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date: 22 April 2019

Manchuria in Modern East Asia, 1600s–1949

Summary and Keywords

Manchuria is an English geographical term that, in the past three centuries or so, has referred to the region that approximately overlaps the region of Northeast China (Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces) in the People’s Republic of China. A scholar’s choice of using or rejecting this term might be associated with their understandings of the historical changes in the territoriality of this region. From the 17th century to the mid-20th century, different powers contested over this region, including different tribes of the Jurchens, before the Manchus founded the Qing Dynasty; Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty; the Russians and Japanese; the Republic of China Government and Warlord regime; Japan and China; as well as the Communist Party of China and the Nationalist Party of China. All these contestations redefined the relationship between this region and China Proper, reshaping the social orders, communal identities, and statehood of the local peoples. Located at the nexus of the modern history of multiple ethnic groups and states, studies of modern Manchuria often require scholars to take transnational approaches, or at the least to adopt cross-border perspectives.

Keywords: Manchuria, Manchus, Northeast China, borderland, immigration, Japanese colonization, territoriality, nationalism, colonialism

Manchuria, a geographical term heavily loaded with different historical and political connotations in different periods since the 17th century, usually refers to the region that approximately overlaps with today’s Northeast China (Liaoning 辽宁‎, Jilin 吉林‎, and Heilongjiang 黑龙江‎ provinces). The origin of this English term might be traced back to 18th-century Dutch, Russian, or French romanization of a Manchu term, Manju, which was used for the ethnic group that established the Late Jin Dynasty (Houjin 后金‎ 1616–1636) and the Qing Dynasty (1636–1912).1 The Chinese term for Manchuria, 满洲‎ (Manzhou), was used to refer to a multi-ethnic community united by Huang Taiji 皇太极‎ (in Manchu [M]: Hong Taiji) in 1635. In Chinese writings dating back to the Qing era, the region was usually named Guanwai (关外‎), meaning “outside of the Shanhai Pass of the Great Wall.” The term, Manzhou (满洲‎), was seldom used to refer to the region until the late 19th century. The Japanese equivalent, Manshū (満洲‎), used as a geographical term, can be traced back to the late 18th century. It was widely used in Japanese writings during the years from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century.2 The Japanese and the English terms, Manshū (満洲‎) and Manchuria, are often regarded as closely associated with Japanese imperialism in the region and thus are not in common usage when referring to Northeast China in Chinese or English writings since the mid-20th century.

In the article, Manchuria is used for convenience when pre-1949 history is under discussion; and Northeast China or Three Eastern Provinces is used when referring to the region in the periods of the Republic of China (ROC; the period of 1912–1949 in mainland China, 1949–present in Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC, 1949–present).

The complexity of the place term used to refer to the region under discussion reflects its nature as a historical borderland in East Asia, where different forces collided or coincided. This borderland had experienced successive contestations between powers and witnessed a series of changes in territoriality before the 17th century covered in this article, which introduces only the general history of this region from the 1600s to 1949.3

The Place Where the Dragon Arose (1600s–1700s)

In the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), different tribes or tribal leagues of the Jurchens in Manchuria, competing with each other over natural resources and territorial possession, interacted with the central court in Beijing as Ming subordinates or local chieftains most of the time. In the last decades of the Ming Dynasty, Aisin Gioro Nurgaci (1559–1626, r. 1616–1626) of the Jianzhou Jurchens, gradually expanded his military forces and developed political alliances even as he accepted several Ming appointments of military titles. He established the military system for the fledgling empire—the Eight Banners system (In Chinese [C]: Baqi八旗‎). His troops unified the Jurchen tribes and helped him to win allegiance from other ethnic groups. Meanwhile, Nurgaci “broadened the cultural horizons of his people, allowing them to adapt non-Manchu ideas but maintain their distinct identity.”4 In 1616, Nurgaci established the Late Jin Dynasty and set his capital at Hetu Ala (in today’s Xinbin 新宾‎ County, Liaoning Province).

In 1618, Nurgaci announced in the “Seven Grievances” (C: Qi Da Hen 七大恨‎) his blood revenge on the Ming for the killing of his father and the humiliation of his clan, as well as his plan to attack Ming troops. He launched a full-scale war against troops stationed by the Ming court in Manchuria. After the Battle at Sarhu (C: 萨尔浒‎, in today’s Fushun, Liaoning Province) in 1619, where Nurgaci’s troops defeated an offensive attack launched by Ming troops aided by the Mongol and Korean forces, the power structure between the Late Jin and the Ming dynasties in Manchuria changed strategically and fundamentally. The Late Jin conquered more tribes and lands in the northeastern area of today’s Liaoning Province, outside of the Great Wall, while the Ming troops took a more defensive stance. In 1625, Mukden (C: Shengjing 盛京‎; today’s Shenyang, Liaoning Province) became the new capital of the Late Jin Dynasty.

After Nurgaci died of battle wounds, his son, Hong Taiji (C: Huang Taiji 皇太极,‎ 1592–1643), inherited the throne in 1626. Hong Taiji carried out a series of domestic political, economic, and military reforms that set up efficient administrative, economic, and military systems. Following his father’s expansion plan, he initiated a series of military campaigns to conquer more territory. Under Hong Taiji, the Eight-Banner troops recruited people from a variety of ethnic groups, including the Mongols, the Han, and the Russians, and expanded quickly. In addition to consolidating the allegiance of tribes and peoples under his rule, Hong Taiji sent troops to Korea twice and forced the Yi royal clan to surrender and become a tributary country. He also won the Mongols’ alliance through both civil and military strategies in the 1630s. In 1636, he named his kingdom the Great Qing (C: Da Qing; M: Daicing).5

In 1644, the ninth son of Hong Taiji, Fulin 福临‎ (1638–1661), inherited the throne at the age of six. His reign was entitled Shunzhi 顺治‎ (1643–1661), under the regency of Hong Taiji’s bother, Dorgon. In the same year, while peasant rebels took over Beijing and the last Ming Emperor, Chongzhen 崇祯‎ (1611–1644, r. 1627–1644), committed suicide, a Ming general who had been garrisoned at Shanhai Pass invited Qing troops to help pacify the rebellion. Dorgon led the Eight-Banner troops into Beijing in May, 1644. Within several months, the Qing court relocated from Mukden to Beijing.

