Qu Fu, China, Confucius Hometown

In the summer of 2000 I traveled to Confucius hometown, Qu Fu, Shandong Province of China.  In this small town, three most famous attractions include Confucius Temple, Confucius Family Complex, and Confucius Family Cemetory.  It is such an interesting experience to tour places like this and revisit the long history of Chinese intellectual and social roots.


The main street of Qu Fu.  I took the long distance bus from Qi Dao city to arrive Qu Fu after nearly 5 hours driving.  I checked in a hotel about two blocks away from here to the right side of the road for $35 per night.


        1. I am in front of the old city gate.  The stone tablet marks                                    2. Here is the road that connects the               
            the name of the town, Qu Fu.  This place is about two                                            previous and next pictures.         
            blocks away from my hotel.

1. Confucius Temple


                                                    3. The grand entrance of Confucius Temple.

  4. The entrance to Confucius Temple.  The three                             5. The next entrance of Confucius Temple.
  Chinese characters say "Star Gate."                                                    The four big Chinese characters above the gate
                                                                                                            behind me say: "Grand Hamony."

              6. One of the gigantic stone tablet inside Confucius.                             7. Another stone tablet with a big turtle underneath      
                 Temple,  The four big red characters read: "Roots of                           The top portion is carved with dragons.  The crack
                of Five Chinese Mountains."                                                                 in the middle was caused by the destruction during the                                                                                                                                                            Cultural Revolution (1966-76) when tradition & cultural
                                                                                                                            relics such as this were seen as evil.


                             8. More stone tablets.  The cracks were caused by the same reason stated above.

                 9. An imperial decree is ingraved in this stone tablet                     10. A sacred stone tablet.
                   tablet when the Chinese emperor visited the place
                   in the late 19th century.

              11. The big temple hall inside the Concfucius Temple.                     12. The big red gate with high door step.
               The three Chinese characters above the hall mean:                             According to Chinese superstition, higher
               "The Hall of Great Achievement."                                                      door step can deter evil spirits from entering                                                                                                                                                                            the house.
          13. Ten stone pillars carved with altogether 1296 dragons                    14. A closer look at the the stone pillar and
          stand in front of the Hall of Great Acomplishment.                                      the carved dragons.


                  15. The stone rail on the side of the Hall of Great Accomplishment.  An interesting
                  sign here is that the hole for water release is used to hold the mop.

2. Confucius Family Complex

          16. The tree is believed to be planted by Confucius                             17. I am in front of the treet
               himself, therefore, must be over 2000 years old. 
               The stone tablet next to the tree says: "Planted
               by the grand master."

            18. Architecture inside the Confucius Family                      19. In this complicated arrangment, the corners
                 courtyard is very well designed.  In 18 & 19                       of 3 different roofs are overapping in one cubic
                The formation of the edge of the roofs reflects                      space without touching each other.  Together they
                a tipical Chinese  saying "gou xin dou jia."                             form the 2nd half of the saying "dou jiao"--"pointing
               18 shows two roof corner pointing toward each                    the spikes."
               other representing the 1st half of the saying
               "gou xin" meaning "conflict with twisted hearts."      

              20. Several animals stand on this extension of roof edge, a typical architecture design of traditional China.

                              21. Reportedly, Empress Dowager Ci Xi wrote this charater,
                                    which means "longevity" when she visited Confucius
                                    family complex in Oct. 15, 18  .


          22. This piece of stone is made in a shape of washing board with several curves, which was a major 
         washing tool in the old time.  But the function of this stone board is a tool of punishment of women
          in the Confucius family.  Women were to kneel down on this board for long hours.  In contemporary
          Chinese society, "to kneel over a washing board" carries the meaning of being punished inside the
         household, especially for husbands.  It looks like it is women's vengence now!


          23 & 24.  This is a performing procession inside Cconfucius Family complex to show how the traditional
             ritual ceromony used to be carried out.


    25. Here shows the emperor leading the Confucius ritual to pay respect to the Heaven.  The person playing the emperor is in yellow robe.
 In all 3 photos actors are in Manchu dress, indicating the time period to be in the Qing Dynasty, 1600-1911.  It cost 5 Chinese Yuan to get
 in this court yard to watch the show.

3. Confucius Family Cemetery


    26. This is the entrance gate to the Confucius Family Cemetery.  It took me about 25 minutes on a tricycle from my hotel to the place.
 The picture was taken by the tricycle man, who also waited for me at the gate of the cemetery for nearly 2 hours in order to take me back.
 I paid him 15 Chinese Yuan (ca. $2), already twice the regular price.


                      27 & 28. On my way to the cemetery, I stopped in this open field
                        mason place where several Confucius statues and legendary
                        Qiling sacred animal are in the making.

                 29. The entrance of Confucius Family Cemetery.                 30. "The Bridge of Wisdom."   I should have
                     The peddlers on both sides are sell all kinds                           become smarter by now given that I crossed
                    of crafts related to Confucius.                                               over the bridge to be a wiser person.


            31 & 32. Two sacred animals of this kind guard the entrance to Confucius tomb.


   33. Two officials, one intellectual and another martial, are standing on guard beyond the animal position.


    34 & 35. The intellectual official on the left with a tablet, the symbol of imperial knowledge, and
     the martial offical on the right holding a sword.


                 36 & 37. More animals and gates protect the entrance to Confucius tomb.  The photo on the
                                right show Confucius tomb to the very right end.  The hut further was built for Confucius
                               students to stay mourning for months.


                38 & 39. Confucius Tomb.  The legend goes that when the tomb stone was made to have Confucius
               name and title carved on, it said "The Great Intelelctual King and Our Saint Ancestor."   Imperial official
               did not like the idea and were worried addressing Confucius "King."  So when the tablet was erected,
               the front stone rail was positioned higher deliberately to fence part of the character "wang" meaning
               "king" so it is not seen in full as "king."  Without getting very close, the last character, missing one
              horizen stroke, is only seen as "gan," meaning "dry" or "branch."  The were trying to be politically correct.


        40 & 41.  Leaving Confucius Tomb, I went on to tour the entire cemetery, which took me over two
        hours on foot. The photo on the right  is the 73rd generation of Confucius family member.  The rule
        of burial is that only male members can be buried in the cemetery.  Neither daughters nor duaghter-
       in-laws are allowed to be buried here.  The only exception is a daughter of the emperor who married
       a Confucius member.


     42. This is the tomb of Kong Lingyi (1872-1919), who was the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and
     tax tsar of the early Nationalist government.  His son Kong Dequan, who is in his early 80s, is still
     alive in Taiwan.


      43 & 44.  Some of the tombs are decorated better than others, with paved road, stone pillars,
        and animal guards.

      45. This is the only female tomb, the princess of the emperor who married a Confucius member. 
     The entrance gate leads to the tomb in the distance.

       46. This is the back entrance to the Confucius Tomb.  The road in front of the gate runs in circle
       throughout the cemetery.  I started from the other side of the road and ended coming out from
      this way. Several women are here waiting at the gate trying to get tourists to have their fortune told. 
      They stopped me and told me that I looked so gracious and lucky and I might have good luck if I let
       them read my palm.  I told them I had already known my fortune and they did not like that.