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Great Chinese Educators Postage Stamps

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To promote traditional cultural education, Chunghwa Post (Taiwan Post) issues a set of two stamps based on portraits of Zhu Xi and Confucius in the National Palace Museum collection.

Zhu Xi was the leading figure in the School of Principle during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 AD), and he started the trend of studying philosophy in the Song Dynasty. Given the honorific suffix of "zi", he became known as Zhuzi. Being a great philosopher and educator, Zhu Xi developed the schools' codes and offered instruction himself. Zhu Xi also demonstrated concern about the state of politics. He once wrote Emperor Xiaozong to make the case for fighting the Jurchen, and he was admired for his loyalty and moral integrity. Zhu Xi was a prolific writer, and the "Four Books" he compiled are considered important classical works among modern Chinese.

Confucius (551-479 BC), whose given name was Qiu and whose adult courtesy name was Zhongni, was born in the State of Lu (in modern-day Shandong Province) during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). At 15, he was bent on learning, and at 30 he was established in his career. He founded his own school and became a pioneer of private education. The founder of Confucianism, Confucius advocated that rulers administer their nations with humanity and morality. He promoted the ideas that "in education there should be no class distinctions" and that "students should be taught in accordance with their aptitudes." Throughout his life, he believed that "when the great principle prevails, the world is a commonwealth," and he aimed to establish a civilization base on ceremonies and a code of courtesy. His wide-ranging and profound philosophy is admired by the people of the world, and he is still revered in Chinese communities as the "great sage and teacher."

Both stamps feature stamp-within-a-stamp designs. The portrait of Zhu Xi was taken from the "Famous Chinese - Hsuan Chuang and Chu His - Portrait Postage Stamps" issued on February 20, 1970, and the portrait of Confucius was taken from the "Chinese Culture Heroes Definitive Postage Stamps" issued on April 2, 1973.

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