There is a lovely park in the middle of downtown Shanghai called Guangqi Park.  Guangqi Xu was a famous scholar, and he was born to a poor farming family in Shanghai in 1562.  His father was somehow able to pay for his son to go to school, and at the age of 19, Guangqi Xu graduated from college!

Guangqi Xu is known for many things, including translating the Euclid’s Elements from Latin into Chinese.  He actually translated many books going from Chinese to Latin and Latin to Chinese.  He worked with the famous Italian, Matteo Ricci.

Guangqi Xu was most respected for his work in agriculture, astronomy, military science, and math.  He was appointed to serve in the courts of the Ming Dynasty, where he wrote a book about military science.  This wasn’t received well by the military men, because Guangqi Xu was an academic person, not a warrior.  He was concerned about protecting China from invaders, and he a philosophy about rich countries and strong armies.  Ironically, Japan used his philosophy, and they invaded China.

Here are a few pictures of the park named for Guangqi Xu.  If you will notice the mound of dirt in the open area in the second picture, that is where Guangqi Xu is buried.

Gunagqi Park1

Gunagqi Park2

Gunagqi Park3

I can’t imagine how valuable this property is with its great location in downtown Shanghai.  The city’s willingness to keep the park honoring him indicates how well respected he is in China!