Chinese : Sangang xingshi tu


<p style='text-align: justify;'>The ‘Three Principles’ (sangang 三綱) of the title refer to the relations between ruler and minister, father and son, as well as husband and wife. In other words, this is a book on traditional Confucian gender (and other) hierarchies in society. The item was probably printed in the Chosŏn dynasty of Korea (1392-1897) but might also have been imported from Ming China. This book contains stories of Confucian heroes and heroines: individuals who act as loyal subjects, filial sons, or devoted wives. It belongs to an East Asian genre often called ‘moral primers’ in English. The texts are in literary Chinese, with annotations in Korean Hangul 한글 script.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>One typical story of this item tells about a boy named Shou who witnesses his father being killed by a tiger. Shou scares the tiger away, ‘obtains the corpse of his father’ (得父屍), and returns home. Shou lays out his father’s intact body (bodily integrity is a key Confucian idea) and keeps vigil next to it. In consequence, Shou’s household is ‘flagged’ as the household of a filial son. Filial piety (xiao 孝) is the essence of this moral lesson. </p>

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