Following the relocation of the court, hundreds and thousands of the Manchus and other peoples migrated from Manchuria to areas south of the Great Wall. While banner troops were dispatched to conquer areas of China Proper in the early Qing, Manchuria, where the dynasty was founded, became scarcely populated. In 1661, an official who surveyed conditions in Manchuria reported, “I saw abandoned towns and castles, collapsed houses and walls. On the vast expanse of this fertile land, there were no people.”6 The Qing court tried to revive the area, and encouraged Han civilians from China Proper to repopulate the Manchus’ abandoned land and to re-farm the vast and fertile land from 1653 to 1667. In 1668, however, the court began to retreat from the policy of repopulating Manchuria. In 1740, Han migration into Manchuria was altogether forbidden, as Emperor Qianlong sought to preserve it as the original site of the Manchus and the “reservoir” for banner people.7 Emperor Qianlong (1711–1799, r. 1735–1796) commented in 1754 that “Shenyang and the area of Liaoning indeed is the place where the dragon arose.”8

Shengjing became the “vice capital” (peijing/peidu 陪京‎/陪都‎) or “residence capital” (liujing 留京‎) after the Qing court left Manchuria. In this vice capital existed five of the six boards that had been established at the central government in Beijing: the Boards of Revenue, Rites, War, Justice, and Works.

Beginning in the 18th century, Manchuria thus became an emblem of the Qing’s origins; a cultural space for Manchus’ self-identification in imperial edicts, in elite literature, and on maps; and an official location for various imperial rituals. In addition to its symbolic importance and cultural meanings to the Qing dynasty, Manchuria’s political place in the empire was distinctive for its administrative system under the generals (jiangjun 将军‎) and its relations with China Proper. While the former regions that had been ruled under Ming Dynasty and recently conquered by the Qing usually were administered within a provincial system under a civil governor, Manchuria was divided into three regions ruled by three generals: the Shengjing General (first titled Zhenshou Liaodong amba jiangjin in 1662 and named Zhenshou Shengjing dengchu jiangjun in 1747, governing most areas of Liaoning Province today and a part of Inner Mongolia), the Jilin General (established first as Ningguta amba janggin in 1653, governing parts of today’s Jilin Province, eastern region of Heilongjiang Province, coastal areas of Russia that are adjacent to China today, and the border region of Khabarovsk/Хабаровск‎), and the Heilongjiang General (first established in 1683, governing most areas of today’s Heilongjiang Province, part of northeastern area of Inner Mongolia, part of the northeast of Mongolia, and some border regions north of the national borders between Northeast China and Russia today). Usually only Manchu or Mongol officers were appointed to these positions until the last several years of the Qing Dynasty.

The establishment of the offices of the three generals and immigration from southern Manchuria to the northern region was a direct consequence of Qing’s territorial expansion in Manchuria in the years from the mid-17th to the late 17th century. With the development of new banner garrisons, banner soldiers and their families were relocated from Fengtian northward to Jilin and Heilongjiang. In 1683, the first garrison city, Aihui, was established in Heilongjiang. The second garrison city, Heilongjiang, was established in 1684, and the third, Morgen, in 1685. From 1691 to 1693, Qiqihar was constructed at the location of the office of the Heilongjiang General. The banner garrisons in Fengtian (Liaoning today), Jilin, and Heilongjiang all performed similar duties with minor variations depending on location. In Fengtian area, the duties assigned to banner offices included not only military services, but also responsibility for royal rituals. In Jilin, the banner offices were in charge of sacrificial rituals designated for Changbai Mountain (C: Changbai shan 长白山‎; Long White Mountain) as well as the transportation and security of tribute sent by local tribes. The banners in Heilongjiang bore the heavy duty of border patrol and defense because they directly faced the threats of Russian encroachment and Korean border crossers. Both the Jilin and Heilongjiang Generals coordinated with the Shengjing General.9

Nevertheless, Manchuria’s special status in the Qing Empire faced a contradictory policy that exiled criminals there from the time of the Shunzhi reign onward. The choice of Manchuria as a destination for banishment reveals a discrepancy between the Qing rulers’ rhetorical respect for Manchuria as their sacred homeland and their awareness of the hardship in this land. To balance such contradictory visions of Manchuria within the empire and to solve the livelihood problems of the banner people whose population grew fast and relied on governmental stipends in China Proper, emperors in later years tried to relocate some Manchus from Beijing to Manchuria as well as banner people from China Proper to Manchuria, and promised to provide housing, tools, and other resources for agricultural settlement. Manchuria, however, was not attractive to the Manchus who had lived in China Proper for generations.10

However, Han civilians never stopped their emigration to the vast land outside of the Shanhai Pass even after 1668. Although the Qing court prohibited Han people from entering Manchuria freely, for various reasons some groups of Han people moved to and lived in this land beginning in the late 18th century. In addition to Han exiles who were sent to Manchuria, mainly for political crimes, single immigrants with official travel certificates were allowed to enter the region in most years. The Manchu emperors themselves bent the prohibition principle at times when national disasters in provinces south to the Great Wall forced civilian refugees to move northward.11 The population of Han people in Manchuria grew even faster in the last decade of the Qing Dynasty after the court lifted the ban partially on Han emigrants in some areas of Manchuria in the 1860s and completely in 1904 (Gottschang Diana Lary 2000 and Shao 2011).12

By the early 20th century, the Qing court’s neglect of Manchuria was blamed as the main reason for the foreign expansion into China. A representative of the “Petition for Opening the Congress Movement” in 1910 in an appeal to Governor General Xiliang 锡良‎ (1853–1917) pled: “please in your memorial ask the Emperor not to forget his homeland (laojia 老家‎).”13 This emperor, Aisin Gioro Puyi (溥仪‎ 1906–1967), did not return to his ancestral homeland after he abdicated the throne in 1912, nor after he was driven out of the Forbidden City in 1924. He did so only in 1931, after years of international contestation that led to Russo-Japanese War in Manchuria and years of Japanese incursions leading to the colonization of the Three Eastern Provinces.

From Manchus’ Homeland to China’s Borderland (1800s–1900s)

The First Opium War (1839–1842) usually is regarded as the turning point, when the Qing Empire had to face challenges from foreign powers. As the battlefields of both the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, Manchuria caught the world’s attention at the turn of the 20th century. In fact, about two hundred years before the Opium War, the Qing court had already clashed with a foreign power that also had attempted to expand in Manchuria and negotiated with neighboring regimes over boundaries. As the Qing was expanding its territory in Manchuria in the 17th century, it clashed with Russia, which had been expanding into Siberia and the Far East since the mid-16th century. After several military campaigns between Russian and Qing troops (the latter sometimes allied with Korean forces) in the 1650s–1680s, the two empires negotiated over border setting and signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk (C: Nibuchu tiaoyue 尼布楚条约‎, 1689). French missionary Jean-François Gerbillon (1654–1707) and Portugese missionary Thomas Pereira (1645–1708) served in the Qing treaty delegation. The original documents of the treaty were written in Manchu, Latin, and Russian. Its contents were inscribed on a stone stele in Manchu, Han, Russian, Mongol, and Latin. This treaty defined sections of the borders between Russia and the Qing, decided to dismantle the town of Albazin (C: Yakesa 雅克萨‎), and regulated issues concerning settlers from both sides of the border region, border trade, and diplomatic interaction.

