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Wen and wu

Two classical principles in Chinese governance

Wen and wu refer specifically to the posthumous names of the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE) founders, King Wen and King Wu. Their personality traits and governing techniques were later developed into models signifying the way of culture and the way of force. The 'ji fa' section of the Book of Rites describes their differences thus: "King Wen used culture to rule and King Wu used military power." Their relationship has long been perceived as dichotomous and ubiquitous (within the Chinese domain) and has consistently been referred to in relation to national government and personal self-cultivation.

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