Sunday, 15 August 2010

battle of Kawanakajima

After the fourth battle of Kawanakajima, Takeda clan suffered two internal setbacks. Shingen uncovered two plots on his life, the first from his cousin Katanuma Nobumoto (whom he ordered to commit seppuku), and the second, a few years later, from his own son Takeda Yoshinobu . His son was confined to the Tokoji, where he died two years later; it is not known whether his death was natural or ordered by his father. After this incident, Shingen designated his fourth son, Takeda Katsuyori (武田勝頼), as the acting leader of the clan after himself until Katsuyori's son comes to his age. Katsuyori himself, however, had never become the formal head of the clan.
The death of Yoshinobu is believed to have much to do with the change in Shingen's Imagawa policy. After Imagawa Yoshimoto was killed in a battle against Oda Nobunaga in 1560, Shingen had started to plan an invasion of Suruga, a territory now controlled by Yoshimoto's son Ujizane. Yoshinobu, however, had strongly opposed such a plan because his wife was the daughter of late Yoshimoto. By 1567, nonetheless, after Shingen had successfully kept the forces led by Uesugi Kenshin out of the northern boundaries of Shinano, taken over a strategically important castle in western Kōzuke, and suppressed internal objection to his plans to take advantage of the weakened Imagawa clan, was ready to carry out his planned Suruga invasion.
During this time Shingen also ordered the damming project of the Fuji River, which was one of the major domestic activities of the time.
Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu are believed to have made a pact to share the remaining Imagawa lands between them, and they both fought against Yoshimoto's heir. After defeating the intervention forces commanded by Hōjō Ujimasa of Sagami, Shingen finally secured the Province of Suruga, formerly base of the prestigious Imagawa clan, as a Takeda assest in 1569.
Upon securing Takeda control over Suruga, northern Shinano, and western Kōzuke, Shingen moved to challenge the Oda-Tokugawa alliance, leading a formidable force of over 30,000 into the latter's territories in Tōtōmi, Mikawa and Mino Provinces in 1572.
The exact circumstances surrounding Takeda Shingen's death are not absolutely known. There are many different stories, some of which are as follows.
When Takeda Shingen was 49 years old, he was the only daimyo with the necessary power and tactical skill to stop Oda Nobunaga's rush to rule Japan. He engaged Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces in 1572 and captured Futamata, and in January engaged in the battle of Mikatagahara, where he defeated, but not decisively, a small combined army of Nobunaga and Ieyasu. After defeating Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shingen stopped his advance temporarily due to outside influences, which allowed Tokugawa to prepare for battle again. He entered Mikawa Province, but soon died in the camp. Some accounts say he succumbed to an old war wound, some say a sniper wounded him earlier, and some accounts say he died of pneumonia. He was buried at Erin temple in what is now Kōshū, Yamanashi.
The film Kagemusha, by director Akira Kurosawa, loosely depicts a well known version of his death in which a single sniper shot him at night. The other aspects of his death depicted in the film were artistic liberties taken by the director.
takeda Katsuyori became the daimyo of the Takeda clan. Katsuyori was ambitious and desired to continue the legacy of his father. He moved on to take Tokugawa forts. However an allied force of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga dealt a crushing blow to the Takeda in the Battle of Nagashino. Here Oda Nobunaga's matchlock-armed infantry destroyed the Takeda cavalry. Ieyasu seized the opportunity and defeated the weak Takeda led by Takeda Katsuyori in the battle of Temmokuzan. Katsuyori committed suicide after the battle, and the Takeda clan never recovered.
Upon Shingen's death, Kenshin reportedly cried at the loss of one of his strongest and most deeply respected rivals. One of the most lasting tributes to Shingen's prowess was that of Tokugawa Ieyasu himself, who is known to have borrowed heavily from the old Takeda leader's governmental and military innovations after he had taken leadership of Kai during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's rise to power. Many of these designs were put to use in the Tokugawa Shogunate.
While the Takeda were for the most part destroyed by the loss of Shingen's heir, Katsuyori, Shingen had a profound effect on the period in Japan. He influenced many lords with his law, tax, and administration systems, and many tales were told about him. Although aggressive towards military enemies he was probably not as cruel as other warlords. His war banner contained the famous phrase Fū-Rin-Ka-Zan (, "Wind, Forest,crimeajewel, Fire, Mountain"), taken from Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War.' This phrase refers to the idea of Swift as the Wind, Silent as a Forest, Fierce as Fire and Immovable as a Mountain. The motto applied to Shingen's policies and his military strategy.
