The Eight Banners (In Manchu: jakūn gūsa, Chinese: 八旗 bāqí) were administrative divisions into which all Manchu families were placed. They provided the basic framework for the Manchu military organization. The fundamental building block of the banners was the company (Manchu: niru, Chinese: 佐領 zuǒlǐng), some of which reflected pre-existing lineage or tribal connections in their membership, while others deliberately overrode such connections in an effort to create a more centralized military force. Each company was, in principle, required to furnish 300 troops to the larger banner army.
The banner system was established by Nurhaci in the early seventeenth century. By 1601 Nurhaci was reorganizing his military forces into the basic structure of the banners and some evidence suggests that he might have started as much as a decade earlier. There are clear references to military units called "banners" in Korean sources in 1607 and sources dating from 1615 describe the "banner" unit structure. Details are uncertain due to the scarcity of source material and a lack of cultural referents; compounding the matter is a linguistic difficulty: In Manchu the term gūsa denotes a large military formation called a "banner" and tu refers to a flag known as a "banner", but in Chinese (the language used in nearly all the pertinent records) the character qi (旗) is used for both meanings. Thus it is often somewhat difficult to tell whether the material refers to the use of cloth flags in battle or a unit of troops.
The Eight Banners consisted of three principal ethnic components: the Manchu, the Han, and the Mongols, and various smaller ethnic groups, such as the Daur and Evenki. Beginning in the late 1620s, Nurhaci's successors incorporated allied and conquered Mongol tribes into the Eight Banner system. The first Chinese additions were merely sprinkled into existing banners as replacements. Eventually, the sheer numbers of Chinese soldiers caused Manchu leaders to form them into the "Old Han Army" (舊漢軍, jiù hànjūn), mainly for infantry support. In 1631, a separate Chinese artillery corps was formed. Four Chinese banners were created in 1639 and finally the full eight were established in 1642.
Some Han Chinese were also absorbed directly into the Manchu banners.
The Eight Banners were created at the same time as the Jurchen people were renamed the Manchu ethnic group.
The Chinese banners were known as the "Nikan" Banners, made out of a massive amount of Chinese POWs and defectors. Jurchen women married those Chinese who had no family with them. There were so many Chinese entering the Banners that there were more of them than the Jurchen.
Attempts by Hung Taiji were made to separate Chinese and Jurchen banners. In Chinese and Jurchen of Liaodong were mix in culture. Many bannermen forged genealogies of their origin since they did not have any, and then these decided whether or not they were in a Chinese or a Jurchen banner.
The Eight Banners were then created from the old black Chinese banners and Jurchen banners and made equal to each other. The Mongol Eight banners were also created at this time, and anyone who was not classified into a Chinese or a Mongol banner became a Manchu, an ethnic group which Hung Taiji created.
The Manchu leader Nurhaci embarked on the conquest of Liaodong from the Ming dynasty, luring Chinese to his side to defect by threatening them with destruction and at the same time also promising them rewards, with important positions. A massive revolt against the Jurchens by the Liaodong Chinese broke out in 1623, due to the Jurchens squeezing the Chinese for labor and stationing Jurchen in Chinese households. Acts of sabotage and slaughter of the Jurchen were carried out by the Chinese rebels in retaliation. Hong Taiji, who succeeded Nurhaci, began to include many Chinese in his government and copy the Chinese style of governing.
After defeats inflicted by the Chinese General Yuan Chonghuan upon the Manchus, the Manchu then decided to absorb Chinese prisoners who knew how to use guns into their army to supplement their forces.
The Manchus also lured Chinese Generals into defecting and joining the Banners by marrying them to women from the Imperial Aisin Gioro family. One Chinese General, Li Yongfang (Li Yung-fang) was bribed by the Manchus into defecting by being married to an Aisin Gioro wife, and being given a position in the banners. Many more Chinese abandoned their posts and joined the Manchus. A mass marriage of Chinese to Manchu women numbering 1,000 took place in 1632 after Prince Yoto came up with the idea. They were either generals or officials. It was said by the Manchu leader that "since the Chinese generals and Manchu women lived together and ate together, it would help these surrendered generals to forget their motherland." Women from the Imperial family were also married to other Chinese who joined the Qing after their conquest of China.
