Yu Dan and China’s Return to Confucius – Sheila Melvin

The International Herald Tribune is the latest to look at the fad for all things Confucius thanks to trendy scholar Yu Dan:

0830Melvin265The current rage for things ancient – dubbed “national studies fever” – has led in several cities to a revival of private schools known as “si shu” where children bow to statues of Confucius and memorize ancient texts about benevolence and obedience under the tutelage of teachers who dress in Han Dynasty-style robes. Contemporary analyses of classic novels have become best sellers and televised lectures in which university professors expound on esoteric areas of Chinese culture and history draw tens of millions of viewers.

But perhaps the most conspicuous symbol of national studies fever is the continuing popularity of “Yu Dan’s Reflections on ‘The Analects,’ ” by a professor of media studies at Beijing Normal University, Yu Dan, that has sold 4.2 million legal copies and an estimated 6 million pirated versions since it was published last December. [Full text]

[Image: Yu Dan, via the IHT]

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