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  • Chinese/Japanese: 仁 (rén / jin)

Rén, or jin in Japanese, is one of the fundamental virtues in Confucianism. Often translated as "humanity" or "benevolence," it is seen as the foundation for the other four of the Five Constant Virtues: justice/righteousness (義, C: , J: gi), rites/etiquette (礼, C: , J: rei), wisdom, and filial piety (孝, C: xiào, J: ).

Confucius speaks extensively about rén in the Analects, and Zhu Xi expands upon this, describing "humanity" or "humaneness" as a principle of love, towards animals and the world, but especially towards one's fellow man, and humanity in general. He explains that a "fundamental quality of creating, nurturing, and caring for things" is a part of the essential nature of what it means to be human (in accordance with the cosmic principle, ).


  • Watanabe Hiroshi, A History of Japanese Political Thought, 1600-1901, International House of Japan (2012), 111.