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Arthur Pontynen and Julia K. Murray

Set of beliefs, morals and social values based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Chin. Kongzi; c. 551–479 bc). Although the following article relates solely to the influence of Confucian thought on art in China, Confucianism and its various subsequent revivals also had a great influence on developments elsewhere in East and South-east Asia (see Japan, §II, 5; Korea, §I, 4; and Vietnam, Socialist Republic of, §I, 3).

Arthur Pontynen

Confucius was a native of Qufu (modern Shandong Province), the capital of the state of Lu at the time of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (771–256 bc). Tradition relates that he did not hold any official post until he was 56; even then he wandered between the minor states, arousing controversy with his ideas, until he realized that his true aptitude lay in teaching and philosophy. The Lunyu (‘Analects’), compiled by his pupils some decades after his death, is the most reliable source for his doctrines. Its primary concern is good society based on good government and harmonious human relations, obtained not by coercion or oppression but by virtue and moral example....


Bruce A. Coats

(b Mino Prov. [now part of Gifu Prefect.], 1544; d Osaka, 1615).

Japanese samurai and master of the tea ceremony. He strongly influenced the development of tea aesthetics in the late 16th century and early 17th (see Japan, §XV, 1). He was reportedly born into the Kuwahara family and then adopted by Yoshida Shigesada (d 1598). He became known as Oribe after his appointment as a military official, Oribe no Kami, of Mino Province in 1585, at which time he became commander of Nishigaoka Castle at Yamashiro, near Kyoto. Oribe distinguished himself in the service of the military dictators Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi and through them met Sen no Rikyū, the foremost practitioner of the wabicha tea ceremony, which was based on the concept of wabi (‘simple, austere natural beauty’). By 1590 Oribe was one of Rikyū’s most promising disciples, and the two exchanged poetry and attended tea ceremonies together. Remarkably, Rikyū chose Oribe as his successor in preference to his own sons; similarly, when Rikyū died in ...