The Manchus also created an artillery unit out of Chinese, which they used against the Ming army. Chinese were also lured by the Manchus into defecting and entering their employ in civil service by granting them privileges such as calling themselves "ministers", while Manchus in the same position were regarded as "slaves".
Some Han Chinese also joined Manchu banners directly, instead of joining the separate Chinese banners. Han Chinese in the Manchu Banners became Manchucized. The Manchu White Banner were joined by some Zhejiang Han Chinese with the last name Tao who defected to the Qing towards the end of the Ming Dynasty. Their last name was changed to the Manchu sounding "Tohoro". One of their descendants was the Manchu Duanfang, an official in late Qing dynasty China. Han Chinese bannermen manchufied their last names with adding "giya" at the end.
However, some Han Chinese bannermen like Zhao Erfeng, Zhao Erxun and Cao Xueqin did not use Manchu names. A lot of other Han Chinese bannermen used Manchufied names, one Han bannermen with a Manchu name of Deming also had a separate Chinese name, Zhand Deyi.
A lot of Chinese bannermen adopted Manchu names, which may have been motivated by associating with the elite. One Chinese bannerman named Cui Zhilu who knew Manchu had changed his name to the Manchu Arsai, and the emperor asked him how he came about his name. Chinese bannermen also adopted Manchu personal naming practices like giving numbers as personal names.
From the time China was brought under the rule of the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1683), the banner soldiers became more professional and bureaucratized. Once the Manchus took over governing, they could no longer satisfy the material needs of soldiers by garnishing and distributing booty; instead, a salary system was instituted, ranks standardized, and the Eight Banners became a sort of hereditary military caste, though with a strong ethnic inflection. Banner soldiers took up permanent positions, either as defenders of the capital, Beijing, where roughly half of them lived with their families, or in the provinces, where some eighteen garrisons were established. The largest banner garrisons throughout most of the Qing dynasty were at Beijing, followed by Xi'an and Hangzhou. Sizable banner populations were also placed in Manchuria and at strategic points along the Great Wall, the Yangtze River and Grand Canal.
Green Standard Army
Over time, many Chinese banner companies in the provincial garrisons were reclassified as civilian or placed in the Green Standard Army. At the end of the Qing dynasty, all members of the Eight Banners, regardless of their original ethnicity, were considered by the Republic of China to be Manchu.
The banners had a hierarchical structure. The smallest unit was niru (or 佐領 zuǒlǐng in Chinese; 300 men). The next was jalan (or 參領 cānlǐng); 5 niru and 5 jalan constituted a gūsa (banner). Of course, these were ideal numbers and their actual sizes varied substantially.
(In order set during the Shunzhi era.)
|Bordered Yellow Banner||
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ kubuhe suwayan gūsa
|Хөвөөт Шар Хошуу||鑲黃旗 xiāng huáng qí||Left||Upper|
|Plain Yellow Banner||ᡤᡠᠯᡠ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ gulu suwayan gūsa
|Шулуун Шар Хошуу||正黃旗 zhèng huáng qí||Right||Upper|
|Plain White Banner||ᡤᡠᠯᡠ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ gulu šanggiyan gūsa
|Шулуун Цагаан Хошуу||正白旗 zhèng bái qí||Left||Upper|
|Plain Red Banner||ᡤᡠᠯᡠ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ gulu fulgiyan gūsa
|Шулуун Улаан Хошуу||正紅旗 zhèng hóng qí||Right||Lower|
|Bordered White Banner||ᡴᡠᠪᡠᡥᡝ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ kubuhe šanggiyan gūsa
|Хөвөөт Цагаан Хошуу||鑲白旗 xiāng bái qí||Left||Lower|
|Bordered Red Banner||ᡴᡠᠪᡠᡥᡝ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ kubuhe fulgiyan gūsa
|Хөвөөт Улаан Хошуу||鑲紅旗 xiāng hóng qí||Right||Lower|
|Plain Blue Banner||ᡤᡠᠯᡠ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ gulu lamun gūsa
|Шулуун Хөх Хошуу||正藍旗 zhèng lán qí||Left||Lower|
|Bordered Blue Banner||ᡴᡠᠪᡠᡥᡝ
ᡤᡡᠰᠠ kubuhe lamun gūsa
|Хөвөөт Хөх Хошуу||鑲藍旗 xiāng lán qí||Right||Lower|
Although the banners were instrumental in the Qing Empire takeover of China proper in the 17th century from the Ming Empire, they began to fall behind rising Western powers in the 18th century. By the 1730s, the traditional martial spirit had been discarded, as the well-paid Bannerman spent their time gambling and theatergoing. Subsidizing the 1.5 million men women and children in the system was an expensive proposition, compounded by embezzlement and corruption. They were unable to deal with internal rebellions such as the Taiping Rebellion, and were helpless before European armies.
