Confucius is a guy who has popped up a few times with some ominous phrases like ‘dating back to the time of Confucius’ – so to indulge your curiosity (and the pretty awesome pun title), this week is the week for the guy who Confused Us: Confucius.

Confucianism is what a lot of Chinese culture likes to boast about, and say the word ‘Confucius’ and boom! It’s the ancient culture which could definitely never be touched and has been revered by every Chinese citizen since 600 BCE. Remember “damn your ancestors to the 18th generation”? (If not, make sure to read Chinese French, it’s one of the best posts on here.) That all started with this guy too – ancestor worship is one of the key points for Confucianism. A structural society is a big thing for harmony, and according to the Big C old people are pretty great. The older the better – in fact, preferably dead ancestors. Lots of cultures like to worship dead people and it makes sense – they can’t do anything wrong (because they’re like, dead) and as they get further into history we remember less and less about them and we can insert our myths here.

士 is one of those characters which shows up some culture – it has a double meaning: ‘scholar’ and ‘soldier’, alluding to the ideal gentleman proposed by Confucius, the wise soldier. There are also some slightly bizarre rules on morality put forwards – the ‘peaceful arts’ are labelled as morally superior to all the, er, unpeaceful arts. Or possibly Big C was just insecure about his taekwondo ability.

That’s it for this week, but before I go I have (shamefully) remembered that I broke my New Year’s resolution of writing a line or two in Chinese on the first post of 2017, so here’s one on Sport below (not sure I’m up to Confucian philosophy in Chinese yet…!)


Things I learned this week:

  • Looking for role models? The older the better. And preferably dead and half forgotten.
  • Want to be a scholar? Too bad you can’t fight…
  • Confucian philosophy may have come from his insecurity at taekwondo…

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2 thoughts on “Confused-Us

  1. Sidney Wu says:

    That line of Chinese you wrote there – do you mean “I like running, but I have to play football at school. I also like to swim. What about you?” If so, the second part of the sentence should be “但在学校里我必须踢足球。”


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