Yu Yuan 豫园
Detail of Main Gate to Yu Yuan

Filial piety is a central concept in Confucian and Chinese philosophy. The idea that a son would build an elaborate garden for his father's retirement was as natural as the idea that soldiers would present themselves to the Emperor and kneel to swear loyalty as is shown in this three dimensional tableau. At the same time, filial piety requires a complementary responsibility from the ruler to the people and from the father to the son to ensure their well-being. Confucius believed that if the roles of each were fulfilled, society would progress smoothly.

Notice the Yin/Yang symbols on the railing. Yin and Yang are interdependent and change into one another.

China Index >> History of Shanghai and Suzhou Region >> Yu Yuan

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Last update: February 2007
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007