Course of History

Professor FURUICHI Daisuke (East Asian History)

[Theme] The History of the Qing Dynasty

If I had to sum up my research in a single phrase, it would be the history of the Qing Dynasty. If I had to be more specific, I would say that it deals with the history of the Manchuria during the Qing period, with special emphasis on the political and economic situation.

The northeast China (formerly known as Manchuria), which is the subject of my study, was the birthplace and the stronghold of the Manchus who founded the Qing Dynasty in the 17th century and ruled China until the beginning of the 20th century. It is also the region that was invaded by the Japanese from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. The primary goal of my study is to clarify the process of historical development from the 17th century to the 19th century (which almost overlaps with the Qing reign over China) of the region, which would later experience tremendous upheavals in the modern period.

I also use the region as a subject of inquiry for researching the history of the economic policies conducted by Qing. I examine the Qing policies for food distribution and grain storage, and verify the role of the Qing in the Chinese society and economy.

I also investigate the bureaucracy of the Qing. My primary goal here is to define the characteristics of the bureaucracy and administrative agencies set up by the Qing in Manchuria, and then describe the nature of the system.

The final objective of my research is to clarify the historical character of the Qing Dynasty.

If I reflect on my reasons for studying the history of Manchuria under the Qing, I find that my interest in the subject dates all the way back to my high school. Although it was vague, I always had an interest in the chinese culture. I enrolled in courses on history in my high school and gradually became more fascinated with the "minority" Qing, which was a dynasty ruled by the Manchu ethnic group distinct from the Han, and with the "decline" of the Qing against the coming of the modern Western countries to china.

I was interested in learning more about China and Chinese Culture even after I enrolled in college, and I decided to do so using history. So I chose to major in East Asian history.

My graduation thesis was, after much revision, "The Qing Food Policies and Mukden in the Qianlong Period: the Grain Export from Mukden to North China." It has been 15 years since then, and I still continue to study the history of Manchuria under the Qing.

I hope I'll get the chance to share some of my research findings with you, and tell you in more detail about the process and reasons for which I chose my thesis topic.

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