Ross says, "Their claim to be military men is based on their descent rather than on their skill in arms; and their pay is given them because of their fathers' prowess, and not at all from any hopes of their efficiency as soldiers. Their soldierly qualities are included in the accomplishments of idleness, riding, and the use of the bow and arrow, at which they practice on a few rare occasions each year."
By the late 19th century, the Qing Dynasty began training and creating New Army units based on Western training, equipment and organization. Nevertheless, the banner system remained in existence until the fall of the Qing in 1911, and even beyond, with a rump organization continuing to function until the expulsion of Puyi (the former Xuantong emperor) from the Forbidden City in 1924.
- Mark C. Elliott, 0804746842The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China, Stanford University Press, 2001:58
- Kimberly Kagan (2010). Kimberly Kagan, ed. The imperial moment (illustrated ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-674-03587-9. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "This was primarily because of the influx of very large numbers of captured or deserting Ming soldiers and officers, some of whom brought families but more of whom married Jurchen women after arriving. They and their families went into the banner units, and soon there were separate banner units for these Chinese-speaking bannermen—called by Nurgaci's government the Nikan. Some knew how to maintain and fire cannons, and they had this special assignment. Others took on domestic or proto-bureaucratic duties, especially if they were literate enough in Chinese to handle correspondence with Ming officials."
- Kimberly Kagan (2010). Kimberly Kagan, ed. The imperial moment (illustrated ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-674-03587-9. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "By the end of Nurgaci's life, the difference between the Nikan banner units—now far outnumbering the normal banners because of the successful conquest and occupation of most of Liaodong—and the Jurchen units were institutionalized and rationalized.8"
- Kimberly Kagan (2010). Kimberly Kagan, ed. The imperial moment (illustrated ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-674-03587-9. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Hung Taiji sought, first, to make the differences between the banners more essential. Liaodong and Jilin were culturally complex, and making a final determination of whether one was "Jurchen" or "Nikan" could be not only difficult but pointless. Now Hung Taiji demanded that just this determination be made and that the populations of each banner be adjusted to conform to the findings. Genealogies became important documents. The majority who did not have them had to concoct them. They were used to determine who was in which banner. Within the banners, they were used to determine who was eligible for a hereditary captaincy and who was not."
- Kimberly Kagan (2010). Kimberly Kagan, ed. The imperial moment (illustrated ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-674-03587-9. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "At the same time, it was clear that all banners held equal status. The old black banners of the Nikan units were abolished, and all the banners—whether Jurchen or Nikan—used the same set of eight color patterns to demarcate their internal divisions. A parallel process gathered momentum in 1634, when Mongols began joining in volume as they sought refuge from Lighdan or deserted from his forces. The influx, again, invoked the great ambiguity of identities among the Mongols. Jurchens had lived for centuries in proximity to the Mongols. Many had Mongolian names; many had Mongol ancestors or putative Mongol ancestors. The followers of the Khorchins and Kharachins who had capitulated to Nurgaci had been absorbed into his old banners with no special notation of their ancestry. Now they lived among the "Jurchens" without labels. Hung Taiji ordered the creation of Mongol banners, to parallel the eight color divisions already existing for the Nikans and the Jurchens.9 In the same stroke, he ordered that an obverse distillation of those without Mongol or Nikan affiliation be created: they would be the Manchus. Jurchen, as it happens, had not been translated into Manchus. On the contrary, Manchu, Mongol, and Nikan identities had all emerged from mutually contradictory identifiers such as genealogies, language preferences, and occupation, and all under the pressure of Hung Taiji's drive to complete and emperorship between 1634 and 1636."