During Edo period, 24 retainers who served under Shingen were chosen as a popular topic for Ukiyo-e and Bunraku. The names vary from work to work and the following list is the widely agreed version of retainers. They had not worked together as some had died before others served but they were noted for their exceptional contributions to Shingen and the Takeda family.
Of his retainers, Kōsaka Masanobu stands out as being one of Shingen's better known beloveds, in the style of the Japanese shudo tradition. The two entered into the relationship when Shingen was twenty two and Masanobu sixteen. The love pact signed by the two, in Tokyo University's Historical Archive, documents Shingen's pledge that he was not, nor had any intentions of entering into, a sexual relationship with a certain other retainer, and asserts that "since I want to be intimate with you" he will in no way harm the boy, and calls upon the gods to be his guarantors.
Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda Shingen
Akiyama Nobutomo
Amari Torayasu
Anayama Nobukimi
Baba Nobuharu
Hara Masatane
Hara Toratane
Ichijō Nobutatsu
Itagaki Nobukata
saka Masanobu
Naitō Masatoyo
Obata Masamori
Obata Toramori
Obu Toramasa
Ohama Kagetaka
Oyamada Nobushige
Saigusa Moritomo
Sanada Nobutsuna
Sanada Yukitaka
Tada Mitsuyori
Tsuchiya Masatsugu
Takeda Nobukado
Takeda Nobushige
Yamagata Masakage
Yamamoto Kansuke
The Takeda Shingen festival takes place on the first weekend of every April in Kōfu. Usually a famous Japanese TV actor plays the part of Takeda Shingen himself. There are several parades going to and from the Takeda Shrine and Kofu Castle. These parades are very theatrical involving serious re-enactors who practice the rest of the year for this one weekend in April. The parades reflect the different comings and goings of Takeda Shingen during his life.
Shimazu Yoshihisa (February 9, 1533 – March 5, 1611) was a daimyo of Satsuma Province and the eldest son of Shimazu Takahisa. His mother was a daughter of Nyurai'in Shigesato, Yukimado . Shimazu Yoshihiro and Shimazu Toshihisa are his brothers.
His childhood name was Torajumaru but went by the name of Matasaburo . On his genpuku, he took the name of Tadayoshi but after receiving a kanji from the shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru, changed to Yoshitatsu . He later changed his name to Yoshihisa. He married an aunt and after her death, married a daughter of Tanegashima Tokiaki.
In 1566, he succeeded as the head of Shimazu clan after his father to become the sixteenth leader. Working together with his brother Yoshihiro, Toshihisa, and Shimazu Iehisa, he launched a campaign to unify Kyūshū. Starting in 1572 with the win against Ito clan at the battle of Kigasakihara, Yoshihisa would win victories after victories. In 1578, he defeated the Ōtomo clan at the battle of Mimigawa, in 1583 against Ryūzōji clan, and on 1584 against Aso clan. By the middle of 1580s, the Shimazu clan would control most of Kyūshū with the exception of Otomo's domain and a unification was not far into the future.
However, in 1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched a campaign to pacify Kyūshū with an overwhelming force of over 200,000, at least five times the number under Yoshihisa's troops, and Shimazu troop was driven back to Satsuma province where they were forced to surrender. Most of domains they had conquered were divided by Hideyoshi and the Shimazu clan managed to retain only Satsuma Province and Osumi Province. Yoshihisa shaved his head to surrender showing that he would become a Buddhist monk if his life was spared. His name as a monk was Ryuhaku but it is unclear whether he retired to have Yoshihiro rule. As a retainer under Hideyoshi, his younger brother Yoshihiro controlled troops, but it is believed that Yoshihisa still managed day-to-day affairs in the domain. Yoshihisa did not have a son to succeed him, so he had Yoshihiro's son, Shimazu Tadatsune marry the third daughter Kameju and adopted him as the successor.
After Hideyoshi made decision on Yoshihisa's domain, Yoshihisa was invited by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Fushimi Castle. It is said that after asked repeatedly by Ieyasu and his retainers on how he almost unified Kyūshū, Yoshihisa finally relented and said "My three younger brothers led by Yoshihiro as well as retainers like Niiro Tadamoto fought so well united under the same goal, I never had a chance to show bravery in a battle. I only had to wait in the Kagoshima Castle for news brought by messengers of their victories." After Yoshihisa left, Ieyasu told his retainers that "(Yoshihisa had, as) a general let retainers under him work to the best of their abilities. This is how a great general should be."
