Manchu people

The Manchu (also: Manchu, Manchu: Manju; Chinese满洲 族/满洲 族, Pinyin Mǎnzhōu zú, but usually abbreviated Chinese only满族/满族, Pinyin Mǎnzú ) are a people of Manchuria in northeast China and after the Zhuang the second largest of 55 recognized ethnic minorities of China. Of the nearly 11 million members of the group, most Chinese in the relevant dialect speak their homes, ie to the Northeast dialect. Only a few dozen old people dominate the Manchu language, making it as good as extinct. However, the related Xibenisch, which is still spoken in the autonomous district Qapqal Xibe in Xinjiang is in fact a dialect of the Manchurian.

Demography and autonomy

In the census of 2010 10.387.958 Manchus were counted. Their population was spread out ( according to the 1990 data) as follows: 50.43 % of the Manchu living in Liaoning, 17.6 % in Hebei, 12.06 % in Heilongjiang, 10.67 % in Jilin, 4.65 % in the autonomous region Inner Mongolia and 1.68 % in Beijing.

  • In Liaoning Province, the proportion of Manchus is 13 % of the population, the set up for it six autonomous counties ( Benxi, Huanren, Kuandian, Qingyuan, Xinbin and Xiuyan ) comprise about 17% of the area of ​​this province.
  • In Hebei province, the proportion of Manchu is 3.2 % of the population, its four autonomous counties ( Fengning, Kuancheng, Qinglong and Weichang ) make 12.3% of the province surface.
  • In Jilin Province, the proportion of Manchu is 4 %, and its autonomous district of Yitong makes 1.3% of the surface.
  • In the province of Heilongjiang, the Manchu account for nearly 3 % of the population and have no autonomous county; However, there are numerous communities of the Manchu nationality, such as Sijiazi, Nongfeng and Kunhe.


The Manchus are descended from the Jurchen, who conquered in the 12th century northeast China. The name " Manchu " was officially 1635, introduced by Huang Taiji (皇太极) who belonged to the Jianzhou Jurchen -. He may have been, however, already used from 1605 onwards. Nurhachi son Huang Taiji decided to use the name " Manchu ", and forbade the use of the name " Jurchen ". Although the original meaning of the term is not clear, but it is assumed that it was an old word for the Jianzhou Jurchen -. According to another theory, the term comes from the Bodhisattva Manjusri (the " Bodhisattva of Wisdom" ), whose incarnation Nurhaci claimed to be. Before the 17th century, the ancestors of the Manchus were a rural people, who supported himself by hunting, fishing and some agriculture.


Late Jin Dynasty

In 1616, the Manchu leader Nurhaci built the Late Jin Dynasty and the state Amaga Aisin Gurun, or shortly Manju Gurun ( " State of Manchu " ) and joined the Manchu tribes. This will be the development of the military system of the Eight Banners returns. After the death of his son Huang Taiji Nurhachi changed the name of the dynasty in Qing.

Qing Dynasty

When Li Zicheng captured Beijing in 1644, the Qing army attacked the Chinese territory beyond the Great Wall and made Peking to Mukden ( since the time of the Warring States, a Chinese city) as the new capital. They conquered within a few years the whole territory of the Ming Dynasty.

In the Qing Dynasty, all the important offices of the empire were occupied by a Han Chinese and Manchurian each member, making a fairly large proportion of the Manchus, whose number was generally relatively low, were government officials.


During the Qing Dynasty, the government tried to get the Manchurian culture and language. These attempts were not very successful in the long term, because the Manchus increasingly adapting to the customs of the Han Chinese and also took their language gradually. Manchu was already in the 18th century at the imperial court itself rarely spoken. In the 1880s, reported the linguist Paul Georg von Möllendorff that language is at the court orally only as fixed commands at ceremonies in use. The Manchurian font but was still used until the collapse of the dynasty next to the Chinese as a written language for official documents and communications between the emperor and the Banner officers.

On the other hand, the Manchurian influenced the Han Chinese culture on a large scale. Large groups of Han Chinese, the so-called Han bannermen were mandschurisiert in a contrary process since the 17th century. Many things that are now regarded as typical of the northern Chinese culture, are in reality Manchurian origin and result of a reverse assimilation.

Although - in the main - the Manchus assimilated to the Han culture and himself always understood as " Chinese " (in the sense of members of the Middle Kingdom ), they were towards the end of the Qing Dynasty by Chinese nationalists as " foreign " colonial power represented. This presentation but disappeared quickly because the new Republican China after the revolution of 1911 the Manchus in a new, Republican "national identity " into constructed.


1931 built by the Japanese in the Northeast of China as a Manchukuo (Japanese Manshu koku満 州 国; Chinese Mǎnzhōuguó满洲 国) designated puppet state. At that time, the area was inhabited mainly by Han Chinese and even among the Manchus could not raise much interest this project.

Probably one was " Manchurian " state only reason built to justify secession and thus not only China but also the strong influence of Russia since 1890 in the region continues to weaken and to prepare an invasion of China.

After the Second World War, the territory became part of China again.