Korea under the Yi Dynasty also negotiated with the Qing to define their boundaries in Manchuria since the early 18th century. In late 19th century, settlers in the region, from China and Korea, who had become rivals over natural resources, found themselves caught in the contestation for political allegiance and cultural identification between the Qing and Joseon governments.14 The Sino-Korean contestation of the people and territory in Manchuria nevertheless had often been overshadowed by the expansion of western and Japanese colonial empires. In 1909, Japan signed the Kando/Gando/Jiandao 間島‎ Convention with the Qing, recognizing Qing’s sovereignty over the region.

The Treaty of Nerchinsk was effective until the Treaty of Aigun (C: Aihun tiaoyue 瑷珲条约‎, 1858), and the Convention of Beijing (C: Beijing tiaoyue 北京条约‎, 1860) redefined Russo-Chinese borders. The Treaty of Aigun was a victorious result of Russian expansion to the Pacific coast after its failure in the Crimean War (1853–1856) and a demonstration of Russia’s membership in the club of imperialist powers that were “dividing the melon” of China’s territory in the mid-18th century. Frederick Engels in his “Russia’s Successes in the Far East” compared British and French gains from the Second Opium War (1856–1860) and those got by Russia in a sarcastic tone, “While the British squabbled with inferior Chinese officials at Canton and discussed among themselves the important point whether Commissioner Yeh really did, or did not, act according to the will of the Emperor, the Russians took possession of the country north of the Amoor, and of the greater part of the coast of Mantchooria south of that point; there they fortified themselves, surveyed a line of railway, and laid out the plans of towns and harbors.” Indeed, as Engels noticed, China ceded to Russia a large Manchurian territory that was the size of France and Germany combined, and “a river as large as the Danube.”15

The Convention of Beijing finalized the eastern and western parts of the Russo-Chinese borders in Manchuria. This Convention also included regulations on bilateral trade and diplomatic relations. The Convention, together with the Treaty of Aigun, had a deep impact on the power structure of imperialist powers and on the formation of today’s national borders in this region.

Before the Treaty of Aigun was signed and after the First Opium War, Russia seemed a less aggressive foreign power in China. Russia even acted as a mediator during the Second Opium War. However, Russians in Manchuria benefited not only from the two treaties mentioned above, but also from the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858, which opened Niuzhuang 牛庄‎ (in today’s Haicheng 海城‎, Liaoning Province), a key port town in Manchuria, to foreign trade.

While Manchuria was encroached upon by foreign powers, its neighboring land of Korea had experienced a similar loss of sovereignty to a newly arising colonizing power—Japan, an East Asian country that began its rapid modernization during the reign of Meiji Emperor (r. 1867–1912). After the Treaty of Ganghwa Island (The Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity) was signed in 1876, Korea ceased its tributary relationship with the Qing Dynasty and became a nominally “free nation.” This newly freed nation had to grant Japan the right of extraterritoriality, open its port cities for Japanese trade, provide supplies to Japanese ships along the coast, and allow Japanese military agencies to conduct surveys and mapping projects along Korean coastlines. With these treaty rights, Japan had a solid stepping-stone and a convenient base of supplies on its way to expand on the continent. Their expansion in Korea, however, faced resistance from the Qing.

In 1882, both Japan and the Qing government sent troops to quell a riot of Korean soldiers in Seoul, known as the Imo Incident (in Korean [K]: Imo gunllan 임오군란‎/壬午軍亂‎; in Japanese [J]: Jingo jihen 壬午事変‎). These soldiers, who disagreed with a military reform that granted Japanese officers high status, killed Japanese advisers and attacked the Japanese legation. After the incident, in a treaty signed with Korea later the same year (C: Zhongchao shangmin shuilu maoyi zhangcheng 中朝商民水陆贸易章程‎), the Qing Dynasty obtained extraterritoriality in Korea and the right to sail or anchor naval ships along the Korean coast. Qing Dynasty obtained extra territoriality and the right to sail or anchor naval ships along the Korean coast. Japan and Korea signed the Treaty of Chemulpo (K: 제물포조약‎/济物浦条约‎) in 1882, which allowed Japan to station military troops in Korea.

While competing with China in Korea, the Japanese government invested heavily in its navy during the 1890s. Japanese policy makers had a vision of their national security lines beyond Japanese territory, including Korea and Manchuria as their lines of interests.16 In 1894, the Donghak Uprising swept Korea. The Qing government was invited to provide military aid to the Korean government in early June. Japan also sent in troops in early June. But the Korean government and the leaders of the Donghak Uprising had reached an agreement before the Japanese and Chinese joined the battlefield. Japanese and Qing envoys, however, could not reach an agreement on an agenda concerning the withdrawal of their troops from Korea. International mediators also had no success in settling the dispute. On August 1, 1894, Japan and China officially declared war. The First Sino-Japanese War ended in April 1895, after a fatal defeat of the Qing Beiyang Fleet and Army and after a Japanese invasion into Manchuria and occupation of several important towns and ports. The Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed in April 1895, ceded Liaodong Peninsula, Taiwan, and the Penghu Islands (Pescadores Islands) to Japan, in addition to other articles that benefited Japan.

Japan’s expansion in Manchuria soon was interfered by other powers. Russia, France, and Germany pressed Japan to return Liaodong Peninsula to China in 1895. Russia led this Triple Intervention because its interests in Manchuria were directly challenged by Japan. Russian had started its ambitious Far Eastern Railway (Trans-Siberian Railway) project in 1891, which was designed to connect Moscow with Mongolia, China via Manchuria, and Korea. In 1896, a secret treaty between Russia and the Qing granted the former exclusive rights to build China Eastern Railway and its branches. In 1898, Russia leased Port Arthur (Lüshun 旅順‎) and Dalian, and Germany took over the Jiaozhou Bay in Manchuria.

Within a couple of years, the Eight-Nation-Alliance Troop entered Beijing to quell the Boxers’ Uprising (C: Yihetuan 义和团‎). Russia sent a large army into Manchuria and occupied the old capital of the Qing Dynasty, Mukden, and a few other strategic sites. After the Alliance, troops withdrew from Beijing, and Russian troops stayed in Manchuria. Under the pressure of international powers, Russia promised to withdraw its troops in 1902. But, in 1903, the Far East Governor’s Office was established with Lüshun as its center of district. Yevgeni Ivanovich Alekseyev (in Russian: Евгений·Иванович·АЛЕКСЕЕВ‎, 1843–1917) was appointed the Viceroy of His Imperial Majesty in the Far East. The section of Russian railway in Manchuria, called the China Eastern Railway (C: Zhongdong tielu 中东铁路‎/Dong Qing tielu 东清铁路‎), was completed in 1902 and opened to traffic the next year. Its southern branch reached Lüshun.

