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Totally Confucius Sites N Stuff Maaaaan!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Qufu is located 130 km south of the provincial capital of Shandong, Jinan city. It has an urban population of about 60,000 people and as we know is the birthplace of Confucius. Qufu city actually served as the capital of the State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn Period (Three Kingdoms AD220 to 80) and the major cultural sites in the city are all associated with Confucius. All three have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1994. If you are planning on a visit to Qufu make sure you put aside an entire day to visit the cities three main sites. You can get one ticket that allows entry into not only all three but also the Confucius museum. Luo Wei and I never went to the museum as there are English signs through out all three of the main sites. The 'Big Ticket’ costs 150 Yuan and it is best to begin your day at the southern most gate into the Confucius Temple which can be found just inside the southern most gate into the city on Shendao Lu. Here you will find a heap of people selling overpriced drinks and fans etc. Halve what ever they ask and if they don’t take it head to the next stall. They probably won’t take it either….now it’s your choice. How thirsty are you? It’s not often that Luo Wei ever comments on such things as for her they are simply trying to make the best of what they can while they can do it and being from a tiny rural village near Kaifeng city she has an understanding of what its like to grow up with nothing. Here in China the ‘You Buy You Buy’ people always try for an extra Yuan to two but they will usually only ask it the first time. Once they know that you know the real price they give a chuckle and hand over what it is you are after and life goes on. So it was a big surprise to me when some time during the morning she came out with; I don’t understand why they are treating us this way!’ ‘What’s wrong with these people?’ My answer was that they had all come from Ningxia Province to find work as the only other time I have ever heard her speak the same words (maybe a little harsher) was when we were travelling through Ningxia Province last year on the 2008 Beers N Noodles Adventure. In both places (meaning most of Ningxia, especially in the north and here in Qufu, everyone is after more than an extra Yuan. For a single bottle of one Yuan water they will ask for five Yuan and they will then argue why you should pay five Yuan instead of one Yuan. But it’s not only at road side stalls, it is even in super markets. Two nights ago in a small supermarket I purchased two bottles of water (two Yuan each) and two beers (three Yuan each) and without thought the guy asked me for twenty one Yuan, that’s eleven Yuan extra. I handed him twenty one Yuan and waited till he put it all in to a bag and I unpacked it all again and asked how much each item was and each time he went above its real price I asked again. In the end we both came to the correct total and he gave an embarrassed laugh, I laughed and be both parted laughing. Last night in a bigger supermarket near the hostel I got two waters, a bar of soap and some toothpaste. I had already added the total from the price tags on the shelves and when she ran the toothpaste through the scanner the girl next to her told her to run it through not only twice but a third time with me standing right before them. I was absolutely stunned at what they had done. I am unsure what language they think BEEP is from but for most it is simply computer language. Maybe they think that English speaking people hear BEEP differently than they do. With the ease they completed such a task it was obvious that most of those that enter their supermarket from the hostel leave paying a little or a lot more than they should and most wouldn’t even know. I handed over the correct total and they both shook their heads and asked for the total on the register. I then asked them to wipe the scan and I scanned all the items myself and gave them the total. So if you are planning on a visit to Qufu simply never pay the asking price and check the shelf prices in all stores. In most countries such as China people will always try for a little more but it is not often they will fight you for it especially people as honest as the Chinese and don’t let this allow you to change your mind as it is all part of the fun. Honestly I don’t like proving people wrong but how good did it feel to re-scan all my items last night! That was so cool, you should have seen the look on their faces…..now that I liked! Another little game that is played in Qufu is by the pedicab drivers. You will agree on a price prior to leaving, lets say two or three Yuan from the hostel (opposite the Yan Temple) to the cities southern gate and when you are there they will ask for four or six and continue to tell you that THEY thought that YOU meant two or three Yuan for each of you. I take a lot of pedicab rides here in China and it is not often I come across that one. Normally they will ask for a single Yuan or so extra with a tired look on their face, and this includes those who have a motor to move their bike. Once you remind them of the original price they’ll give a chuckle and life goes on.

