Min Sun, with the alias of Ziqian, was a man in the State of Lu during the
Spring and Autumn Period. He was a disciple of Confucius. Among all disciples of
Confucius, he stood comparison with Yan Yuan in terms of moral conduct.
Confucius ever praised him as follows:"How filial Min Ziqian is!" (Xian Jin,
the tenth chapter of Analects of Confucius)
Min Sun's mother died very early. Later his father took another wife, who
gave birth to two sons.
The stepmother mistreated Min Sun – in winter, while two younger brothers
wore winter clothes made of cotton, Min Sun only wore "reed catkins-padded
One day, he followed his father to go out. When towing the chariot, Min Sun
shivered because he felt very cold and the rope dropped onto the ground. Then
his father scolded and lashed him.
The reed catkins flew out from the broken seam of the flimsy clothes, and
then father knew that Min Sun had been mistreated.
After the father returned home, he wanted to divorce his wife.
Min Sun fell on his knees and begged his father to forgive stepmother.
He said: "If mother stays at home, only I myself have to endure cold. But if
you divorce from mother, all three children have to suffer from cold."
His father was deeply moved and took Min Sun's advice. The stepmother heard
of this, felt remorseful and owned up to her mistakes. Subsequently, she treated
Min Sun as her own son.
This is the story about "闵损芦衣".