The Japanese and Russians negotiated over their respective spheres of influence in Manchuria, but the negotiations ended in vain. On February 8, 1904, the Japanese navy attacked Russian fleets at Port Arthur. The Russo-Japanese War began, and the warfare spread from the ocean to inland areas. In May 1905, Russia surrendered. Ironically, the Qing government claimed neutrality in the war. Local people in Manchuria suffered from heavy casualties and loss of property as well as the destruction of their hometowns and disturbance to social order.

The Treaty of Portsmouth (1905) was signed after the Russo-Japanese War, which transferred Russian rights in China to Japan and gave Japan railway rights in South Manchuria, as well as a long section of the southern branch of the China Eastern Railway. In 1906, the South Manchurian Railway Company was founded. Japan stationed troops along the railway. The Kantō Governor’s Office (Japanese: Kantō Totokufu 関東都督府‎) was set in Lüshun the same year, in charge of diplomatic, military, and administrative issues concerning Japanese leased territory and the South Manchurian Railway. In 1907, the headquarters of the South Manchurian Railway moved from Tokyo to Dalian 大连‎ in Manchuria. A series of Japanese colonial regulations imposed taxes on all residents (including Qing subjects) living in the railway zones leased to Japan in South Manchuria.

In 1919, the Kantō Governor’s Office was replaced by the Bureau of Kantō (J: Kantōchō 関東庁‎). The Headquarters of the Kantō Army (Japenese: Kantōgun 関東軍‎; Chinese: Guandongjun 关东军‎), which developed from the Department of Army under the Governor’s Office, was set in Lüshun. This army was responsible directly to Japanese Tennō.

Between Empires and Nations (1900s–1945)

The same year the SMR established its headquarters in Dalian, the Qing court began to provincialize their homeland; that is, the three regions governed by three generals became provinces and were officially integrated into the same administrative system, granting similar political status as other provinces in China Proper. A series of reforms were initiated or implemented in the Three Eastern Provinces, reaching sectors of finance, military, education, administration, law, medicine, and more. However, all these reforms were too late to save the Qing Dynasty from collapsing. The 1911 Revolution (C: Xinhai geming 辛亥革命‎), fumed with anti-Manchuism and Han ethno-nationalism, exploded in Wuchang 武昌‎, a town along the Yangzi River, and soon reached the Three Eastern Provinces.

People in the Three Eastern Provinces experienced a different 1911 Revolution, one that seldom promoted anti-Manchuism or allowed military clashes. The Revolution in this region sometimes is regarded as a failure because local conservatives and late-Qing officials still exercised continuous control over the local government. The comparatively peaceful change of regime in this region can be attributed to the different Manchu-Han relationship in local society from that in China Proper, where the revolutionaries were provoked by anti-Manchu rhetoric. The large number and complicated composition of the Hanjun 汉军‎ (Han banner people) population in Manchuria also limited the social space available for Manchu-Han hostility. In particular, by the late Qing, Han banner people in Manchuria actually outnumbered Manchu and Mongol banner people. Meanwhile, in Manchuria people had witnessed enough borderland problems since the late 19th century to hold deep concerns over the country’s border safety. In addition, some revolutionary leaders regarded Manchuria as a non-Han land separated from China Proper.17

The revolutionaries in Manchuria tried to exclude anti-Manchuism from their propaganda and attempted to avoid stirring up Manchu-Han hostility. Instead, they promoted anti-Qing patriotism and anti-imperialist nationalism. They appealed to people in Manchuria not to fight the revolutionaries at the cost of the country’s border security. Among the leaders of local revolutionaries were two bannermen, Zhang Rong 张榕‎ (Zhang Huanrong 张焕榕‎, 1884–1912), who came from a wealthy Han banner clan in Xingjing, and Baokun 宝昆‎ (1880–1912), who was Manchu.

Local Qing officials were comparatively lenient on the revolutionaries. Zhao Erxun (1844–1927), a Han bannerman who was appointed governor-general of the Three Eastern Provinces as well as imperial commissioner, attempted to suppress the revolutionaries without disturbing the stability of the local area. After negotiating with Yuan Shikai 袁世凯‎ (1859–1916), the First President of the Republic of China, Zhao and his local Qing officials secured a deal agreeing that the government officials in Manchuria, despite changes to their official titles, should remain in their offices and that all of the administrative and military systems there would remain unchanged for several years.18

The maintenance of the old structure and personnel of the local Qing government did not help to quell the rising suspicions in southern China that people in the Three Eastern Provinces were pro-Qing, if not counterrevolutionary. Southerners’ suspicion of the loyalty of the Manchurians to the Republic continued into the years of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1931–1945).

Between the 1911 Revolution and the Second Sino-Japanese War, the region was under the control of warlords. The most powerful figure was Zhang Zuolin 张作霖‎ (1875–1928). Zhang tried to maintain a certain balance between the local military groups, warlords in other regions, the Japanese, and other foreign powers, and the Nationalist Party’s Northern Expedition in the last two years of his life.19 On June 4, 1928, due to Japanese negotiation with Zhang to obtain more rights in the region ending in vain and because the Japanese noticed that Zhang possibly would lean toward Britain and the United States, the Japanese Kantō Army bombed Zhang’s train as he travelled from Beijing back to Manchuria. In December, Zhang’s son, Zhang Xueliang (张学良‎ 1901–2001) announced that the Northeast would follow the ROC central government and raised the ROC national flag.

On September 18, 1931, the Mukden Incident (C: Jiu Yi Ba shibian 九一八事变‎) broke out when the Japanese bombed a small sector of the SMR track, blamed the Chinese for the minor damage, and attacked an ROC garrison stationed in Shenyang. Japanese troops occupied Shenyang and soon controlled the whole region of Northeast China. Zhang Xueliang and his Northeast Army withdrew from Northeast China.

In 1932, the last Manchu emperor, Puyi, returned to Manchuria secretly and collaborated with the Japanese colonial authorities, who claimed they would build a new state for the Manchurians in his homeland. In March, Puyi became the Chief Executive (C: zhizheng 执政‎) of the state named Manchukuo (C: Manzhouguo 满洲国‎; J: Manshūkoku 満洲国‎). Its capital was established in Changchun 长春‎, Jilin. On March 27, 1933, the Japanese delegation led by Matsuoka Yōsuke 松岡洋佑‎ (1880–1946) walked out of the League of Nations assembly to protest its resolution on the Manchuria problem, shocking the Western attendees. The League of Nations had denied Manchoukuo’s legitimacy and suggested that international supervision replace both Chinese and Japanese rule there. In 1934, Puyi became the emperor of Manchukuo.

