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The Duke of Zhou ( ; Wade-Giles: Chou Kung) was the brother of King Wu of Zhou in ancient Chinamarker. Only three years after defeating the Shang Dynasty King Wu died, and the kingship—following Zhou custom—passed to his young son, King Cheng of Zhou. Being too inexperienced to run the newly founded empire, The Duke of Zhou served as regent for King Wu's son, taking care of him for seven years, until he was old enough to rule. The Duke of Zhou fought in a war against his two brothers, who were conspiring with the feudal rulers and the remnants of the Shang to oppose the Zhou. Within five years, he had managed to defeat all the rebellions that were taking place in the Eastern regions and had one brother executed and the other banished.

In order to counter the Shang's claims to divine right of rule due to their descent from the god Ti, the Duke of Zhou formulated the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven. According to this doctrine, the Shang had grossly offended Heaven: thus Heaven had commanded the reluctant Zhou to replace them and restore order. He is also credited with the creation of the fengjian enfeoffment system, a political ideology that used ranking methods and regional governors to keep control of the expanding Zhou Dynasty.

The Duke of Zhou is also credited with writing many of the poems collected in the Shi Jing, or Book of Songs, the earliest surviving collection of Chinese poems. These poems were collected by Confucius, whose thought was influenced by the Duke of Zhou's conception of the ideal ruler.

According to Chinese legend, he annotated the 64 hexagrams and completed the classic of I Ching, established the Rites of Zhou, and created the Yayue of Chinese classical music.

In 2004, Chinese archaeologists reported that they may have found the tomb complex of Zhou Gong in Qishan County, Shaanximarker Province.

God of Dreams

Duke of Zhou is also known as the 'God of Dreams'. It comes from a saying of Confucius: 'I no longer dream of the Duke of Zhou' (meaning: I do not have a dream about the Duke of Zhou's good governance). According to the folk legend, if an important thing is going to happen to someone, the Duke of Zhou will let the person know through dream. Hence the Chinese expression 'Dreaming of Zhou Gong' or 'Seeing Zhou Gong' (i.e. Mr. Zhou, 周公) which means sleeping/dozing. Chinese teenagers also like to say 'Zhou Gong Online' (MMORPG of Zhou Gong) as a meaning of sleeping in class.

Zhou Gong's Book of Auspicious and Inauspicious Dreams (周公解梦)

There is a book called 'Zhou Gong's Book of Auspicious and Inauspicious Dreams' (周公解梦), which is about dreams in traditional Chinese culture. People use it to analyse the dreams in order to predict the future.

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