The Current State and Future Prospects of the Study of Manchu in China
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The nationalities of China are a united body of many peoples, its makeup and development being a distillation of each nationality's intelligence and wisdom as well as their longsuffering efforts and contributions. The Manchus are one of the nationalities of China, and have made outstanding contributions to the cultural legacy that pushes forward the development of China's nationalities and enriches them. Manchu script is a historical ethnic script. During the Qing dynasty it received serious attention, it was called "Qing writing," and Manchu language was called the "national language." Both "Qing writing" and "national language" were promoted throughout the country and played an important role in society's development. In the nearly three hundred year history of the Qing, a body of Manchu records and historical documents as vast as the seas was collected. According to preliminary calculations, there are more than two million texts in the country. Their contents cover every possible field, including government, economics, culture, military affairs, foreign relations, religion, popular culture, astronomy, geography, etc. Such abundant and precious historical materials, without question, are of extreme value for all fields of scholarly research of both ancient and modern societies.
In the past few years, the study of Manchu in China, both in Taiwan and the mainland, has entered a new phase and has had much success. Manchu Studies in Taiwan have already been expounded upon by Professor Chuang Chi-fa of the Taiwan National Palace Museum in "Manchu Studies in the Republic of China" (中國臺灣的滿學研究)(found in Manchu Studies(滿學研究), Jilin Literary History Publishing Co. 1992) this article will not duplicate his efforts. This article will make a general account of four aspects of the current status and future prospects of the study of Manchu in China. That is, in terms of research personnel, research content, research results, and the direction of future development. They are treated below:
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