The Manchukuo government implemented a series of agricultural, industrial, educational, legal, and business reforms. As a de facto colony of Japan, a large number of Japanese and Korean immigrants entered this region. The Japanese colonial authorities tried to legitimize Manchukuo’s statehood via rhetoric of “Ethnic Harmony of Five Ethnic Groups” in the early years after its establishment, and “Great East Asian Sphere of Co-prosperity” in the later years, when the region functioned as a base of wartime supplies to Japanese forces expanding in China, Southeast Asia, and then into the Pacific War. But, in this state, the Kantō Army had the real control, as proven by volumes of archives from the period as well as post-war testimonies from people who worked and lived there, including Puyi who testified at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) in 1946.

Manchukuo ended with Japan’s announcement of surrender on August 8, 1945. Puyi announced his abdication on August 15, 1945. He was arrested on August 19, 1945, by Soviet troops that entered Manchuria, as agreed by the Allied Forces at the Tehran Conference (1943) and the Yalta Conference (1945). He was detained in the USSR until 1950, one year after the PRC was established.

Between the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party (1945–1947)

While Puyi was detained in Russia, his ancestral land, Northeast China, was witnessing a bloody civil war between two Chinese political parties: The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Guomingdang (GMD, Nationality Party). The CPC, in its official history books, always celebrates its military campaign in Northeast China, Liao-Shen Campaign (Liaoshen zhanyi 辽沈战役‎, September 12 to November 2, 1948), as fundamental to its final victory over the Nationalist Party.

Before the Liao-Shen Campaign, the CPC and GMD had been negotiating with each other over post-war state reconstruction and political reforms in Chongqing 重庆‎ in 1945. However, both sides prepared for a civil war despite the so-called Agreement on October 10 (Shuang shi xieding 双十协定‎). In June 1946, a full-scale civil war broke out when the GMD troops attacked CPC troops in China Proper. The Communist Party had sent many cadres and military troops to the Northeast by 1948. The Nationalist troops stationed in major cities were separated and isolated by the Communist Liberation Army that formed sieges around Shengyang, Changchun, and Jinzhou during the Liao-Shen Campaign.20 The Nationalist troops lost cities one after another and ultimately lost the whole region within 52 days of the campaign. In November 1948, the Northeast Field Army (C: Dongbei yezhan jun 东北野战军‎) marched from Northeast China to the areas of Beiping and Tianjin, via the Shanhai Pass, and continued their victory over the Nationalist troops in the Ping-Jin Campaign (C: Ping Jin zhanyi 平津战役‎, November 29, 1948–January 31, 1949).

On October 1, 1949, the establishment of the People’s Republic of China was announced. Northeast China, where many factories from the Manchukuo era existed, became the base of heavy industry for the CPC until the 1990s. The First Manchu autonomous County was established in Xinbin 新宾‎, Liaoning, in 1985.

Discussion of the Literature (1930s–present)

Studies on modern Manchuria have grown significantly over the last three decades. The dramatic upheavals in politics and changes of territoriality in Manchuria since the 17th century, as well as their impact upon local communities and consequential reformation of societal structures and residents’ identities, have attracted scholars from subfields of borderland history, colonial history, cultural history, ethnology or ethnic studies, economic history, literature and film studies, across the state-history sectors of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history, and even American and Soviet or Russian history, as well as sectors of the imperial history of Qing or Russia and ethnic history of local peoples, in particular, the Manchus. In the 1930s–1940s, among the few English publications on the region, Owen Lattimore studied Manchuria through the lens of frontier history, regarding the region as a “cradle of conflict,” where geopolitical interests between countries clashed. In the immediate years after World War II, when Manchuria appeared in English publications, it served as the background to studies of the Korean War. As a borderland, it garnered less scholarly attention than other border regions in the PRC. By the 1990s, most English studies on Manchuria examined the region within a Chinese or Japanese nation-state structure. In 1991, Gavan McCormack called for research on topics beyond national history, such as ethnic issues and political experiments in Manchukuo. From the 1990s to the present, English publications have not only questioned the colonial nature of Manchukuo, but also reexamined the development of Chinese nationalism in Manchuria. Prasenjit Duara treats Manchoukuo as an experimental field for state formation and “East Asian modern” (2003). Rana Mitter analyzes the “Manchurian myth” of Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, tracing the process by which this myth became an essential constituent of Chinese nation building (2000). James Carter’s book studies how a Russian city, Harbin, was reformed by Chinese nationalists and became Chinese amid the international conflicts over Manchuria.21 In addition to the aforementioned examples, scholars have published research on the experiences of various ethnic or national groups in Manchuria, such as the Manchus, Korean peasants, and White Russians, in Manchuria. Theories and concepts from other fields such as anthropology and sociology have been integrated into historians’ studies of this region from perspectives of identity and community formation, economic development, public health, cultural transformation, and other new topics.22

Chinese studies on Manchuria were first recorded in literati’s travel writings, miscellaneous notes, poems, as well as official gazetteers during the Qing Dynasty.23 During the 20th century, studies on the early years of the Manchus, or Jurchens, or Qing history, in Chinese or Japanese, all provide rich information on the political, cultural, economic, and military situations in the region during the Qing Dynasty.24

In the period of the 1930s and 1940s, Chinese scholars rushed to publish on the ancient and imperial history of Manchuria, trying to prove that Manchuria had belonged to China since antiquity.25 Their intellectual and political rivals were those Japanese scholars who also used historical information to argue that Manchuria’s territorial belongingness to the ROC was questionable and that Japanese interests in the region should be protected.26 On the years between the 1950s and the 1990s, the themes of colonialism and nationalism are predominant in both Chinese and Japanese publications on Northeast China. Chinese publications on Northeast China center on the leadership of the CPC during the Resistance War and the cruelty of Japanese colonization.27 Japanese publications reflect, more or less, the intellectuals’ criticism of the Japanese economic and military steps that led Japan to a colonial empire and to the quagmire of the World War II.28 In the past decade or so, both Chinese and Japanese scholars, joining their colleagues in America, Europe, and Australia, provide new analyses of Manchurian history from cultural, economic, social, legal, and medical perspectives.29 They also contribute more to military history in this region than scholars who publish in English. Nevertheless, in the PRC, a main trend of Chinese scholars since the late 1990s has defined their research as regional history (quyu shi 区域史‎). Among these scholars many continue research methods and arguments inherited from the wartime generation, using textual and archeological evidence to illustrate long-term interactions between the region and China Proper and thus demonstrating the territorial and cultural inclusiveness of the region to Zhonghua civilization since the prehistoric period.30 Defining studies on the Northeast within China’s borderland studies, a state-financed “Research Project on the History and Current Affairs of Northeast China,” under the leadership of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was launched in 2002.31


Narangoa, Li, and Cribb, Robert. Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590–2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia. Columbia University Press, 2014.

