This article focuses on the study of the emotional discourses contained in the Chu bamboo slips dating back to the Chu kingdom of the Warring States period, and announces a newly discovered tradition of Emotionalism in ancient China. In addition to the two main traditions of Confucianism and Taoism, there is a third tradition of Emotionalism that has hitherto not attracted adequate attention and has not been sufficiently studied. I propose that rather than perceiving traditional Chinese culture through the binary looking glass of the dichotomous concept of “Complementation of Confucianism and Taoism,” Chinese culture may be represented more accurately if viewed in the light of a “Threefold Coexistence of Confucianism–Legalism, Taoism–Buddhism and Civil Emotionalism,” along with other lesser-known schools of thought. The uncovering of the hidden tradition of Emotionalism will reveal new perspectives on the modern transformation of traditional Chinese culture. This third tradition represents a conviction of civil liberalism that is of great importance to the transformation of ancient Chinese tradition into a modern constitutional culture.