The Five Confucian Virtues: Background information when reading The Night Tiger

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The Night Tiger

A Novel

by Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo X
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2019, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 11, 2020, 400 pages

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The Five Confucian Virtues

This article relates to The Night Tiger

Painting of Chinese philosopher ConfuciusIn Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger, the two main characters, Ji and Ren, are named for two of the five virtues that make up the ethical system of Confucianism. Confucianism is a spiritual/philosophical tradition born out of the teachings of Chinese philosopher Confucius (who is believed to have lived circa 551-479 BCE), and it has been profoundly influential on the cultures of many Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, Japan and Korea. The five virtues come from the Confucian texts known as The Analects and The Book of Mencius (both originally published circa 475-221 BCE). They have been an integral part of the Chinese ethos for millennia, and continue to serve as moral guidelines in contemporary life.

The first of these virtues is Rén (仁), meaning humaneness or benevolence; this precept directs Confucian followers to be compassionate and kind to others. It is similar to the Western/Christian concept of the Golden Rule: that one should "do unto others as you ...

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