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Home History & Culture Chinese Saints

Chinese Sages & Saints

Chinese saints or sages traditionally are defined to be the utmost perfect man with the most comprehensive intelligence and practices. In summary, it can be deemed as the man who is of the talents and morality simultaneously. Initially, it was an ideal personality that Confucians strived for. As the extension and widening of it in use, many great souls of academics and schools were all respected to be the saints or sages. But the great men of the remote ages like Yao, Shun Yu, Emperor Yellow, Emperor Yan, Chi You and so on are the shared sages of all the schools. In different religions, they have their own sages. In Confucianism, there were lots of famous historic or mythic souls considered as the sages of theirs like Three Kings and Five Emperors, Yi Yin, Fu Yue, Shang Tang, Bo Yi, King Wen of Zhou, King Wu of Zhou, Lord Zhou, Liu Xiahui, Confucius, Yan Yuan, Mencius, Zen Zi, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming and so on. In Taoism, the sages or saints are mostly the great souls who turn to be the immortals through their own cultivation and meditation like Lao Zi, Zhuang Zi, Lie Zi and so on. In Buddhism, the sages usually are the Buddha and Bodhisattva. In folk China, another unique viewpoint of the grassroots given based on people’s simple likes and dislikes, and they usually select a quite related figure to be the god of something they use, eat and drink. For instance ,they respect Du Kang as the sage of wine, Zhang Zhongjing as the sage of medicine, Wang Xizhi as the sage of calligraphy, Wu Daozi as the sage of painting, Guan Yu as the sage of Kung Fu, Fan Li as the sage of business, Sima Qian as the sage of history and so on. Anyway, the topic of Chinese saints or sages is a multiple thinking and discussion. Any type of depiction and demonstration is to show the greatness and influence of those great souls in ancient China. Thanks to their great achievements, China has a fantastic and glorious page of philosophy, religion and spirituality.

Chinese Saints

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Confucius was the greatest sage of China and one of world-famous philosopher as one of the founders of Confucianism

Lao Zi

Lao Zi was the founder of Taoism and the great tutor of Chinese elites. Lao Zi was the greatest contributor to Chinese ancient civilization

Zhuang Zi

Zhuang Zi was the second great sage of Taoism and the most influential and talented soul to Chinese art, literature and philosophy

Xun Zi

Xun Zi was the most comprehensive master and sage of Confucianism and contributed to reediting classics of Confucianism


Mencius was the second greatest sage of Confucianism. He succeeded and broke through the tradition of Confucianism that Confucius established

Lie Zi

Lie Zi was the third greatest sage of Taoism before Qin Dynasty and said to be a mythical figure with supernatural power of wind

Zheng Xuan

Zheng Xuan was the greatest academic master & Confucian classics annotator in Han Dynasty. He created an academic tradition.

Ruan Yuan

Ruan Yuan was a high official as the governor of Zhejiang province and the great academic sage of Qing Dynasty for Siku Quanshu.

Yu Zi

Yu Zi was a great sage before Zhou established, and he used to live in Chu State and became the teacher of King Wenwang of Zhou.

Sima Qian

Sima Qian was the sage of historian born in Han Dynasty, and the writer of Records of the Grand Historian or Shiji, the greatest history book of China

Sima Xiangru

Sima Xiangru, the greatest writer of Han Dynasty for its Fu masterpieces like Tianziyouliefu, was famous for his love story with Wenjun

Wang Xizhi

Wang Xizhi was the sage of calligraphy in China and historically famous for its classic masterpiece themed with his famous prose named Lan Ting Xu

Cheng Dawei

Cheng Dawei was a mathematician of Ming dynasty and the founder of Chinese Zhusuan and the inventor of tapeline in the world

Qian Chu

Qian Chu was the last king of Wuyue Kingdom and the most honored king in Hangzhou, and his story is widely known in east China

Hu Xueyan

Hu Xueyan was the most famous businessman in late Qing Dynasty and his former residence and Huqingyutang deserve your travel

Dong Qichang

Dongqi Chang was the greatest master of calligraphy and painting in late Ming Dynasty. Born in Shanghai, he was the cultural icon

Tang Bohu

In China, Tang Bohu is the symbol of Jiangnan culture and the typical Chinese romantic master in art, thought, literature and culture

Wen Zhengming

Wen Zhengming was the greatest soul of art in Ming Dynasty, and he was the elite's garden designer, leading calligraphy & painting master

Shen Zhou

Shen Zhou was the main founder of Wumen Painting School and a great master of painting and calligraphy in Ming Dynasty.

Qiu Ying

He was said to be a lacquerer and made connections with the scholar-officials, and deeply influenced by the typical scholarly paintings

Zhang Hong

Zhang Hong was a famous painting master born in Suzhou and he was quite good at the mountains and waters paintings

Ge Hong

Ge Hong was a legendary immortal soul of Taoism in China, and the writer of Baopuzi. He cultivated in Luofu Mountain.


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