Confucius or Kongfuzi (known as “Master Kong”) is a Chinese philosopher of the 6th century BC and the founder of Confucianism.
This legendary historical figure from ancient China lived under the declining dynasty of the Zhous, whose legitimacy would have come from the gods through the “heavenly mandate”.
Concerned about moral values as well as law and order in society, Confucius traveled throughout China and taught much of his life. After his death, his ideas were collected by his followers (also called “the 12 philosophers”), and profoundly influenced all Chinese civilization, but also Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet-Nam.
His reflections were compiled by his disciples in the Analects (“Conversations”) in the form of philosophical anecdotes forming a “manual of good leaders.”
Confucianism (or “scholarly school”) was established as a state doctrine by the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century BC and remained so until the founding of the Republic of China in 1911.
The key values of his doctrine are: respect for the old and the traditions, loyalty, benevolence, modesty and humility.