So there you have it, the next time you receive one of those Confucius Says emails or some one quotes you a Confucius Says quote you will hopefully remember this blog entry and remember that he was a real man who lived in total poverty and never saw or had any idea of what his teachings would do to the eastern world. Any how Qufu city, do it, don’t miss it and Confucius says….Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: ALL PHOTOS CAN BE FOUND BELOW THE TEXT! __________________________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by Never Mind The Originals Here’s The Covers Even if you hated 80’s music, this one is worth it just for the memories….it is awesome! __________________________________________________________________________ <u>Temple</u><u> of Confucius</u><u> (Kong Miao)</u> Within two years after the death of Confucius, his former house in Qufu was already consecrated as a temple by the Prince of Lu. In 205 BC, Emperor Gao of the Han Dynasty was the first emperor to offer sacrifices to the memory of Confucius in Qufu. He set an example for many emperors and high officials to follow. Later, emperors would visit Qufu after their enthronement or on important occasions such as a successful war. In total, 12 different emperors paid twenty personal visits to Qufu to worship Confucius. About 100 others sent their deputies for 196 official visits. The original three-room house of Confucius was removed from the temple complex during a rebuilding undertaken in 611 AD. In 1012 and in 1094, during the Song Dynasty, the temple was extended into a design with three sections and four courtyards, around which eventually more than 400 rooms were arranged. Fire and vandalism destroyed the temple in 1214, during the Jin Dynasty. It was restored to its former extent by the year 1302 during the Yuan Dynasty. Shortly thereafter, in 1331, the temple was framed in an enclosure wall modeled on the Imperial palace. After another devastation by fire in 1499, the temple was finally restored to its present scale. Dragon pillar in front of Dacheng Hall.The temple complex is the second largest historical building complex in China (after the Forbidden City), it covers an area of 16,000 square meters and has a total of 460 rooms. Because the last major redesign following the fire in 1499 took place shortly after the building of the Forbidden City in the Ming Dynasty, the architecture of the Temple of Confucius resembles that of the Forbidden City in many ways. It is supported by 28 richly decorated pillars, each 6 m high and 0.8 m in diameter and carved in one piece out of local rock. The 10 columns on the front side of the hall are decorated with coiled dragons. It is said that these columns were covered during visits by the emperor in order not to arouse his envy. Dacheng Hall served as the principal place for offering sacrifices to the memory of Confucius. In the center of the courtyard in front of Dacheng Hall stands the "Apricot Platform", which commemorates Confucius teaching his students under an apricot tree. Each year at Qufu and at many other Confucian temples a ceremony is held on September 28 to commemorate Confucius' birthday. The artifacts of the historical sites at Qufu suffered extensive damage during the Cultural Revolution when about 200 staff members and students of Beijing Normal University came to Qufu and destroyed more than 6000 artifacts in November 1966. <u>Cemetery</u><u> of Confucius</u><u></u> The Cemetery of Confucius lies to the north of the town of Qufu, the oldest graves found in this location date back to the Zhou Dynasty (1100 to 221BC). The original tomb erected here in memory of Confucius on the bank of the Sishui River had the shape of an axe. In addition, it had a brick platform for sacrifices. The present-day tomb is a cone-shaped hill. When it was opened by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution no human remains were found in it. Tombs for the descendants of Confucius and additional stela to commemorate him were soon added around Confucius' tomb. Since Confucius' descendants were conferred noble titles and were given imperial princesses as wives, many of the tombs in the cemetery show the status symbols of noblemen. Tombstones came in use during the Han Dynasty (206BC to AD220), today there are about 3,600 tombstones dating from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties still standing in the cemetery. In 1331 construction work began on the wall and gate of the cemetery. In total, the cemetery has undergone 13 renovations and extensions. Eventually, by the late 18th century, the perimeter wall reached a length of 7.5 km, enclosing an area of 3.6 square kilometers. In this space, the tombs of more than 100,000 descendants of Confucius, who have been buried there over a period of about 2000 years, can be found. The oldest graves date back to the Zhou Dynasty, the most recent of which belong to descendants in the 76th and 78th generation. The corpse of the duke of Qufu in the 76th was removed from its grave and hung naked from a tree in front of the palace during the desecration of the cemetery in the cultural revolution. More than 10,000 mature trees give the cemetery a forest-like appearance. A road runs from the north gate of Qufu to the exterior gate of the cemetery in a straight line. It is 1266 m in length and lined by cypress and pine trees. Along this road lies the Yan Temple, dedicated to Confucius' favorite student. <u>Kong</u><u> Family Mansion</u><u></u> The descendants of Confucius lived in the Kong family mansion located to the east of the temple. They were in charge of tending to the temple and cemetery. In particular, they were in charge of conducting elaborate religious ceremonies on occasions such as plantings, harvests, honoring the dead, and birthdays. The Kong family was in control of the largest private rural estate in China. The first mansion was built in 1038 during the Song dynasty (AD960 to 1125) and was originally connected directly to the temple. During a rebuilding in 1377 directed by the first Ming dynasty Emperor, it was moved a short distance away from the temple. In 1503, it was expanded into three rows of buildings with 560 rooms and - like the Confucius Temple - 9 courtyards. The mansion underwent a complete renovation in 1838 only to perish in a fire 47 years later in 1887. It was rebuilt two years later; the cost of both 19th century renovations was covered by the Emperor. Today, the mansion comprises 152 buildings with 480 rooms, which cover an area of 12,470 square metres. The family mansion was inhabited by descendants of Confucius until 1937, when Confucius' descendant in the 76th and 77th generations fled to Chongqing during the Second Sino-Japanese War and later during the Chinese Civil War to Taiwan, where the head of the family still resides.

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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