Manchu: Wikis


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Manchu (Manju, Man)
滿族, 满族
Manchus dressed as royal family.jpg
Total population
approx. 10.68 million (2000)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 China (Heilongjiang · Jilin · Liaoning)
There may also be members in  North Korea,  Taiwan,  Russia (Siberia),  Canada, and  Japan

Mandarin Chinese,
Manchu (very small population, almost extinct)


Historically Shamanism, Heaven worship and Ancestor worship; nowadays Buddhism and Ancestor worship[2][3]

Related ethnic groups

Xibe, other Tungusic peoples

The Manchu people (Manchu: Manjui gisun.svg Manju; simplified Chinese: 满族traditional Chinese: 滿族pinyin: Mǎnzú, Mongolian: Манж, Russian: Маньчжуры) are a Tungusic people who originated in Manchuria (today's northeastern China). During their rise in the seventeenth century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels (such as general Wu Sangui), they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which established a republican government in its place.

The Manchu ethnicity has largely been assimilated with the Han Chinese. The Manchu language is almost extinct, now spoken only among a small number of elderly people in remote rural areas of northeastern China and a few scholars; there are around ten thousand speakers of Sibe (Xibo), a Manchu dialect spoken in the Ili region of Xinjiang. In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in Manchu culture among both ethnic Manchus and Han. The number of Chinese today with some Manchu ancestry is quite large,[4] and the adoption of favorable policies towards ethnic minorities (such as preferential university admission, government employment opportunities and exemption from the one child policy) has encouraged some people with mixed Han and Manchu ancestry to re-identify themselves as Manchu.



Aspects of Manchu customs and traditions can be seen in local cuisines, language and customs in today's Manchuria as well as cities in that region. After the fall of the Ming Dynasty, Manchus also adopted many Han customs and traditions.

They traditionally coiled their hair in high tufts on top of their heads and wore earrings, long gowns and embroidered shoes. The women with higher social standing wore silk and satin clothing while cotton clothing was worn by women of lower social standing. Variants of such costumes (including qi pao and ma gua, Mandarin dress) are still popular all over China. The man's clothing once consisted of a short and adjusted ? jacket over a long gown with a belt at the waist to facilitate horse-riding and hunting. Unlike the Han, the Manchu did not practice foot binding.[5]

The traditional Manchu dwellings were made up of three quarters. In the center of the house was the kitchen while the wings contained the dormitory and the living room. The unique Manchu tradition did not allow people to die on nahan (Nahan1.png) to the west or north. Believing that doors were made for living souls, the Manchus allowed dead bodies to be taken out only through windows and ground burial was the general practice.

The Manchu language is a member of the Tungusic language group, itself a member of the proposed Altaic language family.

The Tale of the Nisan Shaman is an important piece of Manchu folklore.[6]


Baturu Zhanyinbao (b. 1760) was one of the Qianlong Emperor's Manchu First Grade Bodyguards.

The first ancestors of the Manchu were the Sushen, a people who lived during the second and first millennia BC. They were followed by the Yilou people, who were active from AD 202 to 220. The Wuji followed in the fifth century and the tribes of the Mohe in the sixth century. One of the tribes of the Mohe, the Heishui (Black Water) tribe, eventually became the ancestors of the Jurchens, from whom the Manchu originated.[7]

The Jurchens under the Wanyan clan established the Jin Dynasty (literally Golden Dynasty) that ruled the northern half of China (1115–1234) and rivaled the Song Dynasty in southern China. The Jin were conquered by the Mongols under Genghis Khan.

Before the seventeenth century, the ancestors of the Manchus were generally a pastoral people, hunting, fishing and engaging in limited agriculture and pig-farming.

Traditional society

One of the old tradition of Manchu is the system of bondservants, boo-i or nucai, another Manchu word with similar meaning, was adopted into Han Chinese culture and is used in everyday life.

