JINAN, June 11 (Xinhua) -- For the first time in two millennial, the overseas descendants of the great ancient philosopher Confucius will be included in the sage's family tree.
More than 40,000 overseas descendants have been added to the Confucius Genealogy, which is now undergoing a fifth update and revision, said Kong Dewei, a Confucius descendant who is directing the updating work.
Most of them -- 34,000 in all -- are from the Republic of Korea, Kong said.
The figure also includes 400 from Taiwan, 100 from Hong Kong and 50 from the United States, he said.
Family trees are an important part of traditional Chinese culture. They record priceless historical information and represent a precious legacy for Chinese people.
The four previous versions of Confucius' family tree only included his descendants on the Chinese mainland.
The new Confucius family tree will be published in 2009, on the 2560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius (551-479 BC), and will include more than 1.2 million new entries.