We know Confucius as the wise man the internet misquotes every so often. We got to visit his Temple in Taipei.
To guide your way through the temple, pick up a guide available in various languages at the entrance. This guide will tell you stories as you go through each and every thing that you can see inside the compound. The meanings and importance of doors, gates, bridges, gongs, bells, symbols and designs are thoroughly discussed on the guide.
Here are a few of the stories read and seen at the temple:
The Greatest Sage and Foremost Teacher
Surnamed Kong, Confucius was given the first name Qiu, and the social name Zhongni. He was born in the state of Lu in 551 B.C., and died in 479 B.C. at the age of 73. As a child, he enjoyed imitating religious rites; before long, he was studying ancient government administration with Tanzi, rituals with Daoist Master Laozi, and music with Chang Hong, Shi Xiang. He never tire of learning and became an erudite and widely-capable man.
Confucius took the word “Ren” (Benevolence) as the basis of his thought. He believed in education without discrimination, and was the first master in China to accept disciples. He taught over 3,000 students in his life. Later, he was called the Greatest Exemplar of Teachers of All Time. His teachers were embodied in the Four Books: the “Confucian Analects”, the “Book of Mencius”, the “Great Learning”, and the “Doctrine of the Mean”.
Both broad and profound, Confucianism has not only been the cornerstone of Chinese culture for more than 2,500 year, but has also had great influence abroad, in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and even the Western world.
Confucius and Archery
In ancient times, bows and arrows were awarded to statesmen who made great contributions. Archery equipment was considered extremely valuable and can be classified into the “6 bows and 8 arrows.”
Confucius considered archery to be a very important skill and commanded his students to practice archery. The Five “She” refers to the five techniques of ancient Chinese archery. They incorporate the body, the hands, and a focused mind. Confucius was not only knowledgeable, but also a skilled archer and a cultivated person.
As with most temples that we’ve visited in Taipei, Confucius Temple boasts of intricate interiors and the color red. We were getting familiar with dragons and colorful roofs, as well. In some rooms, disciples, scholars of later dynasties who advanced Confucianism were honored. In other rooms, more teachings of Confucius were given emphasis. Very educational, as one would expect!
How To Get There
1. Take the Tamsui-Xinyi line (red).
2. Alight at Yuanshan station and exit at Exit 2.