The Jurchen tribes employed Chinese agricultural boo-i as early as the 1400s, and it was common practice for Manchu military commanders to have their field and house bondservants serving in boo-i units during military campaigns. The Manchu masters treated their slaves in much harsher terms than their Han Chinese counterparts, and punished their slaves with much stiffer terms, such as to have their face tattooed, then send to remote regions doing hard labour for life.[8]

In 1673 the killing of a 'Boo-i's slaves to accompany their dead master to the grave was outlawed.

Founding of the Qing Dynasty

In 1616 a Manchu leader, Nurhaci broke away from the power of the decaying Ming Dynasty and established the Later Jin Dynasty (後金 Hòu Jīn) / Amaga Aisin Gurun (Amaga aisin gurun1.png), domestically called the State of Manchu (manju gurun) (Manju gurun.png), and unified Manchu tribes, establishing (or at least expanding) the Manchu Banner system, a military structure which made their forces quite resilient in the face of superior Ming Dynasty numbers in the field. Nurhaci later conquered Mukden (modern-day Shenyang) and built it into the new capital in 1621. In 1636 Nurhaci's son Huang Taiji, reorganized the Manchus, including those other groups (such as Hans and Mongols) who had joined them, changed the nation's name to Qing Dynasty, and formally changed the name of the ethnic designation to Manchu.

The early significance of Manchu has not been established satisfactorily. It may have been an old term for the Jianzhou Jurchens. One theory claims that the name came from the Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of Wisdom), of which Nurhaci claimed to be an incarnation. Another theory is that the Manchus, like a number of other Tungusic peoples, take their name from the common Tungusic word *mangu(n), 'a great river'.

Plaque at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, in both Chinese (left) and Manchu (right)

When Beijing was captured by Li Zicheng's peasant rebels in 1644, the last Ming Emperor Chongzhen committed suicide. The Manchu then allied with Ming Dynasty general Wu Sangui and seized control of Beijing, which became the new capital of the Qing dynasty. Over the next two decades, the Manchu took command of all of China.

For political purposes, the early Manchu emperors took wives descended from the Mongol Great Khans, so that their descendants (such as the Kangxi Emperor) would also be seen as legitimate heirs of the Mongol-ruled Yuan dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu government made efforts to preserve Manchu culture and language. These efforts were largely unsuccessful in that Manchus gradually adopted the customs and language of the surrounding Han Chinese and, by the nineteenth century, spoken Manchu was rarely used even in the Imperial court. Written Manchu, however, was still used for the keeping of records and communication between the emperor and the Banner officials until the collapse of the dynasty. The Qing dynasty also maintained a system of dual appointments in which all major imperial offices would have a Manchu and a Han Chinese member. Because of the small number of Manchus, this insured that a large fraction of them would be government officials.

Near the end of the Qing Dynasty, Manchus were portrayed as outside colonizers by Chinese nationalists such as Sun Yat-Sen, even though the Republican revolution he brought about was supported by many reform-minded Manchu officials and military officers.[9] This portrayal dissipated somewhat after the 1911 revolution as the new Republic of China now sought to include Manchus within its national identity.[10] Until 1924, the government continued to pay stipends to Manchu bannermen; however, many cut their links with their banners and took on Han-style names in an attempt to hide their Manchu origins and avoid widespread discrimination.[11] The official total of Manchu people fell by more than half during this period, as they refused to admit their ethnicity when asked by government officials or other outsiders.[12]


In 1931, the Empire of Japan created a puppet state in Manchuria called Manchukuo. The new state was nominally ruled by Emperor Puyi. By this time the population of Manchuria was overwhelmingly Han Chinese, and though Manchukuo was intended to be a state for Manchus, the way its borders were drawn produced a state that had a majority Han population. Manchukuo was abolished at the end of World War II, with its territory incorporated back into China.