- Jonathan D. Spence (1990). The search for modern China (reprint, illustrated ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. p. 28. ISBN 0-393-30780-8. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "The Ming rulers had regarded Liaodong as essentially Chinese territory and maintained strong garrisons there under their own generals. But Nurhaci used a mixture of threats and blandishments to induce the garrison commanders to surrender, sending them elaborate messages written out for him by Chinese advisers in his employ. As he wrote to the Chinese officer commanding Fushun, for instance: "Even if you fight, you certainly will not win . . . if you do not fight, but surrender, I shall let you keep your former officer and shall care benevolently for you. But if you fight, how can our arrows know who you are?". . .To those Chinese with education who surrendered, he offered a change of serving in the growing Jürchen bureaucracy, and senior Chinese officials who came over to his side were offered marriage into his family, honorific titles, and high office."
- Jonathan D. Spence (1990). The search for modern China (reprint, illustrated ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. p. 29. ISBN 0-393-30780-8. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "As early as 1622, Nurhaci had expressed his intention of attacking China by sending an army down the strategic pass of Shanhaiguan, where the Great wall ends at the North China Sea. He might well have done so the following year had not a serious rebellion against his rule broken out among the Chinese in Liaodong. What prompted the uprising is not known, but there were many possible causes. With the arrival of large numbers of Jürchen troops in Liaodong, there was intense pressure on the available farmland. Shortages of grain and salt grew to crisis proportions, and famine was reported in some areas Compulsory grain rationing was introduced, and Chinese under Jürchen control had to spend a portion of their time giving free labor to their masters, working in squads of three on specially designated five-acre parcels of land. In many areas of Liaodong, partly as a control measure and partly because there was a housing shortage, the Jürchen moved into Chinese homes to live and eat as co-occupants. The Chinese responded by setting fires, poisoning wells once again, killing Jurchen women and children, hiding their grain from the Jurchen, and fleeing into the mountains. Some Chinese killed border guards and tried to escape to the"
- Jonathan D. Spence (1990). The search for modern China (reprint, illustrated ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. p. 30. ISBN 0-393-30780-8. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "The Ming generals had failed to respond to either of these uprisings, but late in 1625 these generals began a series of vigorous counterattacks and, under Yuan Chonghuan's leadership, won their first serious victories over Nurhaci in 1626. Later that same year, Nurhaci died. In accordance with Jürchen custom—a custom derived from the Mongols of central asia—he had not left his dominions and the title of khan to any one man, but instead had ordered them divided among his most able sons and nephews.. . .The victor was Nurhaci's eighth son, Hong Taiji, who had been the general commanding the palin yellow and bordered yellow banners. This son was helped to power by Chinese advisers, and he responded by taking a more favorable view of the Chinese and their traditional institutions than his father had done. Six ministries, in exact imitation of those at the Ming court, were established, and Chinese were employed throughout this new bureaucracy. Nominally, the senior ministers were all Jürchen notables, but they were often absent on military or other business, leaving the practical running of affairs to their Chinese suboordinates."
- Frederic E. Wakeman (1977). The fall of imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 78. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "In February, 1626, however, his troops were repulsed at Ningyuan, and eight months later Nurhaci died."
- Frederic E. Wakeman (1977). The fall of imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 78. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Abahai also realized how important it was to use Chinese military experts against the Ming forces. The great victories of 1618 and 1621 had placed eastern Manchuria under the Latter Chin's rule. But further expansion down the Liao-hsi coast toward the Great Wall had been blocked by the Ming commander, Yuan Ch'ung-huan, whose Portuguese artillery had repulsed Nurhaci at Ningyuan in 1626."
- Frederic E. Wakeman (1977). The fall of imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 78. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Although the Manchus had excellent cavalry and armored infantry, they were often forced to retreat from well defended castle walls. Unable to obtain a decisive advantage over Ming forces, Abahai recognized that the stalemate of 1626 would not be broken unless he trusted captured Chinese soldiers to wield firearms and artillery on his behalf."
- Anne Walthall (2008). Anne Walthall, ed. Servants of the dynasty: palace women in world history. Volume 7 of The California world history library (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 148. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Whereas the emperor and princes chose wives or concubines from the banner population through the drafts, imperial daughters were married to Mongol princes, Manchu aristocrats, or, on some occasions, Chinese high officials...To win the support and cooperation of Ming generals in Liaodong, Nurhaci gave them Aisin Gioro women as wives. In 1618, before he attacked Fushun city, he promised the Ming general defending the city a woman from the Aisin Gioro clan in marriage if he surrendered. After the general surrendered, Nurhaci gave him one of his granddaughters. Later the general joined the Chinese banner."