Primary Sources

As different research questions require different genres of primary sources, it is impossible to categorize primary sources into thematic groups within the scope of this article. This is a brief introduction to institutions and online sources where one can find archival and/or printed primary sources on Manchuria (or Northeast China). In addition, although primary sources on Manchuria are available in a variety of languages and at different libraries and archival institutions, provided here is a list of selected sites and online sources where Manchu, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian language archives can be found.32

For those interested in Qing archives in Manchuria during the years of 1600s–1900s, the First Historical Archives of China in Beijing, Liaoning Provincial Archives, Jilin Provincial Archives, Heilongjiang Provincial Archives, and Academia Sinica (Taiwan) house rich collections of official documents in both Manchu and Han Chinese languages. The online search systems of these archives in general and those for specific collections (such as the “Archives of Grand Council” at First Historical Archives of China and “Archives of the Grand Secretariat” at Academia Sinica) will help researchers to identify archives related to Manchuria during the Qing Dynasty. Archivists have made tremendous contributions to the study of Manchuria during the Qing. For example, the First Historical Archives of China, sometimes in cooperation with other archives, has compiled and published a series of archival documents such as Qingdai Dongbei Acheng Hanwen dang’an xuanbian (Selected Han Archives on Acheng in the Northeast Region) and Shengjing Xingbu yuandang (Original Archives of the Ministry of Justice in Mukden). These printed archival collections can help junior graduate students to learn necessary basics about the archives before they conduct a long-term, full-scale archival research in China. For those who read Manchu, different printed editions of Manwen laodang (Old Manchu Archives) are available, including those of Chinese and Japanese translation and those with annotations.

Gazetteers of cities and towns in Manchuria from different historical periods can be found in the Special Collection of Digitized Gazetteers (pre-1949) at the National Library of China (NLC). The NLC also provides hard copies and digital versions of old journals and newspapers from the Republican era. Genealogies of local clans are housed at a variety of libraries in Northeast China, Beijing, and Shanghai. The collection of original copies of genealogies at Shanghai Library is the largest in China. Its database provides convenient search via residential place. The NLC’s database of genealogies is still under testing.

Scholars who are interested in the era of the late Qing and early Republic of China, as well as Manchukuo, can find primary sources at provincial archives and municipal libraries in Shenyang, Changchun, and Harbin, as well as at central government archives at the Second Historical Archives of China in Nanjing, Academia Historica, and Archives of the Nationalist Party in Taibei. Japanese primary sources on or from Manchuria and Manchukuo are available not only in related collections of archives in Tokyo, but also in archives and libraries in the capital cities of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces. The National Diet Library in Tokyo houses hundreds of thousands of printed and digitized materials; in particular, old magazines and journals, governmental documents, and research reports by and studies on the South Manchuria Railway Company (SMR; Japenese: Minami Manshū Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha/Mantetsu 南満洲鉄道株式会社/満鉄‎).33 Manchuria-related materials can also be found in metropolitan and prefectural libraries such as the Osaka Prefectural Central Library and Tokyo Metropolitan Library.

There are also volumes of Korean and Russian primary sources on Manchuria. Limited by language skills, this section can only recommend that students who are interested in using Korean and Russian sources check databases of the National Archives of Korea, National Institute of Korean History, and Federal Archival Service of Russia. The National Library of Korea has extensive digital archives of Japanese sources on Manchuria. Bibliographies of existing publications on Koreans and Russians in Manchuria (such as Wolff, 1999, and Uchida, 2011) also contain valuable information.

Some volumes of social-economic surveys, ethnological or anthropological studies, as well as travelogues on local communities in Manchuria, in a variety of languages, can be found in many archives and libraries in East Asia, North America, and Europe. Most authors of this genre of materials can be searched via names of famous scholars or missionary organizations that are well known for their work in Manchuria.

Chinese primary sources on Northeast China after 1949 usually are in print form and thus can be found via online library or archival catalogues inside and outside of China. Due to complicated policies toward post-1949 archives, access to local and central governmental archives in the PRC years depends on case-by-case situations. For example, scholars might find it comparatively easy to get official statistical information on population or economic sectors in Northeast China in recent years; but it might be almost impossible to get access to official documents on certain ethnic groups from the 1950s to the 1970s, or maps on border regions. Depending on the political sensitivity of one’s research topic, scholars might have different experiences with archival research in the region.

Further Reading

Carter, James Hugh. Creating a Chinese Harbin: Nationalism in an International City, 1916–1932. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002.Find this resource:

Ding Yizhuang 定宜庄‎, Guo Songyi 郭松义‎, Li Zhongqing 李中清‎, and Kang Wenlin 康文林‎. Liaodong yimin zhong de qiren shehui lishi wenxian, renkou tongji yu tianye diaocha (辽东移民中的旗人社会‎). Shanghai: Shanghai shehui kexue yuan chuban she, 2004.Find this resource:

Duara, Prasenjit. Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.Find this resource:

DuBois, Thomas David. Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia: Manchuria 1900–1945. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.Find this resource:

Elliott, Mark. “The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies.” Journal of Asian Studies 59.3 (2000): 603–646.Find this resource:

Fogel, Joshua. The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China: 1862–1945. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.Find this resource:

Gottschang, Thomas R., and Diana Lary. Swallows and Settlers: The Great Migration from North China to Manchuria. Michigan monographs in Chinese studies. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2000.Find this resource:

Isett, Christopher. State, Peasant, and Merchant in Qing Manchuria, 1644–1862. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.Find this resource:

Lahusen, Thomas. Harbin and Manchuria: Place, Space, and Identity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.Find this resource:

Lattimore, Owen. Studies in Frontier History: Collected Papers, 1928–1958. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.Find this resource:

Lee, James Z., and Cameron D. Campbell. Fate and Fortune in Rural China: Social Organization and Population Behavior in Liaoning 1774–1873. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997.Find this resource:

Lee, Robert H. G. The Manchurian Frontier in Ch’ing History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970.Find this resource:

Levine, Steven. Anvil of Victory: The Communist Revolution in Manchuria, 1945–1948. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.Find this resource:

