This could be huge at the Temples on Taiwan.
Will she be worshipped?
Will she be invited to the Confuscius School in Tainan?
Miss Kong will rely on her father to take the DNA test
Beijing shopgirl could be descendant of Confucius
By Richard Spencer in Beijing, (Filed: 20/06/2006)
Kong Tao is a 24-year-old sales assistant from a humble village background in eastern China, living in Beijing. But popular belief has it that she is a descendant of Confucius, the Great Sage.
Now Miss Kong, with three million other people worldwide, may be able to find out whether her claim to fame is well-merited, or whether she can return to obscurity.
The Chinese Academy of Science has said it is willing to offer DNA tests to anyone claiming Confucius as an ancestor. Since Confucius’s proper name was Kong Zi, and since all of the world’s three million Kongs are popularly supposed to be descended from the great man, that could prove to be a big job.
“It is more than 2,000 years since the time of Kong Zi and there may yet be a lot of difficulty and confusion in finding true descendants,” said Deng Yajun, of the academy’s Genomics Institute.
“But as we know, testing the Y chromosome [found only in males] is the most accurate test and usually in Chinese family trees only males were named and followed in their family genealogies.”
Confucius was born in 551BC and his philosophy of patriarchal and hierarchical benevolence has been a guiding force in Chinese history for most of the centuries since.
His works were condemned during the Cultural Revolution but he is now making a comeback with the blessing of the Communist Party leadership. His birthplace, Qufu, in eastern China, is gradually being restored.
Many Kongs remain in and around Qufu but others have scattered across China and the world. Official estimates put the number at 2.5 million on the Chinese mainland, 100,000 in Korea and others in Singapore, Malaysia and America. Among them are at least one ambassador, a Taiwanese rap star and a number of British public schoolboys.
The project will compile a DNA database matched against a group of families thought to have a complete genealogical record going back through the millennia to their common antecedent. It is the inspiration of Kong Deyong, a clan elder who was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and who is trying to create a register of descendants.
The academy said the test would take a day and would cost £30 to £40.
At her bicycle shop, Miss Kong said she would rely on her father to take the test. She comes from Jiangsu province, immediately south of Qufu, where all the inhabitants are named Kong.
“I have no idea whether there is any connection with Confucius at all,” she said. “But it would be nice to know.”