He died of an illness in 1611. His posthumous name was . He was buried at what had once been the site of Fukushoji in Kagoshima, Kagoshima and there is still a tombstone along with all other leaders of the clan. There are also monuments built in his memory at Kokubun city, Ima Kumano Kannonji in Kyoto, and Koyasan. There is no portrait of Yoshihisa remaining but in Taiheiji at Kawauchi, Kagoshima, there is a bronze figure of Yoshihisa of the surrender against Hideyoshi that was made after he died.
His knowledge of culture is not widely known but he had Hosokawa Yusai teach him classic literatures and Kampaku Konoe Wakihisa who was skilled in, but not limited to waka and renga was said to have frequented Yoshihisa's house.
Sanada Masayuki (1544 (1547?) - July 13, 1611) was a Japanese Sengoku period daimyo. He was the third son of Sanada Yukitaka, a vassal daimyo to the Takeda family in Shinano province. He is known as a master strategist. Sanada Nobuyuki and Sanada Yukimura were his sons.
Sanada Masayuki (1544 (1547?) - July 13, 1611) was a Japanese Sengoku period daimyo. He was the third son of Sanada Yukitaka, a vassal daimyo to the Takeda family in Shinano province. He is known as a master strategist. Sanada Nobuyuki and Sanada Yukimura were his sons.
Initially, Masayuki changed his name to Mutō Kihei to inherit the Mutō clan, a branch of the Takeda family. He was favoured by Takeda Shingen, who discovered his talent at a young age and of whom Masayuki became a close servant. After Shingen's death, he continued to serve Takeda Katsuyori. However, during the Battle of Nagashino of 1575, both of Masayuki's elder brothers, Nobutsuna and Masateru, were killed. Masayuki changed his name back to Sanada so that he could claim his inheritance.
In 1577, immediately after Uesugi Kenshin's death, Masayuki took advantage of the internal turmoil within the Uesugi clan and seized Numata Castle in Kozuke province, an act that first demonstrated his strategic abilities.
After the fall of the Takeda clan in 1582, Masayuki temporarily yielded to Oda Nobunaga. However, Nobunaga died within a year at the Incident at Honnōji. Upon Nobunaga's death, the Sanada clan was left alone in Shinano province surrounded by hostile powers such as the Uesugi clan, the Hōjō clan, and the Tokugawa clan. By drifting through temporary alliances and fickle allegiances, the Sanada clan managed to survive.
In 1585, the Sanada clan stood opposed to Tokugawa Ieyasu. With 7,000 men, the Tokugawa forces lay siege to Ueda Castle, which was defended by only 2,000 soldiers. However, Masayuki was able to inflict 3,000 casualties on Tokugawa and won an overwhelming victory. This was the First Battle of Ueda Castle, a victory that earned Masayuki national prominence.
In 1589, Sanada retainers had disputes with the Hōjō clan, which eventually led to the fall of the Hōjō clan by Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invading armies.
After Hideyoshi's death, in 1600, Masayuki joined Ishida Mitsunari's side during the Battle of Sekigahara. Masayuki sent his eldest son, Nobuyuki, to the eastern side, while Masayuki and his younger son, Yukimura, fought on the western side, a move that ensured the Sanada clan's survival. Fortifying Ueda Castle, Masayuki fought against Tokugawa Hidetada's 38,000 men with only 2,000 soldiers. This was the Second Battle of Ueda Castle, and, whilst it was not exactly a victory, Masayuki was able to deliver a heavy blow to Hidetada and delay his forces for long enough that they were unable to show up at the main battlefield on time.
However, the western side, led by Ishida Mitsunari, lost the main battle, and the victorious Tokugawa Ieyasu was able to redistribute fiefs at will. Masayuki and Yukimura were initially going to be executed, but, given Nobuyuki's participation in the eastern army, they were instead exiled to Kudoyama in Kii province. The Sanada clan was inherited by Sanada Nobuyuki.
Sanada Masayuki died in Kudoyama in 1611.
