MODERN ASIAN STUDIES REVIEW Vol.5 新たなアジア研究に向けて5号
5/112

ArticlesIntroductionThe Great Qing Empire (Da Qing Guo), established in the seventeenth century by the Manchu people, who lived outside the Great Wall, came to be known as China’s last absolute dynasty. Before and after making Beijing its capital in 1644, the Qing dynasty pushed forward on a path of relentless territorial expansion, reaching its apogee in the mid-eighteenth century, with territorial borders that encompassed the Mongolian Plateau, East Turkestan, and Tibet. The constituent parts of the modern Chinese nation (Northeast China, China proper, Inner Mongolia, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Region) are all directly based on the Qing dynasty’s territorial borders. Thus, not only did the Great Qing Empire dramatically transform the territorial concept of “China,” it also changed the concept of “East Asia,” and furthermore the strange new technical term of “East Eurasia,” used frequently in recent years. Regarding the relationship between the Qing dynasty and East Asia, a new and important issue is proposed by Yoshizawa Seiichiro. Taking a broad perspective of “the military and economic rise of Japan after the end of the nineteenth century,” he notes,If we are to consider the transition process of Qing as a continental state, we will need to be mindful of the problematic nature of the “East Asia” framework; a pitfall for many Japanese people.1As the dynasty that reigned supreme in China, the Qing dynasty controlled a territorial area of an unprecedented scale. When we focus on this fact, we can identify in the Qing dynasty the quality of a unique multi-ethnic state, a quality that cannot be properly understood if we only consider Qing through the framework of its rule of Inner China.2 In fact, reflecting on this aspect of Qing, there have traditionally been two ways of positioning historical Qing: first, as China’s final non-Han dynasty of Conquest (the Manchu dynasty), and second, as China’s final traditional, absolutist dynasty.So how is this double-faceted nature of the Qing dynasty reflected in Qing-era historical documents? If we take a tentative look at documents related to the Manchu language, the first official language of the Qing dynasty, we will find certain features, including the following:○There are a great many translations of Chinese classics, as represented by Confucian writings.○ Aside from documents written in a single language (Manchu, Mandarin Chinese, etc.), there are also many multilingual documents in which the same content is presented in multiple languages (Manchu-Chinese, Manchu-Mongolian, etc.)○ There are a great many officially and privately compiled dictionaries of Manchu, Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Uighur.ArticlesConferences& LecturesResearchActivitiesThe Nature and Signi cance of Manchu-Language Documents of the Qing EraISHIBASHI TakaoAuthor001

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