Li Xingsheng 李兴盛‎. Dongbei liuren shi (东北流人史‎). Ha’erbin: Heilongjiang renmin chuban she, 1990.Find this resource:

Liu Xiaomeng 刘小萌‎. Manzu cong buluo dao guojia de fazhan (满族从部落到国家的发展‎). Shenyang: Liaoning minzu chuban she. 2001.Find this resource:

Matsusaka, Yoshihisa Tak. The Making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904–1932. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2001.Find this resource:

McCormack, Gavan. “Manchukuo: Constructing the Past.” East Asian History 2 (December 1991): 105–124.Find this resource:

Mitter, Rana. The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, Resistance, and Collaboration in Modern China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Narangoa, Li, and Cribb, Robert. Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590–2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.Find this resource:

Nishimura Shigeō 西村成雄‎. Chūgoku kindai Tōhoku chiikishi kenkyū (中国近代東北地域史研究‎). Kyoto, Japan: Hōritsu bunkasha, 1984.Find this resource:

O’Dwyer, Emer. Significant Soil: Settler Colonialism and Japan’s Urban Empire in Manchuria. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015.Find this resource:

Park Hyun Ok. Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Reardon-Anderson, James. Reluctant Pioneers: China’s Expansion Northward, 1644–1937, Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Rogaski, Ruth. “Vampires in Plagueland: The Multiple Meanings of Weisheng in Manchuria.” In Health and Hygiene in Chinese East Asia: Policies and Publics in the Long Twentieth Century. Edited by Angela Ki Che Leung and Charlotte Furth. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.Find this resource:

Schmid, Andre. “Looking North Toward Manchuria,” The South Atlantic Quarterly 99 (2000): 219–240.Find this resource:

Shao, Dan. Remote Homeland, Recovered Borderland: Manchus, Manchoukuo and Manchuria, 1907–1985. Honolulu, HA: University of Hawai’i Press, 2011.Find this resource:

Smith, Norman. Intoxicating Manchuria: Alcohol, Opium, and Culture in China’s Northeast. Contemporary Chinese Studies Series. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2012.Find this resource:

Suleski, Ronald Stanley. Civil Government in Warlord China: Tradition, Modernization, and Manchuria. Studies in Modern Chinese History. New York: P. Lang, 2002.Find this resource:

Tamanoi Mariko Asano. Memory Maps: The State and Manchuria in Postwar Japan. Honolulu, HA: University of Hawai’i Press. 2008.Find this resource:

Uchida Jun. Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876–1945. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2011.Find this resource:

Wolff, David. To the Harbin Station: The Liberal Alternative in Russian Manchuria, 1898–1914. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Yoshiki Enatsu 江夏由樹‎. Kindai Chūgoku Tōhoku chiikishi kenkyū no shinshikaku (近代中国東北地域史研究の新視角‎). Tōkyō, Japan: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2005.Find this resource:

Young, Louise. Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Zhang Jie 张杰‎ and Zhang Danhui 张丹卉‎. Qingdai Dongbei bianjiang de Manzu, 1644–1840 (清代东北边疆的满族‎). Shenyang, People’s Republic of China: Liaoning minzu chuban she, 2005.Find this resource:


(1.) “Etymology” of “Manchurian, adj. and n.” OED Online (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).

(2.) Mark Elliott, “The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies,” Journal of Asian Studies 59.3 (2000): 603–646.

(3.) For information related to pre-1600s Manchuria, please see Hyun Jin Kim’s ORE article, “The Xiongnu.”

(4.) Peter Perdue, China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 127.

(5.) For more information on the Qing expansion, please see Peter Perdue’s “The Expansion of the Qing Dynasty of China and the Zunghar Mongol State.”

(6.) Qing Shi Lu 清实录‎ (Veritable records of the Qing dynasty), Qing Shengzu shilu, juan 2, SZ18.5.9 (June 5, 1661); Scripta Sinica (hereafter SS) (Hanji dianzi wenxian), Academia Sinica.

(7.) For more information on this change, from recruiting to forbidding immigrants, see Zhang Jie 1994, 33–40, 308–312; For more information on the changes of banner system and population structure, see Dan Shao, Remote Homeland, Recovered Borderland: Manchus, Manchoukuo, and Manchuria, 1907–1985. Honolulu, HA: University of Hawai’i Press, 2011), chapter 1.

(8.) Qing Shi Lu, Gaozong Chun Huangdi shilu, juan 472, QL19.9.14 (October 29, 1754), Zhonghua shuju 1986, 1110.

(9.) Shao, 2011, chapter 1.

(10.) For more information, please see reports collected in Wang Lütai 王履泰‎ and Yi Baozhong 衣保中‎, eds. Shuangcheng bao tuntian jilue (双城堡屯田纪略‎); and in Li Shutian, ed., Changbai congshu, si ji (Changchun: jilin wenshi chuban she, 1990).

(11.) In 1792, Emperor Qianlong allowed civilians, who had suffered a catastrophic drought in China Proper, to cross the pass with their families to make a living in Manchuria if they obtained permission and certificates from their home prefectures or counties. In 1803, this precedent was cited by local officials who were under investigation for the growth of the immigrant population in Manchuria.

(12.) Thomas R. Gottschang and Diana Lary, Swallows and Settlers: The Great Migration from North China to Manchuria (Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2000); Shao, 2011.

(13.) Minli ribao, XT 2.11.13 (December 14, 1910); “Fengtian ren zhi guohui ku,” in Ma Hongmo 马鸿谟‎, ed. 1982. Minhu, Minyu, Minli bao xuanji 民呼‎, 民吁‎, 民立报选辑‎ (1909.5–1910.12) (Selection of Minhu, Minyu, and Minli newspapers). Henan ren min chubanshe. 1982, 584–586.

(14.) Andre Schmid, “Looking North Toward Manchuria,” The South Atlantic Quarterly 99 (2000): 219–240.

(15.) Frederick Engels, Russia’s Successes in the Far East. New-York Daily Tribune, No. 5484 (November 18, 1858).

(16.) Yamagata Aritomo 山縣有朋‎ argued, in 1890, that there are two ways to defend a country: to defend the lines of sovereignty and to protect the “interest lines”; and “to maintain the independence of a country, it is not sufficient to protect the “sovereignty lines.” Although scholars have identified other Japanese intellectuals and politicians, such as Yoshita Shōin and Inoue Kowashi, who had developed a similar concept of Japanese “interest lines,” the 1890 speech by Yamagata Aritomo, prime minister from 1889 to 1891, is regarded as the first official statement of this territorial strategy (Yamamuro Shin’ichi Manchuria under Japanese Dominion, trans Joshua Fogel (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 250.

