London, February 19 : An appeal to people who consider themselves to be descendants of Confucius, the founding father of Chinese political and ethical thought, has generated over a million responses so far.
The appeal was made by Kong Deyong, a 77th generation descendant of Confucius and the founder of the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee.
He is currently compiling a massive register of descendants with the backing of the Chinese government, which has restored the family's home and turned it into a tourist attraction.
It is for the same purpose he made a worldwide appeal to those people to come forward who thought that they were the descendants of Confucius, reports the Telegraph.
Deyong now has more than two million people on his record, 1.3 million of whom are names added since he launched plans for a revision of the register in 1998.
For the first time women have been included in the record.
Deyong, a senior member of the Confucius clan, fled to Hong Kong after the Cultural Revolution, when he and many of his family members were persecuted, the sage's home was vandalised and the family tombs desecrated.
Confucius's proper name was Kong Zi. It is believed that there are more than thee million members of his clan, all united by their family name Kong, also written as Kung and Hung.