Who: Confucius, a Chinese philosopher.

What: System of beliefs and ethics, sometimes called a religion.

Where: Ancient China

Why: To emphasize personal morality.

When: Confucius: 551-479BC.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

Confucianism is basically the code of just being a really, really nice person. It’s more of a social and ethical philosophy than a religion, teaching humanity, justice, propriety and etiquette, knowledge, integrity, loyalty, filial piety (loyalty to one’s parents and ancestors) and righteousness. Other facets include honesty, kindness and forgiveness, cleanness, morality, bravery, respect and frugality. The idea is for everyone to embody these virtues in order to create a more harmonious society. His teaching gave rise to laws in China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam, aiming for virtuous, harmonious relationships. Confucianism was popular in China until the fall of the Han Dynasty in about 220AD, when it was dropped in favour of Buddhism, but enjoyed resurgence in the 7th Century, when it was blended with Buddhism and Daoism.

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