In Asia, the Confucian Tales of Filial Piety made clear the importance and virtue of putting one's parents before one's self or children. Amongst some twenty-four tales, is the story of a woman who demonstrated her filial nature by offering her breast to her toothless, hungry mother-in-law before her crying baby. The tale herebelow also refers to this specific topic. The abandoned baby, Japanese tale (collected and translated by Maurice Coyaud) Long time ago, there was a scholar named Chûjun. His wife had died young, leaving him with three sons.
Asian Filial Piety
In the Tang Dynasty, an official named Cui Nanshan, had in his family the Grand Dame Zhang Sun, Mr. Cui's great-grandmother. She was quite elderly, and had lost all her teeth, thus she could not chew even soft rice.
Eating was a big problem. Mr. Tswei's grandmother, the Lady Tang, realized the difficulty her mother-in law had in chewing food, and thus hit upon a solution to keep the Grand Dame alive and in good health.
There is an old Chinese stand-up comedy (xiangsheng) routine -- now banned for being too risque for public performance -- that kind of relates to the topic of filial piety : An old man takes sick with a rare disease.
The doctor tells him “This is a serious illness, my friend, but we can cure it for you. There’s a special Chinese herbal medicine that will fix you right up. But there is one problem: the prescription requires that you drink milk with it.”
“Why, that’s no problem.” the old man says.
“HUMAN milk,” clarifies the doctor.