Husband and wife relationship in confucianism which is the most important

Confucius Five relationships - SJS Wiki

husband and wife relationship in confucianism which is the most important

The purpose of this study is to examine relationships between Confucian family .. other causes leading to the shattering of affection between husband and wife . Confucianism has been an important influence on Korean, Japanese, and and the father-son relationship is more important that the husband-wife relationship;. Confucius says that the husband in a marriage should behave righteously to Confucius' doctrine that the father in a family is the most important figure in a.

The reward for good behavior is not living in heaven after death; goodness is its own reward: We feel fulfilled, and society is harmonious. The good person is courteous, considerate, avoids extremes such as by neither craving luxury nor practicing asceticismand follows the "golden rule": Confucianism presents the individual not as a detached entity but always as part of human relationships. Five such relationships are addressed specifically: In each relationship, both parties have obligations.

For instance, the father should be kind, furnish security, and provide education. The son should be respectful, obedient, and care for his father in old age. As Asian societies have modernized, Confucianism has been criticized for inhibiting democracy, being an obstacle to economic development, and justifying the subjugation of women. Regarding democracy, Creel noted aspects of Confucianism that are compatible with democracy: At the same time, three crucial aspects of Confucianism inhibit the development of democracy.

First, the ideal political situation is a society ruled by a sage-emperor, that is, someone who has both wisdom and power. Confucius believed that the elite should control the common people.


However, gaining political office should not be a hereditary right; leaders should be chosen because they are intelligent and morally upright. A husband should be good to his wife, and his wife should, in turn, be obedient. An older sibling should be gentle to younger siblings, and younger siblings should be respectful of their older siblings. Finally two friends should be considerate and respectful of each other.

Based on these principles, Confucius believed it was possible to form an ideal relationship with everyone people encountered throughout their lives. The fact that three of the five relationships are familial reiterates the key role that family plays in Confucianism. Confucius says that a father must display love and kindness toward his son, while the son should display obedience and reverence toward his father.

husband and wife relationship in confucianism which is the most important

If one is close to them, they lose their reserve, while if one is distant, they feel resentful. The preference for boy babies over girls in Asian society is tied up in part in the Confucian belief that a male heir is necessary to carry on the family name, provide leadership for the family, and take care of the family ancestors.

Chinese parents worry that if they don't produce a male heir no one will take care of them in their old age and no one will keep them company or look after them in the afterlife.

Confucius famously said that a good woman is an illiterate one. Women often suffered under the Confucian system. Not only are they ordered around by men, they are often ordered around by each other in very vicious or mean ways.

husband and wife relationship in confucianism which is the most important

Older sisters have traditionally pushed their younger sisters around with impunity, and mothers of sons are notorious for treating their daughters-in-law like servants. Confucianism does not consider sexual activity as wrong, but love and tenderness are treated with mistrust, and physical displays of them are considered at least questionable.


This rule applies not only to showing affection in public, but also to its display in the privacy of the home. As early as in the seventeenth century, male and female poets protested against it. Encyclopedia of Sexuality, 2. Confucianism dominated Chinese sociopolitical life for most of Chinese history. In The Works of Mencius, one of the major Confucianism classics book 6, part 1we find: Chu Hsi laid the foundations of Neo-Confucianism as the sole state religion.

It encouraged a puritanical and strictly authoritarian form of government, including the establishment of censorship and thought control. However, the government had difficulty enforcing these views on the lower class or sciao-ren the non-exemplary class of people. Thus it was left for Confucian scholars to apply the principles enunciated by Confucius and Mencius to the task of prescribing expectations and behavioral norms for women in a Confucian family and a Confucian society.

To these scholars also fell the task of justifying the education of women and the task of laying forth the parameters and techniques for the education of girls and women.

Song Ruohua and her sister, Song Ruozhao. Both were daughters of a high-ranking Tang official, Song Fen. Ruohua wrote the text below, while her sister, Ruozhao, propagated it. Ruozhao did not marry, but dedicated her life to the instruction of women, being invited to the court of the Tang Dezong Emperor in the late eighth century to serve as instructor of the royal princesses.