Ji Gong is a legendary figure during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and probably the best known monk in China. Born to a military advisor in present Zhejiang Province under the name of Li Xiuyuan, he became a Buddhist monk in Lingyin Temple after both parents died at the age of 18. There he was mentored by the eminent monk Huiyuan and was given the monastic name Daoji. However, for his wild and eccentric behaviours of openly violating the Buddhist monastic rules such as consuming wine and meat, he was later expelled and since then, he have been roamed the street. In spite of his eccentric behaviours, Ji Gong was extremely knowledgeable and benevolent, and was always ready to help others. His story has been widely spread and known by all. After he died in Jingci Temple, he was made a folk hero and a deity in Chinese religion. The legendary figure has been portrayed in many films and TV series and is most commonly seen in tattered and dirty clothes, with a torn fan, sometimes one of his shoes on the one hand, and a bottle of wine on the other.
The sun is shining and the autumn wind is just right. In such good weather, it is a good idea to travel back in time in the Hangzhou Confucius Temple. Here, you can cultivate your mind and soul. In the temple, tablets can be seen everywhere, positioning people instantly in the ancient seat of learning in the capital city of the Southern Song Dynasty. Here, you can stop and appreciate the ancient moss-covered stone tiles, which seems to narrate the thousands-of-year history of the Confucius Temple.