This religion, practiced today by some 5.2 million people, was founded by Chinese philosopher Confucius in the sixth century BC Originally practiced in China, where he became a sort of official religion of the empire. Since this country was extended to various nations of Northeast and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Confucianism has a strong ethical component and aims to strengthen public and private virtue. It established several principles, among which the jen, a pillar of this value system, which aims to strengthen the love and kindness. The main corollaries of jen are the shu, which is equivalent to altruism, and chung, which is loyalty itself. The linking of traditional Confucianism with the State made this belief system was pursued relentlessly since the Republican revolution that ended with the Chinese empire in 1911.
The teacher, who appreciated some of the most ancient texts of Chinese thought, as the I Ching, a divination manual dating from the ninth century BC, produced an anthology chronicling events of his country's feudal period. His teachings were collected by his followers in various texts, including highlights and Lunyu Sishu.