Master Mingdao refers to Cheng Hao (1032-1085), one of the most important Neo-Confucian thinkers of his time and a major influence on Zhu Xi. In 1068, Cheng sent a memorial to the throne, advocating a comprehensive system of state education, beginning in the counties and ending in the capital, which would teach Confucian classics and instill in students a basis for moral conduct, and serve as the main avenue for government office. Xining is the reign title of the era that lasted from 1068 to 1077.