Confucianism goes back to King Fu-Tzu, or Confucius (551-497 BC). To himself he gathered disciples to who he thought his teachings. These teachings did according to him have go back to ideas and norms that had existed in an ancient past. Ideals where the family was central, with the respect for ones parents, ancestors, and a strict hierarchy of world order. On top of this hierarchy is the Emperor who has the mandate direct from heaven. This divine mandate (tien-ming)meant that as long as the Emperor ruled just he was sanctioned, but if he did not he lost his mandate and could be replaced. Even if Confucianism is portrayed as a social life philosophy it does also proclaim the importance of rituals and sacrifices to the Gods. Confucian temples are built according to the same pattern as other Chinese temples. The altar is design for the earth, mountains, and the rivers Gods. There is also often an altar for the lost souls, the souls who do not have any relatives left among the living honour their souls.
Taoism goes generally back to two historical or mystical persons, Lao Zi who is believed to have lived 500BC, and Zhuang Zi his late follower. Lao Zi is regarded as the author to the book Daodejing. In this book the way or road is expressed as a return to an earlier origin. In contrast to Confucianism this is is not a state that is created by humans but a state of nature that is sought after. If Lao Zi really were a historical figure have been doubted by many. After the six dynasties (220-589) Taoism grew stronger and developed monastery tradition after Buddhist system. The strive for immortality was important for the Taoists in the monasteries and was a vital part for the Taoists. This was also a very central part of the so called religious Taoism.
Although there are reports of Buddhists in China as early as the 3rd century BC, Buddhism was not actively propagated in that country until the early centuries of the Common era. Tradition has it that Buddhism was introduced after the Han emperor Ming Ti (reigned AD 57/58-75/76) had a dream of a flying golden deity that was interpreted as a vision of the Buddha. Accordingly, the emperor dispatched emissaries to India who subsequently returned to China with the Sutra in Forty-two Sections, which was deposited in a temple outside the capital of Lo-yang. In actuality, Buddhism entered China gradually, first primarily through Central Asia and, later, by way of the trade routes around and through South-east Asia.
During the 5th and 6th centuries AD Buddhist schools from India became established, and new, specifically Chinese schools began to form. Buddhism was becoming a powerful intellectual force in China, monastic establishments were proliferating, and Buddhism was becoming well-established among the peasantry. Thus, it is not surprising that, when the Sui dynasty (581-618) established its rule over a reunified China, Buddhism flourished as a state religion.
Moreover, three different forms of this religion evolved as it reached the centres of population at varying times and by different routes. The social and ethnic background in each location also affected the way in which each of these forms developed and eventually they became known as Han, Tibetan and Southern Buddhism.