Even though Masayuki was never able to expand his territories as well as other daimyo, he is nevertheless often considered a talented daimyo, doomed by misfortune and the inconvenient terrains which surrounded his home domain. Toyotomi Hideyoshi had called Masayuki a person whose inside did not match his outside, that his allegiance was fickle and not to be trusted. Nevertheless, it was exactly his drifting alliances that helped the Sanada clan survive the onslaught of hostile clans, and, since the Edo period, he has been more extolled than vilified.
Takeda Shingen (December 1, 1521 – May 13, 1573) of Kai Province was a preeminent daimyo in feudal Japan with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period.
Shingen was called "Tarō" (a commonly used pet name for the eldest son of a Japanese family) or "Katsuchiyo" during his childhood. When he celebrated his coming of age, he was given a formal name of "Harunobu", which included a character from the name of Ashikaga Yoshiharu, the 12th Ashikaga Shogun. It was a common practice in feudal Japan for a higher-ranked warrior to bestow a character from his own name to his inferiors as a symbol of recognition. From the local warlord's perspective, it was glorious to receive a character from the shogunate, although the authority of the latter had greatly degenerated in the mid-sixteenth century.
Both the Ashikaga and the Takeda clans descended from the noble Minamoto clan. Technically, Harunobu, as well as his forefathers, had bore the surname of Minamoto. Therefore, Harunobu would be referred to as "Minamoto-no Harunobu" in official records kept by the Imperial Court when he was conferred the official title of "Daizen Dayu" . The Imperial Court had maintained a system of ritsuryō that was parallel to the shogunate apparatus.
In 1559 Harunobu chose to live a pabbajja life and received a dharma name, Shingen , from his Buddhist master. The kanji of "Shingen" can also be pronounced as "Nobuharu," which is the inversion of his official name, Harunobu. In ancient times, such stylish/religious names of recognized Japanese aristocrats/warriors/officials would be read in "onyomi" , the Chinese-styled pronunciation, instead of "kunyomi" , the indigenous Japanese pronunciation. Although widely known by the dharma name, Takeda Shingen's formal name had remained "Harunobu" throughout the rest of his life.
Shingen is sometimes referred to as "The Tiger of Kai" for his martial prowess on the battlefield. His primary rival, Uesugi Kenshin , was often called "The Dragon of Echigo" or also "The Tiger of Echigo" .
Takeda Shingen was the first born son of Takeda Nobutora , leader of the Takeda clan, and daimyo of the province of Kai. He had been an accomplished poet in his youth. He assisted his father with the older relatives and vassals of the Takeda family, and became quite a valuable addition to the clan at a fairly young age. But at some point in his life after his "coming of age" ceremony, the young man decided to rebel against his father.
He finally succeeded at the age of 21, successfully taking control of the clan. Events regarding this change of leadership are not entirely clear, but it is thought that his father had planned to name the second son, Takeda Nobushige, as his heir instead of Shingen. The end result for the father was a miserable retirement that was forced upon him by his son and his supporters: he was sent to Suruga Province (on the southern border of Kai) to be kept in custody under the scrutiny of the Imagawa clan, led by Imagawa Yoshimoto , the daimyo of Suruga. For their help in this bloodless coup, an alliance was formed between the Imagawa and the Takeda clans.
Shingen's first act was to gain a hold of the area around him. His goal was to conquer Shinano Province . A number of the major daimyos in the Shinano region marched on the border of Kai Province, hoping to neutralize the power of the still-young Shingen before he had a chance to expand into their lands. However, planning to beat him down at Fuchu (where word had it Shingen was gathering his forces for a stand), they were unprepared when Takeda forces suddenly came down upon them at the battle of Sezawa. Taking advantage of their confusion, Shingen was able to score a quick victory, which set the stage for his drive into Shinano lands that same year. The young warlord made considerable advances into the region, conquering the Suwa headquarters in the siege of Kuwabara before moving into central Shinano with the defeat of both Tozawa Yorichika and Takato Yoritsugu. However, the warlord was checked at Uetahara by Murakami Yoshikiyo, losing two of his generals in a heated battle which Murakami won. Shingen managed to avenge this loss and the Murakami clan was eventually defeated. Murakami fled the region, eventually coming to plead for help from the Province of Echigo .
