Aisin Gioro: Wikis


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Aisin Gioro
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 愛新覺羅
Simplified Chinese 爱新觉罗
Manchu name
Manchu AisinGioro.png
Aisin Gioro Clan
Country China, Manchukuo
Parent house
Titles Emperor of China
Founder Emperor Nurhaci
Final ruler Xuantong Emperor (Puyi)
Current head Hengzhen
Founding year 1644
Deposition 1912: Monarchy dissolved
Ethnicity Manchu

Aisin Gioro was the clan name of the Manchu emperors of the Qing Dynasty. It ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which established a republican government in its place. The word aisin means gold in the Manchu language, and "gioro" means clan.

It is notable that the Jin dynasty (jin means gold in Chinese) of the Jurchens, ancestors of the Manchus, was known as aisin gurun, and that the Qing dynasty was initially named (Amaga aisin gurun1.png) amaga aisin gurun, or Later Jin dynasty. Since the fall of the Empire, a number of members of the family have changed their surnames to Jin (Chinese: ) after the former dynasty. For example, Puyi's younger brother changed his name from Aisin-Gioro Puren (愛新覺羅溥任) to Jin Youzhi (金友之) and his children in turn are surnamed Jin.


Family naming code

Before founding the Qing Dynasty, naming of children in the Aisin Gioro clan was done quite randomly. After taking control of China, however, the family gradually incorporated Han Chinese ways of naming. During the reign of the Kangxi Emperor, all of Kangxi's sons were to be named with a generation prefix preceding the given name. There were three characters chosen, Cheng (承), Bao (保), and Chang (长), before finally deciding on Yin (胤) in Kangxi. The Yongzheng Emperor's sons switched from Fu (福) to Hong (弘). Following Yongzheng, the Qianlong Emperor decided that all subsequent male offspring will have a generation code placed in their name according to a Generation Poem, of which Qianlong composed the first four characters, 永綿奕載. Moreover, the names of brothers(born to the same father) will often contain a similar Radical or meaning. In one case, the Yongzheng Emperor changed the generation code of his brothers, as a way of keeping his own unique. Such practice apparently ceased to exist after the Daoguang-era.

  Order Generation code Radical code Examples
1 Yongzheng Emperor Yin, 胤/Yun, 允 Fortune (Shi) 示 Yinzhi, 胤祉
2 Qianlong Emperor Hong, 弘 Sun/Day (Ri) 日 Hongzhou, 弘晝
3 Jiaqing Emperor Yong, 永/Yong, 顒 Jade (Yu) 玉 Yongqi,永琪
4 Daoguang Emperor Mian, 綿/Min, 旻 Emotion (Xin) 心 Mianyu, 綿愉
5 Xianfeng Emperor Yi, 奕 Literary (Yan) 言 Yixin, 奕訢
6 Guangxu Emperor Zai, 載 Water (Shui) 水 Zaifeng, 載灃
7 Xuantong Emperor Pu, 溥 Human (Single Ren) 人 Pujie, 溥傑
8 Yu'e, 毓峨 Yu, 毓 Mountain (Shan) 山 Yuzhan, 毓嶦
9 Hengtai, 恒鈦 Heng, 恒 Metal/Gold (Jin) 金 Hengjiang, 恒鏹

Subsequent: Qi 启, Dao 焘, Kai 闿, Zeng 增, Qi

Foundation myth

The Veritable Records and other documents contain the foundation myth of the Aisin Gioro clan:

There was a lake called Bulhūri at the foot of Bukūri Mountain, located to the east of the Paektu Mountains. When three angels bathed in that lake, a magpie left a fruit on the youngest angel Fekulen's clothes. She ate the fruit and became pregnant. She mothered Bukūri Yongšon, the founder of Aisin Gioro. He was later welcomed by the people as the Beile. He settled at Odoli Castle on the Omohoi Plain and became the founder of the Manchu State.

This myth has interested historians. Similar stories can be found in other northern people's mythology. Yongšon seems to have come from Chinese yingxiong (英雄; hero) and Odoli would be modern-day Hoeryong (hangul: 회령, hanja: 會寧) in North Hamgyong Province (Hangul: 함경 북도, Hanja: 咸鏡北道), North Korea. A recent study found that a 1635 article of Jiu Manzhou Dang (old Manchu archives), which was omitted from later documents, says that a man from the Hūrha tribe on the Upper Amur River told the exactly same myth. In fact, Kangxi period maps shows Bukūri Mountain and Bulhūri Lake near Heilongjiang. It is considered that the Manchu imperial family incorporated Hūrha's legend into their own foundation myth.

Although the Changbai/Paekdu Mountains (golmin šanggiyan alin in Manchu) are regarded as the birthplace of the Aisin Gioro clan, their relationship with this legend is questionable. As explained above, the mythical arena was near Heilongjiang, not the Changbai Mountains. In addition, a careful analysis on early Manchu records proved that the description of the Changbai Mountains at the beginning of this legend had been inserted for the first time in the Shunzhi-era version of the Veritable Records for Nurhaci.

From Fanca to Ningguta Beise

Suffering from tyranny, the people raided Odoli and killed all Bukūri Yongšon's descendants but Fanca. A magpie saved Fanca's life. Fanca's descendant Mengtemu went eastward to execute his ancestors' revenge in Hetu Ala and settled there. Mengtemu's sons were Cungšan and Cuyan. Cungšan's sons were Tolo, Toimo and Sibeoci Fiyanggū. Sibeoci Fiyanggū's son was Fuman and Fuman's six sons were called Ningguta Beise (Six Kings; or ningguta i mafa), who lived around Hetu Ala.

Mengtemu is identified as Möngke Temür (猛哥帖木儿), who left Odoli at the invitation of the Ming Dynasty and was appointed as leader of the Jianzhou Left Guard. On the other hand, the founder of the Jianzhou Right Guard was Möngke Temür's half-brother Fanca. It is unclear whether he may not the same person as Mentemu's ancestor, or it was just a mistake by the Manchus. The Jianzhou Left Guard fell into chaos in the early 16th century. In addition, Sibeoci Fiyanggū and Fuman seem to have been fictional because they did not appear in Chinese or Korean records. Maybe they were fabricated by the imperial family to claim its linkage to Möngke Temür.

1 Although Aisin Gioro is usually pronounced "Aixin Jueluo" in Mandarin, some argue that it should be "Aixin Jiaoluo" since the only pronunciation of the character 覺 corresponding to Manchu gio is jiao.

Famous Aisin-Gioros


The Emperors

Iron-cap princes & their descendants

By Qing tradition, the sons of Princes do not automatically inherit their father's title, but rather will inherit a title one level lower. However, there were 12 princes during the Qing Dynasty who were named "iron-cap princes", meaning that their princely titles will be "passed on forever" through each succeeding generation.

Prominent political figures




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