The Three Obediences and Four Virtues (Chinese : 三 從 四 德 ; pinyin : Sān cóng Sì dé ) are the most basic set of moral principles and social code of behaviour for maidens and married women in East Asian Confucianism especially in Ancient and Imperial China. Even Chinese prostitutes in Ancient China followed this code to be defined as feminine. Some imperial eunuchs and modern gay men are also heavily influenced by these principles and rules, both observing them themselves and also enforcing and policing these behaviors in imperial harems, aristocratic households and society at large. The two Han Chinese terms ("three obediences" and "four virtues") first appeared in the Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial and in the Rites of Zhou respectively, which codified the protocol for an elegant and refined culture for Chinese civilization. It was originally meant to define the various parts of a harmonious society and not intended as a rule book. This code has heavily influenced feudal ancient and imperial China until the recent Maoist Era. It has heavily influenced both Korea and Japan as proscribed social philosophy until North Korea became Communist and even Vietnam . Parts of it are still followed in Japan until today, although it had been abandoned during the Great Leap Forward in China.
The three obediences for born females are to obey, give obéisances and follow the spiritual, ethical and moral wisdom of:
The Four Feminine Virtues for women are:
Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life, Confucianism developed from what was later called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.
Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period (春秋) and Warring States period (战国), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing, an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China—Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism—arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Mohism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians. Even in modern society, Confucianism is still the creed of etiquette for Chinese society.
The Tao Te Ching, also known as Lao Tzu or Laozi, is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC, but modern scholarship dates other parts of the text as having been written—or at least compiled—later than the earliest portions of the Zhuangzi.
Fenghuang are mythological birds found in Sinospheric mythology that reign over all other birds. It is known under similar names from various languages. The males were originally called feng and the females huang but such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and they are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be paired with the Chinese dragon, which is traditionally deemed male.
The Xuande Emperor, personal name Zhu Zhanji (朱瞻基), was the fifth Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1425 to 1435. His era name "Xuande" means "Proclamation of Virtue".
In Confucian, Chinese Buddhist and Taoist ethics, filial piety is a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors. The Confucian Classic of Filial Piety, thought to be written around the Qin-Han period, has historically been the authoritative source on the Confucian tenet of filial piety. The book, a purported dialogue between Confucius and his student Tseng Tzu, is about how to set up a good society using the principle of filial piety. Filial piety is central to Confucian role ethics.
Chinese folk religion, also known as popular religion, is a polyphyletic term used to describe the diversity of practices in areas generally termed "religion", of persons of Chinese heritage, including the Chinese diaspora. Vivienne Wee described it as "an empty bowl, which can variously be filled with the contents of institutionalized religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, the Chinese syncretic religions, or even Christianity (Catholic) and Hinduism." This may include the veneration of forces of nature and ancestors, exorcism of harmful forces, and a belief in the rational order of nature, the universe and reality that can be influenced by human beings and their rulers, as well as spirits and gods. Worship is devoted to a multiplicity of gods and immortals, who can be deities of phenomena, of human behaviour, or progenitors of lineages. Stories regarding some of these gods are collected into the body of Chinese mythology. By the 11th century, these practices had been blended with Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth, and Taoist teachings about hierarchies of gods, to form the popular religious system which has lasted in many ways until the present day.
The Rites of Zhou, originally known as "Officers of Zhou" is a work on bureaucracy and organizational theory. It was renamed by Liu Xin to differentiate it from a chapter in the Book of History by the same name. To replace a lost work, it was included along with the Book of Rites and the Etiquette and Ceremonial – becoming one of three ancient ritual texts listed among the classics of Confucianism.
The Chinese kinship system is classified as a "Sudanese" or "descriptive" system for the definition of family. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Sudanese system is one of the six major kinship systems together with Eskimo, Hawaiian, Iroquois, Crow, and Omaha.