After he had conquered Shinano, Shingen faced another rival, Nagao Kagetora or later Uesugi Masatora /Terutora /Kenshin of Echigo. The feud between them became almost legendary, and they faced each other on the battlefield five times at the battles of Kawanakajima. These battles were generally confined to controlled skirmishes, neither daimyo willing to devote himself entirely to a single all-out attempt. The conflict between the two that had the fiercest fighting, and might have decided victory or defeat for one side or the other, was the fourth battle, during which the famous tale arose of Uesugi Kenshin's forces clearing a path through the Takeda troops and Kenshin engaging Shingen in single combat. The tale has Kenshin attacking Shingen with his sword while Shingen defends with his iron war fan or tessen. Both lords lost many men in this fight, and Shingen in particular lost two of his main generals, Yamamoto Kansuke and his younger brother Takeda Nobushige.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Religion in Ancient Japan

Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Kǒng Fūzǐ, or K'ung-fu-tzu, lit. "Master Kong", 551–478 BC),widely followed in Japan. It is a complex system of moral, social, political, philosophical, and quasi-religious thought that has had tremendous influence on the culture and history of East Asia. It might be considered a state religion of some East Asian countries, because of governmental promotion of Confucian philosophies.
Cultures and countries strongly influenced by Confucianism include mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people, such as Singapore. Japan was influenced by Confucianism in a different way.
In Confucianism, human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavour especially including self-cultivation and self-creation. A main idea of Confucianism is the cultivation of virtue and the development of moral perfection. Confucianism holds that one should give up one's life, if necessary, either passively or actively, for the sake of upholding the cardinal moral values of ren and yi.
Humanity is core in Confucianism. A simple way to appreciate Confucian thought is to consider it as being based on varying levels of honesty, and a simple way to understand Confucian thought is to examine the world by using the logic of humanity. In practice, the elements of Confucianism accumulated over time. There is classical Wuchang (五常) consisting of five elements: Ren (, Humanity), Yi (, Righteousness), Li (, Ritual), Zhi (, Knowledge), Xin (, Integrity), and there is also classical Sizi (四字) with four elements: Zhong (, Loyalty), Xiao (, Filial piety), Jie (, Continency), Yi (, Righteousness). There are still many other elements, such as Cheng (, honesty), Shu (, kindness and forgiveness), Lian (, honesty and cleanness), Chi (, shame, judge and sense of right and wrong), Yong (, bravery), Wen (, kind and gentle), Liang (, good, kindhearted), Gong (, respectful, reverent), Jian(, frugal), Rang (, modestly, self-effacing). Among all elements, Ren (Humanity) and Yi (Righteousness) are fundamental. Sometimes morality is interpreted as the phantom of Humanity and RighteousnessHumanity is core in Confucianism. A simple way to appreciate Confucian thought is to consider it as being based on varying levels of honesty, and a simple way to understand Confucian thought is to examine the world by using the logic of humanity. In practice, the elements of Confucianism accumulated over time. There is classical Wuchang (五常) consisting of five elements: Ren (, Humanity), Yi (, Righteousness), Li (, Ritual), Zhi (, Knowledge), Xin (, Integrity), and there is also classical Sizi (四字) with four elements: Zhong (, Loyalty), Xiao (, Filial piety), Jie (, Continency), Yi (, Righteousness). There are still many other elements, such as Cheng (, honesty), Shu (, kindness and forgiveness), Lian (, honesty and cleanness), Chi (, shame, judge and sense of right and wrong), Yong (, bravery), Wen (, kind and gentle), Liang (, good, kindhearted), Gong (, respectful, reverent), Jian(, frugal), Rang (, modestly, self-effacing). Among all elements, Ren (Humanity) and Yi (Righteousness) are fundamental. Sometimes morality is interpreted as the phantom of Humanity and Righteousness
Ritual and filial piety are indeed the ways in which one should act towards others, but from an underlying attitude of humaneness. Confucius' concept of humaneness (Chinese: ; pinyin: rén) is probably best expressed in the Confucian version of the Ethic of reciprocity, or the Golden Rule: "do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you."
Confucius never stated whether man was born good or evil, noting that 'By nature men are similar; by practice men are wide apart' - implying that whether good or bad, Confucius must have perceived all men to be born with intrinsic similarities, but that man is conditioned and influenced by study and practise. Xunzi's opinion is that men originally just want what they instinctively want despite positive or negative results it may bring, so cultivation is needed. In Mencius' view, all men are born to share goodness such as compassion and good heart, although they may become wicked. The Three Character Classic begins with "People at birth, are naturally good (kind-hearted)", with root from Mencius' idea. All the views eventually lead to recognize the importance of human education and cultivation.
