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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chang Tsai (張載, 11th c.)

117 Chang Tsai 張載 (T. 子厚 H. 橫渠). A.D. 1020-1076. Son of Chang Ti, who died when he was quite young, and a native of 大梁 Ta-liang in Honan. As a boy he was devoted to military studies; but at the age of twenty he came under the notice of Fan Chung-yen, who urged him to study the Doctrine of the Mean. He then became a public teacher, and used to lecture, sitting upon a tiger's skin. Confucianism failing to satisfy his spiritual needs, he turned towards Buddhism and Taoism; however, in 1056 his mind was so much influenced by the discourses of his nephews, Ch'êng Hao and Ch'êng I, that he returned home to continue his more legitimate studies, and in the following year graduated as chin shih. After holding various appointments, he retired in ill-health, and lived quietly in the country, dividing his time between study and instruction. About 1068 he was recalled to the capital; but his tenure of office was of short duration. He retired in disgust that his advice was not taken by Wang An-shih, and died on his way home. His chief work was the 正蒙, containing his theories as to the origin of the universe, and notes on Buddhist and Taoist doctrines. He also wrote the inscriptions on moral sentiment known as 東銘 and 西銘, from the positions they occupied in his study. He was ennobled as Earl, and canonised as 明; and in 1241 his tablet was placed in the Confucian Temple.