Scholar-officials, also known as literati, scholar-gentlemen or scholar-bureaucrats were politicians and government officials appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day political duties from the Han dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912, China's last imperial dynasty. After the Sui dynasty these officials mostly came from the scholar-gentry who had earned academic degrees by passing the imperial examinations. The scholar-officials were schooled in calligraphy and Confucian texts. They dominated the government and local life of China until the early-20th century.
The Four Books and Five Classics are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China written before 300 BC.
The ranks of imperial consorts have varied over the course of Chinese history but remained important throughout owing to its importance in management of the inner court and in imperial succession, which ranked heirs according to the prominence of their mothers in addition to their strict birth order. Regardless of the age, however, it is common in English translation to simplify these hierarchy into the three ranks of Empress, consorts, and concubines. It is also common to use the term "harem", an Arabic loan word used in recent times to refer to imperial women's forbidden quarters in many countries. In later Chinese dynasties, these quarters were known as the rear palace. In Chinese, the system is called The Rear Palace System.
Jing zuo refers to the Neo-Confucian meditation practice advocated by Zhu Xi and Wang Yang-ming. Jing zuo can also be described as a form of spiritual self-cultivation that helps a person achieve a more fulfilling life.
Chinese ancestor worship or Chinese ancestor veneration, also called the Chinese patriarchal religion, is an aspect of the Chinese traditional religion which revolves around the ritual celebration of the deified ancestors and tutelary deities of people with the same surname organised into lineage societies in ancestral shrines. Ancestors, their ghosts, or spirits, and gods are considered part of "this world", that is, they are neither supernatural nor transcendent in the sense of being beyond nature. The ancestors are humans who have become godly beings, beings who keep their individual identities. For this reason, Chinese religion is founded on veneration of ancestors. Ancestors are believed to be a means of connection to the supreme power of Tian as they are considered embodiments or reproducers of the creative order of Heaven.
Women in ancient and imperial China were restricted from participating in various realms of social life, through social stipulations that they remain indoors, whilst outside business should be conducted by men. The strict division of the sexes, apparent in the policy that "men plow, women weave", partitioned male and female histories as early as the Zhou dynasty, with the Rites of Zhou even stipulating that women be educated specifically in "women's rites". Though limited by policies that prevented them from owning property, taking examinations, or holding office, their restriction to a distinctive women's world prompted the development of female-specific occupations, exclusive literary circles, whilst also investing certain women with certain types of political influence inaccessible to men. Women had greater freedom during the Tang dynasty, however, the status of women declined from the Song dynasty onward with the rise of neo-Confucianism.
Society in the Joseon Dynasty was built upon Neo-Confucianist ideals, namely the three fundamental principles and five moral disciplines. There were four classes, the yangban nobility, the "middle class" chungin, sangmin, or the commoners and the cheonmin, the outcasts at the very bottom. Society was ruled by the yangban, who constituted 10% of the population and had several privileges. Slaves were of the lowest standing.
The Confucian church is a Confucian religious and social institution of the congregational type. It was first proposed by Kang Youwei (1858-1927) near the end of the 19th century, as a state religion of Qing China following a European model.
The Four Books for Women was a collection of material intended for use in the education of young Chinese women. In the late Ming and Qing dynasties, it was a standard text read by the daughters of aristocratic families. The four books had circulated separately and were combined by the publishing house Duowen Tang in 1624.
The Zhengde Tongbao is a fantasy cash coin, Chinese, and Vietnamese numismatic charm bearing an inscription based on the reign title of the Zhengde Emperor of the Ming dynasty. The Zhengde Emperor reigned from the year 1505 until 1521, however during this period no circulating cash coins were minted. There were a large amount "cash coins" bearing the Zhengde era name are minted from the late Ming to early Qing dynasty periods as superstitious "lucky coins" with auspicious depictions and instructions, as this inscription remained popular for charms modern reproductions of the Zhengde Tongbao are also very common.
Marriage coin charms are a category of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese numismatic charms that depict marriage, harmonious, and/or sexual imagery. These coin charms often imitate the design of Chinese cash coins, but can exist in many different shapes and sizes.