Robert Oxnam :: Filial
piety, respect for one's parents, was directed both toward older relatives
Myron Cohen :: A key manifestation of filial piety was ancestor worship. Ancestor worship in China was obviously related to the basic Confucian idea that children are obligated to respect their parents in life and to remember them after they have died.
There were two major loci of ancestor worship, as far as most people were concerned. One locus was in the home where people worshiped ancestral tablets. And the tablet behind me is an example of an ancestral tablet that would be kept in the home.
So this is the tablet of people named Liu whose remote ancestors came from this place called Peng Cheng, which is in Northern China. Below this the column says that this is the tablet or spirit tablet of the generations of ancestors of the Liu.
And this tablet in fact starts with the ninth generation and goes all the way down and you have the generations on either side going from top to bottom.
As I said, the large number of individuals in this tablet implies quite accurately that there are an awful lot of living descendants who relate to this particular tablet and who worship the ancestors in it.
Another important focus of ancestor worship was the graves. So that once or twice a year, minimally, people throughout China would go to the graves of their ancestors, both especially recent ancestors, but also sometimes more distant ancestors, to tidy up the graves and worship them