(17.) Shao, 2011, chapter 2.

(18.) Zhongguo diyi lishi dang’anguan, ed. Qingdai dang’an shiliao congbian (清代档案史料丛编‎), vol. 8 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982), 255.

(19.) For more information, please read Gavan McCormack, Chang Tso-lin in Northeast China, 1911–1928: China, Japan, and the Manchurian Idea (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1977).

(20.) The cruelty of the siege of Changchun, in particular starvation of civilians, has been a taboo in the official history on the Liberation War for a long time.

(21.) Carter, James Hugh. Creating a Chinese Harbin: Nationalism in an International City, 1916–1932. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002).

(22.) See Thomas David DuBois, Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia: Manchuria 1900–1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Norman Smith, Intoxicating Manchuria: Alcohol, Opium, and Culture in China’s Northeast (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2012); Ruth Rogaski, “Vampires in Plagueland: The Multiple Meanings of Weisheng in Manchuria.” In Health and Hygiene in Chinese East Asia: Policies and Publics in the Long Twentieth Century, eds. Angela Ki Che Leung and Charlotte Furth (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011); Uchida Jun, Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2011); Shao, 2011; Park Hyun Ok, Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005); Owen Lattimore, Studies in Frontier History: Collected Papers, 1928–1958 (London: Oxford University Press, 1962); Andre Schmid, “Looking North Toward Manchuria,” The South Atlantic Quarterly 99 (2000): 219–240; David Wolff, To the Harbin Station: The Liberal Alternative in Russian Manchuria, 1898–1914 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999).

(23.) Such as Jueyu jilue (绝域纪略‎) by Fang Gongqian 方拱乾‎, Ningguta shanshui ji (宁古塔山水记‎) by Zhang Jinyan 张缙彦‎, Shengjing tongzhi 盛京通志‎.

(24.) Liu Xiaomeng, Manzu cong buluo dao guojia de fazhan 满族从部落到国家的发展‎ (Shenyang: Liaoning minzu chuban she, 2001, Manchus’ development from a tribe to a state). Shenyang: Liaoning minzu chuban she; Xie Guozhen 谢国桢‎, 1969. Qing chu Dongbei liuren kaifa Dongbei shi (清初东北流人开发东北史‎) (A study of exiles to Northeast China in early Qing) (Taibei: Taiwan kaimin shudian, 1969); and Yoshimichi Kusunoki 楠木賢道‎, 2000. “天聰五年大凌河攻城戰からみたアイシン國政權の構造‎,” (The Composition of the Aisin Regime as Seen from the Battle for Dalinghe in the Fifth Year of the Tiancong Reign). Tōyōshi kenkyū 东洋史研究‎ 59.3 (2000): 395–428.

(25.) Fu Sinian 傅思年‎. “Dongbei shigang—gudai zhi dongbei” (东北史纲古代之东北‎) In Fu Sinian quanji, v.5. (Taibei: Lian jing chu ban shi, 1980), Fu’s work was originally published in 1932. See also Li Ji, Manchuria in History (Peiping, Peking Union Bookstore, 1932).

(26.) Shiratori Kurakichi 白鳥庫吉‎, Watari Yanai 箭內亙‎, Iwakichi Inaba 稻葉岩吉‎, and Hitoshi, Matsui 松井‎, eds., Manshū Rekishi Chiri (滿洲歷史地理‎), 2 vols, Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki Kaisha Rekishi Chosa Hokoku (Tokyo: Maruzen Kabushiki Kaisha, 1940); Yano Jin’ichi 矢野仁一‎, Manshū koku rekishi (満洲国歴史‎) (Tokyo: Meguro shoten, 1933).

(27.) Xie Xueshi 谢学诗‎, Wei Manzhou guo shi xinbian (伪满洲国史新编‎) (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1995).

(28.) Such as Yamamoto Yūzō 山本有造‎, ed., “Manshūkoku” no kenkyū (満洲国の研究‎) (Tokyo: Rokuin shobō, 1995); Suzuki Takashi 鈴木隆史‎, Nihon teikokushugi to Manshū, 1900–1945 (日本帝国主義と満州‎): 1900–1945 (Tokyo: Hanawa shobo, 1992).

(29.) Such as Dubois, Thomas David, “Rule of Law in a Brave New Empire: Legal Rhetoric and Practice in Manchukuo,” Law and History Review 26 (2008): 285–318; DuBois, Thomas David, “Public Health and Private Charity in Northeast China, 1905–1945,” Frontiers of History in China 9.4 (2014): 506–533; Du Lihong 杜丽红‎. “Qing ji Harbin fangyu lingdao quan zhengzhi zhi Beijing (清季哈尔滨防疫领导权争执之背景‎),” Zhongyang yanjiu yuan jindaishi suo jikan 78 (2012): 87–124; Katō Kiyofumi 加藤聖文‎, et al. Chōsensuru Manshū kenkyū: chiiki, minzoku, jikan (挑戦する満洲研究‎: 地域・民族・時間‎) (Tokyo: Kokusai Zenrin Kyōkai, 2015).

(30.) Li Zhiting 李治亭‎, “Dongbei difang shi yanjiu de huigu yu sikao—xie zai jianguo 60 zhounian 东北地方史研究的回顾与思考—写在建国60周年‎,” Yunnan shifan daxue xuebao 41.2 (2009): 1–11.

(31.) In 2006, Korean president Roh Moo-hyun (1946–2009), expressed regret to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao that the Northeastern Project could hurt bilateral ties.

(32.) Ronald Suleski and Zhao Zhongfu 趙中孚‎, in their annotated bibliographies on modern Manchuria, though published decades ago, provide more detailed lists of thematic references, including secondary sources, than what this section can. Ronald Stanley Suleski, The modernization of Manchuria: An Annotated Bibliography (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1994), and Zhao Zhongfu, ed., Jindai Dongbei quyu yanjiu ziliao mulu (近代東北區域研究資料目錄‎) (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiu yuan jindai shi yanjiu suo, 1984).

(33.) Volumes of fieldwork notes and research reports on projects sponsored by the SMR provide valuable information on local villages and towns in Northeast China and North China, including topics on agriculture, husbandry, ecology, land system, social organizations, taxation, and population. Many research results were published in Mantetsu chōsa geppō (滿鐵調查月報‎) (Monthly reports of the SMR research projects. Reports on local situations in Manchuria were published in Manshū kyūkan chōsa hōkokusho (満洲旧慣調查報告書‎) (Reports on studies of local customs in Manchuria), which includes rich details and documents on land system and husbandry, trade, ecological settings of fieldwork sites, irrigation, taxation, civilians’ land, and Manchu royal clan’s land in Manchuria and Mongolia.