DAY 3 SHANDONG TRAVEL: CONFUCIAN MANSION
MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 201: BETTER DEAD THAN ALIVE
from hut to mansion
dead sage is less threatening
safer from altar
Note: The title appeared cold and crude, but hindsight history showed leaders were sometimes better to died earlier than late. Confucius (Cong is surname, fu zi means an eminent teacher; his actual name was Cong Qiu, for the crown of his head appeared as mound.) was poor and lived in shabby huts, despite he was given a minor post in his country, Lu, then. The emperor delivered an excellent eulogy, praising the teacher only upon his death. That was the irony of life. The temple was located near the mansion, where he was born. On his death, his main disciples were worried about the site of his tomb, as the whole region was in war. So three thousand disciples planted a tree each to look like a forest (lin, homophonic with ling, meaning mausoleum). Today there are more than 20,000 trees, covering more than 200 hectares, over 83 generations to date. It is the single largest cemetery for a single Cong family, not only in China, but in the world. Some of the descendants (47th) had migrated to Korea, giving the Koreans the illusion that the teacher was originally from there.
The mansion was first built in 1308 during the Song Dynasty, re-erected after fire destruction in 1388 in Ming Dynasty. The area was about 16 hectares, divided into three parts, with nine courtyards and 463 halls. The lucky descendants benefited from it, but currently it was a tourist centre. Entry for senior citizens (above 70 yr; partial for 65 yrs)), even foreigners, were free.
I think we need to study Confucian teaching with other teachings, both Chinese and Western. We have entered an age where you could not be exclusive and self centric.