Rén also has a political dimension. If the ruler lacks rén, Confucianism holds, it will be difficult if not impossible for his subjects to behave humanely. Rén is the basis of Confucian political theory: it presupposes an autocratic ruler, exhorted to refrain from acting inhumanely towards his subjects. An inhumane ruler runs the risk of losing the "Mandate of Heaven", the right to rule. A ruler lacking such a mandate need not be obeyed. But a ruler who reigns humanely and takes care of the people is to be obeyed strictly, for the benevolence of his dominion shows that he has been mandated by heaven. Confucius himself had little to say on the will of the people, but his leading follower Mencius did state on one occasion that the people's opinion on certain weighty matters should be considered.
In Confucianism the term "ritual" was soon extended to include secular ceremonial behaviour, and eventually referred also to the propriety or politeness which colours everyday life. Rituals were codified and treated as a comprehensive system of norms. Confucius himself tried to revive the etiquette of earlier dynasties. After his death, people regarded him as a great authority on ritual behaviours.
It is important to note that "ritual" has developed a specialized meaning in Confucianism, as opposed to its usual religious meanings. In Confucianism, the acts of everyday life are considered ritual. Rituals are not necessarily regimented or arbitrary practices, but the routines that people often engage in, knowingly or unknowingly, during the normal course of their lives. Shaping the rituals in a way that leads to a content and healthy society, and to content and healthy people, is one purpose of Confucian philosophy.
Translations from the 17th century to the present have varied widely. Comparison of these many sources is needed for a true "general consensus" of what message Confucius meant to imply.
Confucius argued that under law, external authorities administer punishments after illegal actions, so people generally behave well without understanding reasons why they should; whereas with ritual, patterns of behavior are internalized and exert their influence before actions are taken, so people behave properly because they fear shame and want to avoid losing face. In this sense, "rite" is an ideal form of social norm.
The Chinese character for "rites", or "ritual", previously had the religious meaning of "sacrifice". Its Confucian meaning ranges from politeness and propriety to the understanding of each person's correct place in society. Externally, ritual is used to distinguish between people; their usage allows people to know at all times who is the younger and who the elder, who is the guest and who the host and so forth. Internally, rites indicate to people their duty amongst others and what to expect from them.
Internalization is the main process in ritual. Formalized behavior becomes progressively internalized, desires are channeled and personal cultivation becomes the mark of social correctness. Though this idea conflicts with the common saying that "the cowl does not make the monk," in Confucianism sincerity is what enables behavior to be absorbed by individuals. Obeying ritual with sincerity makes ritual the most powerful way to cultivate oneself:
Respectfulness, without the Rites, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the Rites, become timidity; boldness, without the Rites, becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the Rites, becomes rudeness.
Ritual can be seen as a means to find the balance between opposing qualities that might otherwise lead to conflict. It divides people into categories, and builds hierarchical relationships through protocols and ceremonies, assigning everyone a place in society and a proper form of behavior. Music, which seems to have played a significant role in Confucius' life, is given as an exception, as it transcends such boundaries and "unifies the hearts".
Although the Analects heavily promote the rites, Confucius himself often behaved other than in accord with them.
Loyalty is the equivalent of filial piety on a different plane. It is particularly relevant for the social class to which most of Confucius' students belonged, because the only way for an ambitious young scholar to make his way in the Confucian Chinese world was to enter a ruler's civil service. Like filial piety, however, loyalty was often subverted by the autocratic regimes of China. Confucius had advocated a sensitivity to the realpolitik of the class relations in his time; he did not propose that "might makes right", but that a superior who had received the "Mandate of Heaven" (see below) should be obeyed because of his moral rectitude.
In later ages, however, emphasis was placed more on the obligations of the ruled to the ruler, and less on the ruler's obligations to the ruled.
Loyalty was also an extension of one's duties to friends, family, and spouse. Loyalty to one's family came first, then to one's spouse, then to one's ruler, and lastly to one's friends. Loyalty was considered one of the greater human virtues.
Confucius also realized that loyalty and filial piety can potentially conflict.