People's Republic of China

The People's Republic of China recognised the Manchu as one of the country's official minorities in 1952.[13] In the 1953 census, 2.5 million people identified themselves as Manchu.[14] The Communist government also attempted to improve the treatment of Manchu people; some Manchu people who had hidden their ancestry during the period of KMT rule thus became more comfortable to reveal their ancestry, such as the writer Lao She, who began to include Manchu characters in his fictional works in the 1950s (in contrast to his earlier works which had none).[15] Between 1982 and 1990, the official count of Manchu people more than doubled from 4,299,159 to 9,821,180, making them China's fastest-growing ethnic minority.[16] In fact, however, this growth was not due to natural increase, but instead people formerly registered as Han applying for official reclassification as Manchu.[17]

Autonomous Areas designated for Manchus

Province or equivalent prefecture-level city Name Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese pinyin Designated minority Local name Capital
Hebei Chengde Fengning Manchu Autonomous County 豊寧滿族自治縣 丰宁满族自治县 Fēngníng Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Manchu Fengning Manju Zijysiyan Daming
Kuancheng Manchu Autonomous County 寛城滿族自治縣 宽城满族自治县 Kuānchéng Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Kuwanceng Manju Zijysiyan Kuancheng
Weichang Manchu and Mongol Autonomous County 圍場滿族蒙古族自治縣 围场满族蒙古族自治县 Wéichǎng Mǎnzú Měnggǔzú Zìzhìxiàn Manchu and Mongol  ? Waichang Town
Qinhuangdao Qinglong Manchu Autonomous County 青龍滿族自治縣 青龙满族自治县 Qīnglóng Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Manchu Cinglung Manju Zijysiyan Qinglong
Jilin Siping Yitong Manchu Autonomous County 伊通滿族自治縣 伊通满族自治县 Yītōng Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Itung Manju Zijysiyan Yitong Town
Liaoning Fushun Xinbin Manchu Autonomous County 新賓滿族自治縣 新宾满族自治县 Xīnbīn Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Sinbin Manju Zijysiyan Xinbin Town
Qingyuan Manchu Autonomous County 清原滿族自治縣 清原满族自治县 Qīngyuán Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Cingyuwan Manju Zijysiyan Qingyuan Town
Benxi Benxi Manchu Autonomous County 本溪滿族自治縣 本溪满族自治县 Běnxī Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Xiaoshi Town
Huanren Manchu Autonomous County 桓仁滿族自治縣 桓仁满族自治县 Huánrén Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Huwanren Manju Zijysiyan Huanren Town
Anshan Xiuyan Manchu Autonomous County 岫岩滿族自治縣 岫岩满族自治县 Xiùyán Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn  ? Xiuyan Town
Dandong Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County 寛甸滿族自治縣 宽甸满族自治县 Kuāndiàn Mǎnzú Zìzhìxiàn Kuwandiyan Manju Zijysiyan Kuandian Town

Notable Manchu


Pre-Qing Dynasty era

The Qing Dynasty era


Nobility and aristocrats

Aisin Gioro Clan (愛新覺羅氏)

Military officers in the Sino-Japanese War

  • Ma Zhanshan (馬占山)[citation needed]
  • Deng Tiemei (鄧鐵梅)[citation needed]
  • Zhao Shangzhi (趙尚志)[citation needed]
  • Tong Linge (佟麟閣)[citation needed]
  • Guan Xiangying (關向應)[citation needed]


Martial artists


  • Zhao Junzhe (肇俊哲) - football player.[citation needed]

Writers and Poets



  • Lang Lang (郎朗) - pianist.
  • Jin Tielin (金铁霖) - music teacher.
  • Guan Mucun (关牧村) - singer.
  • Wang Liping (王立平) - composer.
  • Tong Tiejin (佟铁鑫) - singer.
  • Na Ying (那英) - singer and pop star.

