Soul of China

Yu Gun: A model son and sibling

Yu Gun (庾衮) was born poor and lived in poverty since childhood. When he grew up, he took to farming to support his parents.
From 275 to 280 A.D. (Western Jin Dynasty), an epidemic broke out in Yu’s hometown, killing two of his brothers and leaving an elder brother, Yu Pi (庾毗), in serious condition.
Fearful of being infected by the disease, Yu’s parents and younger brothers moved out of their home to another place.
But Yu decided to stay put with his ailing elder brother. He knew that if he also left, nobody would care for his brother, who would certainly die.
His father and the others tried but fail to get him to change his mind. He said, “I am not afraid of the epidemic.”
Yu stayed with his elder brother and took care of him day and night. After more than 100 days, Yu Bi recovered.
Yu also voluntarily raised the orphans of his siblings. He brought home the orphan of his sister Guo Siu (郭秀) and the orphaned daughter of his brother Yu Fang (庾芳) and raised them as his own children.
When they grew up, he arranged their marriages. He even gave his own residence to his elder brother’s sons, Yu Geng
(庾賡) and Yu Xi (庾翕).
After his father’s death, Yu supported his mother through selling bamboo baskets.
Realizing how overworked her son was, Yu’s mother told him: “I can eat anything.”
But he said: “I feel bad if I couldn’t let you eat nice food.”
Yu Gun’s moral character traits – filial piety, love and care for the young, selflessness and self-sacrifice, a man of honor – earned him the respect and admiration of the elders and brethren in his hometown.