Beijing: An estimated six lakh more descendants of Chinese philosopher Confucius will be included in the thinker’s genealogical record books, believed to be the world’s largest, a top official said today. Compilers have started updating the records in Qufu, Shandong Province and descendants may inquire and register at any time, said Kong Deyong, a 77th-generation descendant of the revered Chinese philosopher and chief compiler of the family tree.
“At least an additional 600,000 descendants of Confucius will be included,” he said, adding that the latest revision also represents a change to an old rule that the books may only be revised every 30 or 60 years, sate-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The new additions are mainly ethnic minority members, women and people living overseas who are blood descendants of Confucius whose names had not been included in the family tree. “The lives and stories of renowned descendants will be included in the records to educate the younger generation,” Kong said.
He said a digital database of the family tree is being built to ensure the records stay up-to-date. Confucius, born in 551 BC in Qufu in eastern China’s Shandong Province, was a great teacher and thinker whose theories have been a dominant ideology in the Communist country for more than 2,000 years.
Confucius was dismissed as bourgeois by Mao Zedong during the 1960s Cultural Revolution, but Confucian thought has witnessed a surge in popularity in recent years. China’s ruling Communist Party has returned to many traditional Confucian ideas since the 1990s, emphasising the need for social harmony and respect for authority in an increasingly divided and materialistic society.