Media and entertainment industry

See also


  1. ^ "Ethnic Groups - - The Manchu ethnic minority". Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  2. ^ Sate Nationalities Affairs Commission (September 2005). Zhang Yongfa and Fang Yongming. ed. Selected pictures of Chinese ethnic groups (First edition ed.). China Pictorial Publishing House. pp. 48. ISBN 7-80024-956-5. 
  3. ^ Wang Can; Wang Pingxing (May 2004). Ethnic groups in China. China Intercontinental Press. ISBN 7-5085-0490-9. 
  4. ^ With 10.68 million members, Manchu is the 3rd largest ethnic group in China after the Han and the Zhuang. See: Wang & Wang 2005, p. 9, 109
  5. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 62
  6. ^ Durrant, Stephen W. (Winter 1979), "The Nišan Shaman Caught in Cultural Contradiction", Signs 5 (2): 338–347, 
  7. ^ Huang, P.: "New Light on the origins of the Manchu," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 50, no.1 (1990): 239-82. Retrieved from JSTOR database July 18, 2006.
  8. ^ "The Chʻing Imperial Household Department by:Preston M. Torbert". Harvard Univ Asia Center.,M1. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  9. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 265
  10. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 275
  11. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 270
  12. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 270, 283
  13. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 277
  14. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 276
  15. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 280
  16. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 282
  17. ^ Rhoads 2000, p. 283


External links



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:





Manchu (plural Manchus)

  1. A person belonging to or descended from the indigenous people of Manchuria


Proper noun




  1. The indigenous language of the Manchu people, spoken in Manchuria.



Manchu (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. Manchurian, referring to the Manchu(rian) people
  2. Manchurian, referring to the Manchu language



External links



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection


About this book

Manchu chinese.jpg

This book is a basic textbook for those who wish to learn the Manchu language. The book consists of 24 lessons, and can be divided into three sections:

Section 1: Introduction to Manchu grammar and the Manchu script

This section includes 12 lessons, each of which includes a short text or dialogue followed by a vocabulary list and then an introduction to a particular grammatical feature of the language.


  • Lesson 11 is a summary of all the grammatical features from lessons 1-10 and can be used for revision or can be printed out to be used as a basic Manchu grammar.
  • The Manchu script is not taught until lesson 12 (contrary to most textbooks) due to the difficult nature of the script and the fact that it is much easier to learn the script once you possess a basic vocabulary and understanding of the phonetic features of the Manchu language.

Section 2: Readings in the Manchu Language

This section includes 12 readings in the Manchu Language. Each reading includes a vocabulary list, as well as a translation and explanation of the text.

Section 3: Other information on the Manchu Language

This section includes a vocabulary list, further vocabulary as well as some general information on Tungusic languages and a brief introduction to the Jurchen language and script.

At the bottom of the page there is also a link to the Online Library of Manchu Language Texts which is currently part of this Wikibook. The library is in development.

The Manchu Language

Manchu is a Manchu-Tungusic language spoken in Northeast China; it used to be the language of the Manchus, and the official language of the Qing dynasty. Nowdays most Manchus speak Chinese and there are far fewer than 60 native speakers of Manchu out of a total of more than 10 million ethnic Manchus. Most native speakers now live in Sanjiazi (三家子) which is a small village about 40km north of Qiqihar (齐齐哈尔) in Heilongjiang province. Although the spoken language is nearly extinct in North East China, the Manchu language lives on in the form of Sibe, which still has 30,000 speakers most of which live in Cabcal Sibe Autonomous County (察布查尔錫伯自治县) near Ili in Xinjiang province, Western China.

Manchu is a member of the Manchu-Tungusic language family which is believed by some scholars to be a branch of the Altaic language family (along with Mongolic and Turkic). Manchu is an agglutinative language that features both vowel harmony and a Subject-Object-Verb sentence structure. Although it is not particularly hard to learn (especially in comparison to Chinese) many would wonder why you would bother learning a language that is spoken by so few people and whose future does not look that promising. Some reasons could include:

  • An interest in Manchu-Tungusic languages
  • An interest in Qing dynasty history, especially considering the amount of archival material in Manchu
  • General intellectual curiosity
  • To gain a deeper understanding of Manchu culture
  • The script is pretty
  • It is an easy way to read the Chinese classics (most of them were translated into Manchu)



