Image of the Great Mother Yan Zhengzai in the Chinese Culture and Literature

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2019, Vol. 5. №3(19)

Image of the Great Mother Yan Zhengzai in the Chinese Culture and Literature

Authors: Yongju Fu, Zhu Yufu

For citation: Yongju F., Yufu Z. 2019. “Image of the Great Mother Yan Zhengzai in the Chinese Culture and Literature”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 5, no 3 (19), pp. 117-132. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2019-5-3-117-132

About the authors:

Yongju Fu, Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Professor, Confucius Institute, Qufu Normal University (China); Doctoral Research Advisor, Literature and History Research Librarian of Shandong Province;
Zhu Yufu, Dr., Professor, Foreign Languages Department, Tyumen State University; Professor of Qufu Normal University (China);


This article aims to present Confucius’ mother, Yan Zhengzai, in the Chinese ancient literature and history, remembering her feats of home education and praising her wisdom as the first representative of wise women in the Chinese traditional culture.
China has never had a Mother’s Day, because there is no consensus on the typical representative of a Chinese mother. Confucius (28 September 551 B.C. — 11 April 479 B.C.) is one of the representatives of Chinese culture, his doctrine — Confucianism — is the foundation and spiritual mentality of the Chinese nation. Yang Zhengzai was both Confucius’s mother and first teacher. With her unique and new vision, concept, content, and teaching method, she brought up Confucius as the “Wise Teacher of Antiquity”, a great thinker, and educator of the traditional society of ancient China. She left the precious wisdom for Chinese matriarchal culture behind, making this great woman a worthy Chinese Holy Mother.
This paper details the hard mental journey of the great mother and her teaching principles for the dignified development of the great son, as well as presenting other Chinese great mothers.
The authors note that Yan Zhengzai is the most successful female model of family education in China and the world. Therefore, the authors propose to establish a Mother’s Day in China honoring Yang Zhengzai.


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