Monday, February 25, 2008

Confucius family tree 3m strong

JINAN: Confucius, or more precisely his descendants, are alive and kicking in China, as well as the rest of the world. And his updated family tree is set to triple the size of his descendants.

The work of registering new members to the family tree of the revered Chinese thinker and educator was finished last year, and now they number more than 2 million.

But the actual number of Confucius descendants living across the world is more than 3 million, 2.5 million of which are on the Chinese mainland.

The updated list will be published next year, to coincide with the 2,560th birth anniversary of Confucius (551-479 BC), the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (CGCC) says.

The new list, for the first time, will include overseas and female descendants of the great philosopher.

"We have more than 1.3 million new entries and have stopped soliciting new ones," says Kong Dewei, a Confucius descendant who is directing the updating work.

The 1.3 million new members of the family of Confucius have paid the official registration fee of 5 yuan (70 cents). The deceased members will be included free if their descendants can prove a collateral family tree that conforms to the Confucius genealogy, he says.

The registration work began in 1998 by Kong Deyong, a 77th-generation descendant, and the founder and chairman of the CGCC. Today, the Hong Kong-based committee has more than 450 branches across the world to assist the work.

Confucius' family tree has been revised four times. The last revision was completed in the 1930s, when the tree had 600,000 members.

More than 40,000 overseas descendants will be added to the fifth edition of the Confucius genealogy, with 34,000 of them from the Republic of Korea. The descendants flourished on the Korean Peninsula after a 54th-generation descendant reached there at the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).

The workers have succeeded in finding 900 Confucius descendants in Taiwan and two branches that had been lost for more than 1,000 years in Shanxi and Henan provinces, Kong says.

But the Confucius family tree doesn't include all of Confucius' offspring because links with some branches have been lost, he says.

Source: China Daily/Xinhua

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