Section 1: Grammar & Introductory Lessons Section 2: Readings
.................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................
Lesson 1 - PronunciationDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 13 - Reading 1 (Reading on the old Manchu script)Development stage: 25%
Lesson 2 - NounsDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 14 - Reading 2 (Readings from the Dao De Jing - 道德经)Development stage: 50%
Lesson 3 - PronounsDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 15 - Reading 3 (Readings from an old Korean text to learn Manchu Chapter 1 - 清語老乞大卷一)Development stage: 25%
Lesson 4 - NumeralsDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 16 - Reading 4 (Readings from an old Korean text to learn Manchu Chapter 2 - 清語老乞大卷二)Development stage: 25%
Lesson 5 - AdjectivesDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 17 - Reading 5 (Readings from the Analects - 论语)Development stage: 50%
Lesson 6 - Verbs 1Development stage: 75% Lesson 18 - Reading 6 (Mr Dungg'o and the wolf)Development stage: 25%
Lesson 7 - Verbs 2Development stage: 100% Lesson 19 - Reading 7 (The Lord's Prayer & Gospel of Mark)Development stage: 50%
Lesson 8 - Verbs 3Development stage: 100% Lesson 20 - Reading 8 (Readings from an old Korean text to learn Manchu Chapter 3 - 清語老乞大卷三)Development stage: 25%
Lesson 9 - AdverbsDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 21 - Reading 9 (Readings from an old Korean text to learn Manchu Chapter 4 - 清語老乞大卷四)Development stage: 25%
Lesson 10 - Postpositions and Linking WordsDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 22 - Reading 10
Lesson 11 - Grammar SummaryDevelopment stage: 100% Lesson 23 - Reading 11
Lesson 12 - The Manchu ScriptDevelopment stage: 25% Lesson 24 - Reading 12 (Readings from the San Zi Jing - 三字经)Development stage: 25%
.................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................
Section 3: Other
.................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................
Vocabulary List Further Vocab 1 - Geography, time, seasons and climate
Information on Manchu-Tungusic Languages Further Vocab 2 - Colours, animals and the human body
Introduction to the Jurchen language and script Further Vocab 3 - Countries and languages

Online Library of Manchu Language Texts

Carl Spitzweg 021.jpg

The Online Library of Manchu Language Texts aims to provide a one stop collection of Manchu texts that are no longer subject to copyright laws. All texts use the Mollendorff transliteration method, which will mean that any user that wants to download the text can just cut and paste the content straight from the page. As this is a wiki users will be able to make corrections and monitor changes in the texts to ensure accuracy. The Online Library is currently part of this Wikibook but may end up being moved to Wikisource in the future. To visit the online library Click Here!

Altaic-Language Wikibooks
Mongolic: Mongolian
Tungusic: Manchu
Turkic: Azerbaijani | Turkish | Turkmen | Uzbek
Buyeo*: Japanese* | Korean*
*The inclusion of Japanese and Korean in Altaic
and the existence of Buyeo are not generally accepted.



  • 爱新觉罗·乌拉熙春. <<满语读本>>. 内蒙古人民出版社
  • 爱新觉罗·乌拉熙春. <<满语语法>>. 内蒙古人民出版社
  • 爱新觉罗·瀛生. <<满语读本>>. 吉林教育出版社
  • D.O.朝克. <<满通古斯诸语比较研究>>. 民族出版社
  • Gorelova, Liliya M. 2002. Manchu Grammar. Handbook of Oriental Studies, ISBN 90-04-12307-5
  • Li, Gertraude Roth. 2000. Manchu: A Textbook for Reading Documents. University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, ISBN 0-8248-2206-4
  • 李永海,刘景宪,屈六生. <<满语语法>>. 民族出版社
  • Möllendorff, Paul Georg von. 1892. A Manchu Grammar: With Analysed Texts. Shanghai.


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