Filial piety
Main article: Filial piety
"Filial piety" is considered among the greatest of virtues and must be shown towards both the living and the dead (including even remote ancestors). The term "filial" (meaning "of a child") characterizes the respect that a child, originally a son, should show to his parents. This relationship was extended by analogy to a series of five relationships (Chinese: 五倫; pinyin: wǔlún):
The Five Bonds
Ruler to Ruled
Father to Son
Husband to Wife
Elder Brother to Younger Brother
Friend to Friend
Specific duties were prescribed to each of the participants in these sets of relationships. Such duties were also extended to the dead, where the living stood as sons to their deceased family. This led to the veneration of ancestors. The only relationship where respect for elders wasn't stressed was the Friend to Friend relationship. In all other relationships, high reverence was held for elders.
The idea of Filial piety influenced the Chinese legal system: a criminal would be punished more harshly if the culprit had committed the crime against a parent, while fathers often exercised enormous power over their children. It's differentiated in other relationships much as the same. At the time it lean overly to parent side. Now filial piety is also built into law. People have responsibility to provide for their elder parents according to law.
The main source of our knowledge of the importance of filial piety is The Book of Filial Piety, a work attributed to Confucius and his son but almost certainly written in the 3rd century BCE. The Analects, the main source of the Confucianism of Confucius, actually has little to say on the matter of filial piety and some sources believe the concept was focused on later thinkers as a response to Mohism.
Filial piety has continued to play a central role in Confucian thinking to the present day.
Relationships are central to Confucianism. Particular duties arise from one's particular situation in relation to others. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: as a junior in relation to parents and elders, and as a senior in relation to younger siblings, students, and others. While juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe their seniors reverence, seniors also have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. This theme of mutuality is prevalent in East Asian cultures even to this day.
Social harmony—the great goal of Confucianism—therefore results in part from every individual knowing his or her place in the social order, and playing his or her part well. When Duke Jing of Qi asked about government, by which he meant proper administration so as to bring social harmony, Confucius replied:
There is government, when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son
Mencius says: "When being a child, yearn for and love your parents; when growing mature, yearn for and love your lassie; when having wife and child(ren), yearn for and love your wife and child(ren); when being an official (or a staffer), yearn for and love your sovereign (and/or boss)."
The term jūnz is crucial to classical Confucianism. Confucianism exhorts all people to strive for the ideal of a "gentleman" or "perfect man". A succinct description of the "perfect man" is one who "combines the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman." In modern times the masculine translation in English is also traditional and is still frequently used. Elitism was bound up with the concept, and gentlemen were expected to act as moral guides to the rest of society.
They were to:
cultivate themselves morally;
show filial piety and loyalty where these are due;
cultivate humanity, or benevolence.
The great exemplar of the perfect gentleman is Confucius himself. Perhaps the tragedy of his life was that he was never awarded the high official position which he desired, from which he wished to demonstrate the general well-being that would ensue if humane persons ruled and administered the state.
The opposite of the Jūnzǐ was the Xiorén . The character in this context means petty in mind and heart, narrowly self-interested, greedy, superficial, or materialistic.
Rectification of names
Main article: Rectification of Names
Confucius believed that social disorder often stemmed from failure to perceive, understand, and deal with reality. Fundamentally, then, social disorder can stem from the failure to call things by their proper names, and his solution to this was Zhèngmíng .He gave an explanation of zhengming to one of his disciples.
Zi-lu said, "The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?"
The Master replied, "What is necessary to rectify names."
"So! indeed!" said Zi-lu. "You are wide off the mark! Why must there be such rectification?"
The Master said, "How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish.
When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded.
When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect."
Xun Zi chapter "On the Rectification of Names" claims the ancient sage-kings chose names that directly corresponded with actualities , but later generations confused terminology, coined new nomenclature, and thus could no longer distinguish right from wrong.
Another key Confucian concept is that in order to govern others one must first govern oneself. When developed sufficiently, the king's personal virtue spreads beneficent influence throughout the kingdom. This idea is developed further in the Great Learning, and is tightly linked with the Taoist concept of wu wei the less the king does, the more gets done. By being the "calm center" around which the kingdom turns, the king allows everything to function smoothly and avoids having to tamper with the individual parts of the whole.
This idea may be traced back to early Chinese shamanistic beliefs, such as the king being the axle between the sky, human beings, and the Earth. The very Chinese character for "king" shows the three levels of the universe, united by a single line. Another complementary view is that this idea may have been used by ministers and counselors to deter aristocratic whims that would otherwise be to the detriment of the state's people.
