With a history of over 2,500 years covering more than 80 generations, and the longest family tree in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, the fifth edition of the Confucius Genealogy will be printed in several volumes in 2009, according to an organizer of the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (CGCC).

It has taken ten years to compile this latest list of descendants of revered Chinese thinker and educator Confucius (551-479 BC) but along the way there have been wrangles as to whether it is of national significance or purely a family affair, and whether the genealogy should be seen as a Chinese cultural heritage or a hangover of Feudalism.

The Confucius Genealogy, originally recorded by hand, was first printed in 1080 AD during the Northern Song Dynasty. Since then it has been revised only four times, during the reigns of Ming Emperor Tianqi, Qing Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong, and finally in 1937 during the Republican period.

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