- Frederic E. Wakeman (1977). The fall of imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 79. ISBN 0-02-933680-5. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Chinese elements had joined the Manchu armies as early as 1618 when the Ming commander Li Yung-fang surrendered at Fu-shun. Li was made a banner general, was given gifts of slaves and serfs, and was betrothed to a young woman of the Aisin Gioro clan. Although Li's surrender at the time was exceptional, his integration into the Manchu elite was only the first of many such defections by border generals and their subordinates, who shaved their heads and accepted Manchu customs. It was upon these prisoners, then, that Abahai relied to form new military units to fight their former master, the Ming Emperor."
- Anne Walthall (2008). Anne Walthall, ed. Servants of the dynasty: palace women in world history. Volume 7 of The California world history library (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 148. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "In 1632, Hongtaiji accepted the suggestion of Prince Yoto, his nephew, and assigned one thousand Manchu women to surrendered Chinese officials and generals for them to marry. He also classified these Chinese into groups by rank and gave them wives accordingly. "First-rank officials were given Manchu princes' daughters as wives; second rank officials were given Manchu ministers' daughters as wives.""
- Anne Walthall (2008). Anne Walthall, ed. Servants of the dynasty: palace women in world history. Volume 7 of The California world history library (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 148. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Hongtaiji believed that only through intermarriage between Chinese and Manchus would he be able to eliminate ethnic conflicts in the areas he conquered; and "since the Chinese generals and Manchu women lived together and ate together, it would help these surrendered generals to forget their motherland""
- Anne Walthall (2008). Anne Walthall, ed. Servants of the dynasty: palace women in world history. Volume 7 of The California world history library (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 148. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "During their first years in China, the Manchu rulers continued to give imperial daughters to Chinese high officials. These included the sons of the Three Feudatories—the Ming defectors rewarded with large and almost autonomous fiefs in the south."
- Frederic E. Wakeman (1977). The fall of imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 79. ISBN 0-02-933680-5. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "While Abahai proceeded to organize these new units, he also opened diplomatic negotiations with Yuan Ch'ung-huan, thus freeing his own troops for campaigns in Korea and against Mongol enemies. . .The military stalemate was really only broken two years later, when Abahai sent his new Chinese artillery force against the walls of the Ming garrison at Ta-ling-ho."
- Frederic E. Wakeman (1977). The fall of imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 80. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Chinese defectors to its cause. In 1631 he had become president of the Board of Civil Appointments in Abahai's facsimile of the Ming administration, and in that crucial captivity had managed to interview all prominent Chinese captives, diverting the better educated into bureaucratic positions. Civilians were wooed with Confucian deference. Whereas Manchu officials necessarily addressed themselves as "slaves" to the throne, Chinese mandarins were entitled to call themselves "ministers.""
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-295-98040-0. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "The ancestors of the post-Boxer official Duanfang, for example, were Han Chinese from Zhejiang who, when they moved to southern Manchuria in the late Ming, became subjects of the Qing and were enrolled in the Manchu Plain White Banner; they then Manchufied their surname from Tao to Tohoro (Tuohuoluo in Chinese)."
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-295-98040-0. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Members of the Hanjun often altered an originally monosyllabic Han family name by adding it to the two-syllable suffix giya (jia in Chinese) to make it sound Manchu; thus, the monosyllabic surname Li would become (in Chinese) the disyllabic Lijia."
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-295-98040-0. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Despite such examples, the Qing rulers seemingly did not require all of their bannermen followers who were of Han origin to adopt Manchu-style names. Thus, the bond servant family of Cao Xueqin (1715-63), author of Dream of the Red Chamber (Hongloumeng), evidently never changed their surname. Neither did the Hanjun family of the late-Qing officials Zhao Erxun and Zhao Erfeng."
