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Reorienting the Manchus: A Study of Sinicization, 1583-1795

152 Manchus
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Making extensive use of Chinese, Japanese, Manchu, and Western sources, the author adopts a historical multifaceted approach to explore the various forces - geography, economics, frontier contacts, political and social institutions; language, literature and art; religion and Confucianism - that made possible the Manchu adoption of Chinese ways of life. | 400 pages



  1. The Ancestry and Ethnic Composition of the Manchus
  2. The Founding of the Qing Dynasty
  3. Economic Forces
  4. Frontiersmen and Transfrontiersmen
  5. The Rise of Administrative and Legal Institutions
  6. Transformation of Social Institutions
  7. Manchu Language and Literature
  8. Architecture, Religion, and Confucianism

Conclusion | Glossary | Bibliography | Index

  • "This book provides two major contributions: First, it is a comprehensive survey of Manchu history and culture, especially suitable  for instructors seeking concise descriptions for pedagogical dissemination and students of Chinese history in general. The eight body chapters contain chronological narratives and thematic subjects such as legal and social institutions, language and literature, and intellectual-spiritual life. Although much of the content can be found in other survey histories and monographic studies, this book is noteworthy for its distinctive emphases. Two such focal topics are Manchuria as a contact zone and  the Manchus as a social group emanating from a confluence of diverse political and cultural backgrounds. While stressing that the Manchu identity was inherently hybrid, a blend of Jurchen, Mongol, and Korean ideas and customs, Huang connects the Manchus to ancient Chinese cultures such as the Yan kingdom that controlled the Liao Valley in the Zhou period (p. 36), and therefore as descendants of historical  populations that can be considered Chinese. ..." -- Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 71/1 (Feb 2012). Read more here:
  • "Ever since the polemic launched fifteen years ago between Evelyn Rawski and Ping-ti Ho on the significance of Qing rule, the question of the sinicization of the Manchus has been a topic of growing interest for historians of late imperial China. The sinicization question, in turn, is but one aspect of a broader development in the field, frequently referred to as the ‘New Qing History’, which attempts to place the study of the Qing into larger frameworks of Inner Asian history, the history of empire, and world history generally. Among the central ideas of the ‘New Qing History’ are the belief that the specifically Manchu elements of Qing rule need to be taken seriously and that it is important to make use of non-traditional sources for the study of the Qing period, including Manchu-, Mongolian-, and Tibetan-language materials." -- Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Vol. 54/4, 584-588. 


  • Pei HUANG is Professor Emeritus of History, Youngstown State University, Ohio, with works published in journals and by university presses that include Indiana University Press, Journal of Asian Studies, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, and Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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