul while his or her body remained in the house. To announce the death of a family member to their friends or neighbors by placing a banner in front of the house. Mourners would bring presents, such as: incense, candles, fruit, wine, tea, silk, or money. Three months later, the body would be buried.

A procession accompanied the body to the cemetery, offerings were made to the god of earth. Gifts, such as food and clothing would be buried with the body. The name of the dead one would be added to the wooden tablets listing the family ancestors. During the three-year mourning period, many sacrifices were made. Two were good for tune and one for peace. The ancestral tablets were changed if the head of the family died.

He would be the first generation of ancestors. As for the past generations, they were adjusted upward. Only five generations were actively venerated, this meant that the head of the family’s great-grandfather’s tablet was to be taken down. Veneration of Ancestors Respect and duty did not stop from the parents because of their death. Someone in the family had to visit the offering hall where the ancestral tablets were kept at least once a day. The new head of the family, which would be the eldest son, had to perform regular devotions to his father and ancestors. This included reports on certain events, such as: births, capping, and weddings. If the son would be gone away from home for more than ten days the son would have to explain why he was gone to ancestors before he would leave.

The son might have the pleasure of reporting a promotion granted the ancestor by the court. These were awards given to accompany promotions won by living. There is a formula from Zhu Xi that was to be read word-for-word reads as follows , On such we received an edict conferring on our name [name of relative] the [name of office] . . .

[Name of living head of family], due to the instruction he received from his ancestors, holds a position at court beyond hat he deserves. Through the grace of the sovereign, this honor has been conferred. [Head of family]’s salary came too late to support his parent, which leaves him unable to choke back his tears. During season of the year and on holidays special offerings were performed to the ancestors. The day before to prepare, the offering hall was purified with incense, and in the hall a table was set for dinner, complete with utensils, bowls, cups, and plates. At the start of the day the family rose at dawn and set out the food and drink.

Around the table the wooden ancestral tablets were set at their places. The family greeted the spirits and then according to Zhu Xi’s books , The spirits are urged to eat, then the door is closed. After the door is opened the sacrificed meat is taken away. Then the spirits are bid farewell . .

. . The leftovers are eaten. TEACHINGS AND MAJOR EMPHASIS Confucianism is system of thought based on the teachings of Confucius. Confucius taught a moral code based on ethics, humanity, and love. One day a disciple asked Confucius , is there on word that should cover the whole duty of man? To this question Confucius replied , Fellow, feeling, perhaps, is that word.

Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not they should do unto you. This rule became an important part of Chinese thought. Even though Confucius lived during a time of uproar, his philosophy emphasized the ideas of order and harmony. The main idea of Confucianism is the idea that people should live in harmony, both with each other and nature. T o gain these goals Confucius created a system of interpersonal relationships and good government.

Confucius taught his followers to be gentlemen. His philosophy stated that a gentlemen was a person who had developed the five virtues of courtesy magnanimity, good faith, diligence, and kindness. A man who had these qualities should employ them in governing the state. To Confucius, being a part of the government was the highest calling of all because good government would bring happiness to all people. Confucius believed that through education, anyone could reach the standard of a gentleman.

In China, the family served as an economic, social, and political unit, since family members participated as a group in those areas of life. The family was the natural environment for moral training and the bridge between the individual and society. Confucius taught that it was within the family that the individual fully achieved his human potential. Confucius stressed the duties and obligations of each family member and believed that each should act according to his or her particular role. Of the five human relationships, according to Confucius, three were within the family: father/son, husband/wife, and older brother/younger brother. The other two are friend/friend and ruler/subject.

BRANCHES OR DIVISIONS The only branch of Confucianism is Neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism is a form of Confucianism developed during the Song Dynasty, Combing elements of Buddhism and Daoism with traditional Confucianism. During the last years of the Tang dynasty, Confucianists started to question Confucianism. A new innovation would come into Confucian writing that would reach its high point during the Song dynasty. Buddhism and Daoism would influence a new way of thinking.

This questioning and new way of thinking would develop into a philosophical system called the School of Li in China, and Neo-Confucianism in the West. Neo-Confucianism was progressing slowly. At that there were many schools of thought. These schools both had a lot of Buddhism and Daoism in it. Buddhism and Daoism inspired followers, but they still supported the philosophy of Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism adopted the Buddhism idea that the universe is endlessly changing. However, they stilled used the philosophy of the yin-yang and the I Ching to explain this process. From the I Ching came the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate. Neo-Confucianists used the concept of the Supreme to explain the origin of things in the universe. This soon became the basis of all later Chinese ideas of cosmology.

The Supreme Ultimate is not the same as the Western religions’ God. It is read, but it is a force that produces yin and yang. It differs from the Buddhist concept of the Void, which is the ultimate peace of those who achieve salvation. Neo-Confucianists also adopted the mystical diagrams of the I Ching to show the relationship between Heaven and Earth. IDENTIFIED FOLLOWERS All around the world there are about six million people who consider themselves to be Confucianists.

The majority of Confucianists live in Asia, particularly East Asia because Confucius was born in China. Still, Europe, North and South America, and the other continents have small numbers of people who consider themselves Confucianists. Mainly because they are from Asian descent. Still, Confucianism has an influence far greater than its active followers. For more than two thousand years Confucianism was a dominant philosophical system of China.

As a result, it combined all phases of Chinese life. It reflects China’s poetry and history, government, social life, and in the ethics that formed the model for action. Since Chinese civilization spread to Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, elements of Confucianism can also be found in these country’s’ culture. Even though few Japanese call themselves Confucianists, the values still exist in modern Japan. The same is true of Vietnam, North and South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China.