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-295-98040-0. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Nevertheless, many members of the Hanjun did go by Manchu names. For example, six of the seven Hanjun who were sent to study police matters in Japan in 1901 had Manchu-style two-syllable names, and so did two of the six students who were identified as Hanjun in the school directory of the Metropolitan University (Jingshi Daxuetang) for 1906. And the Hanjun graduate of the Beijing Translators College who was China's minister to the United Kingdom in 1902-5 had both a Han-style name (Zhang Deyi) and a Manchu name (Deming [1847-1918])."
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 56. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Manchu men had abandoned their original polysyllabic personal names in favor of Han-style disyllabic names; they had adopted the Han practice of choosing characters with auspicious meanings for the names; and they had assigned names on a generational basis. . . Except among some Hanjun such as the two Zhao brothers, bannermen still did not, by and large, use their"
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 57. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "family name but called themselves only by their personal name—for example, Yikuang, Ronglu, Gangyi, Duanfang, Xiliang, and Tieliang. In this respect, most Manchus remained conspicuously different from Han."
- Mark C. Elliott (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-8047-4684-2. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Sioi-yuwanmeng (better known as Xu Yuanmeng or Xu-yuan-meng, 1655-1741), or a Mongol or Chinese bannerman might have a Manchu-sounding name. A glance through the names of captains of Chinese banner companies shows a number of such names, such as Ke-sheng-e, Fo-bao, Chang-shou, Hai-ning, Qi-fu, Ba-shi-liu, and Tun-dai.50 In fact, where names were concerned, the blurring of ethnic boundaries seems more often to owe to the adoption of Manchu names by non-Manchu bannermen. Many non-Manchus who had infiltrated banner ranks were anxious to borrow some of the cachet and prestige associated with being a Manchu, and perhaps even hoped to pass themselves off as Manchus permanently, in which case having a Manchu name could help. At the upper levels of the banners, though, this was not so easy. This is seen in a curious incident of 1737 in which a Chinese banner officer named Arsai suddenly announced to the emperor that he wished to change his name back to his original name, the very Chinese-sound Cui Zhilu. In an audience with the emperor earlier that year, Cui, a garrison bannerman at Fuzhou, as asked why, since he was a Chinese bannerman, he had a Manchu name. He explained that he had adopted the name Arsai when he was young because of his long study of the Manchu language. When an edict arrived from the emperor a few weeks later, Cui was sure it was a reprimand for having wrongfully assumed a Manchu name. Though the edict was in fact on an entirely separate matter, he was so unnerved that he still appealed for permission to change his name back from Arsai to Cui Zhilu.51"
- Mark C. Elliott (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 243. ISBN 0-8047-4684-2. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "While Chinese names, too, sometimes ended in characters with the sounds "zhu," "bao," and "tai," more often than not, such names in the Qing belonged to Manchus and other bannermen (Chinese bannermen and Mongols sometimes took Manchu-sounding names), even if the attached meaning is not clear (it is not certain that all names in fact had a specific meaning). Giving "numeral names" was another unique Manchu habit. These were names that actually referred to numbers. Sometimes they were given using Manchu numbers—for example, Nadanju (seventy) or Susai (fifty). Other times number names used the Manchu transcriptions of Chinese numbers, as in the name Loišici (= Liushi qi, "sixty-seven"), Bašinu (= bashi wu, "eight-five").45 Such names, unheard of among the Han, were quite common among the Manchus, an appeared from time to time among Chinese bannermen. Popular curiosity about this odd custom in Qing was partly satisfied by the nineteenth-century bannerman-writer Fu-ge, who explained in his book of "jottings" that naming children for their grandparents' ages was a way of wishing longevity to the newly born.46"
- Emanuel C. Y. Hsu, The Rise of Modern China (5th ed 1997) p 126
- John Ross (1891). The Manchus, Or The Reigning Dynasty of China: Their Rise and Progress. p. 683.
This article incorporates text from The Manchus: or The reigning dynasty of China; their rise and progress, by John Ross, a publication from 1880 now in the public domain in the United States.
- Elliott, Mark C. The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (Stanford University Press, 2001), 580pp
- Enatsu, Yoshiki. Banner Legacy: The Rise of the Fengtian Local Elite at the End of the Qing (2004), 166pp
- Graff, David A. (2012). A Military History of China. University Press of Kentucky. p. 122ff.
- Im, Kaye Soon. "The Development of the Eight Banner System and its Social Structure," Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (1991), Issue 69, pp 59-93