Ancient Culture Shandong culture has felt the influence of Chinese civilization for thousands of years. For a time, Shandong was the capital of the Zhou Dynasty (1040–221 BCE) and later became the center of Buddhism in China. Shandong is known as the birthplace of Confucius, a renowned Chinese philosopher, teacher, and politician who lived between 551-479 BCE. Confucius was the central figure of a philosophy called Confucianism, which was built on the teachings of an older ancient Chinese philosophy called Legalism. Confucius believed that people should lead a good life by conforming to the rules of society and living simply. Today, the people of this region are greatly influenced by Confucian ideals. In general, they are hard-working people who value education highly.

Visitors can climb thousands of stone steps to reach the South Gate to Heaven atop Mount Tai, Shandong's highest peak.

Chapter 1: Shandong


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