The main basis of his teachings was to seek knowledge, study, and become a better person.
Although Confucius claimed that he never invented anything but was only transmitting ancient knowledge he did produce a number of new ideas. Many European and American admirers such as Voltaire and H. G. Creel point to the revolutionary idea of replacing nobility of blood with nobility of virtue. Jūnz , which originally signified the younger, non-inheriting, offspring of a noble, became, in Confucius' work, an epithet having much the same meaning and evolution as the English "gentleman". A virtuous plebeian who cultivates his qualities can be a "gentleman", while a shameless son of the king is only a "small man". That he admitted students of different classes as disciples is a clear demonstration that he fought against the feudal structures that defined pre-imperial Chinese society.
Another new idea, that of meritocracy, led to the introduction of the Imperial examination system in China. This system allowed anyone who passed an examination to become a government officer, a position which would bring wealth and honour to the whole family. The state Chinese Imperial examination system seems to have been started in 165 BC, when certain candidates for public office were called to the Chinese capital for examination of their moral excellence by the emperor. Over the following centuries the system grew until finally almost anyone who wished to become an official had to prove his worth by passing written government examinations.
His achievement was the setting up of a school that produced statesmen with a strong sense of patriotism and duty, known as Rujia . During the Warring States Period and the early Han Dynasty, China grew greatly and the need arose for a solid and centralized corporation of government officers able to read and write administrative papers. As a result, Confucianism was promoted by the emperor and the men its doctrines produced became an effective counter to the remaining feudal aristocrats who threatened the unity of the imperial state.
Since this time Confucianism has been used as a kind of "state religion", with authoritarianism, a kind of legitimism, paternalism, and submission to authority used as political tools to rule China. Most Chinese emperors used a mix of Legalism and Confucianism as their ruling doctrine, often with the latter embellishing the former.
The works of Confucius were translated into European languages through the agency of Jesuit scholars stationed in China. Mateo Rici started to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and father Prosparo Intorceta published the life and works of Confucius into Latin in 1687. It is thought that such works had considerable importance on European thinkers of the period, particularly among the Deists and other philosophical groups of the Enlightenment who were interested by the integration of the system of morality of Confucius into Western civilization.
For many years since the era of Confucius, there have generated various critiques against Confucianism, including Laozi's comment and Mozi's critique. Lu Xun also criticised Confucianism heavily for shaping Chinese people into the state they became in the late Qing Dynasty: this is greatly portrayed through his works A Madman's Diary and The True Story of Ah Q.
In modern times, waves of critique along with vilification against Confucianism arose. Taiping Rebellion, May Fourth Movement and Cultural Revolution are some upsurges of those waves in China. Taiping Rebellers described many sages in Confucianism as well as gods in Taoism and Buddhism as bogie. Marxians during Cultural Revolution described Confucius as the general representative of class of slave owners. Numerous opinions and interpretations of Confucianism of which many are actually opposed by Confucianism were invented.
Confucianism has a related principle idea called "He Er Bu Tong" ( peaceful but different or harmonious while diversified). Although people have differences in opinions, interests, preferences, profiles..., they should first keep peace, and people should live in harmony with each other and meanwhile keep their diversity. There are still other critique related Confucian ideas, e.g. If what others say is right and your fault is true, change it. If not, be careful of committing that kind of fault , Learn others' virtues, and reflect on your own weak points when you see others' .
The ideals of Confucianism also maintains a negative view of women in saying that women have no dignity and less human rights than men and are supposed to be at home, fulfilling the roles of wife and mother.
There is debate about the classification of Confucianism as a religion or a philosophy. Many attributes common among religions—such as ancestor worship, ritual, and sacrifice—apply to the practice of Confucianism; however, the religious features found in Confucian texts can be traced to traditional non-Confucian Chinese beliefs (chinese folk religion). The position adopted by some is that Confucianism is a moral science or philosophy. The problem clearly depends on how one defines religion. Since the 1970s professors and scholars have attempted to assess the religious status of Confucianism without assuming a definition based on the Western model (for example, Frederick Streng's definition, "a means of ultimate transformation"). Under such a definition Confucianism can legitimately be considered a religious tradition.
Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in his book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth has argued that Confucianism was a religion and elaborates further in attempting to explain through particular references that the religion in its orginal pristine form was a monotheistic religion divinely revealed to Confucious who he describes as a Prophet of God