The 49th Tobunken-ASNET Seminar

“The Chosŏn Model” and the Reconstruction of “the Heavenly Dynasty” of the Qing, 1637—1761

The 49th seminar will be held as follows. This seminar is open to the public without registration.

Date & Time:   17th May(Thu), 17:00-18:00

Venue:   Lobby, 1st Floor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo

Title:   “The Chosŏn Model” and the Reconstruction of “the Heavenly Dynasty” of the Qing, 1637—1761

Lecturer:   Yuanchong WANG/ 王 元崇


Entry:   Not required

Cosponsored by:   Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia & ASNET

Abstract:   This presentation examines how the Qing utilized “the Chosŏn Model” to construct a new Chinese empire and a new China-centric Zongfan system from the late 1630s to the early 1760s. “The Chosŏn Model” refers to a pattern that a country may follow Chosŏn into the Qing-centric Zongfan (a.k.a. tributary) system by receiving the imperial investitures from the Qing, adopting the reign title of the Qing to count dates, sending tributary emissaries to the Qing, and so forth. The Qing established the Zongfan relationship with Chosŏn in 1637. Through the seven-year-long practice of the Zongfan formalities from 1637 to 1643, the Qing eliminated its former identity as “barbarians” and cultivated the new political identity as “Zhongguo” (the Central Kingdom) in highly hierarchical contacts with Confucianesque Chosŏn against the background of “the Civilized–Barbarian challenge” in the Chinese world. After 1644 when the Manchus crossed the Great Wall to conquer the Ming’s territory, the Qing purposely converted Chosŏn into a prototypical fan (a.k.a. vassal country) and maximized its ritual role to an unprecedented degree to serve the reconstruction of the Qing China-centric Zongfan system. When this system reached its height in the second half of the eighteenth century, which could be marked by the completion of the Qing’s imperial collection Illustrations of Subordinate Peoples of the Imperial Qing in 1761, the Qing presented itself as “Zhongguo” and “the Heavenly Dynasty,” while Chosŏn served as a “barbarian” country on the Qing’s periphery.

Contact to:   Network for Research and Studies on Asia (ASNET)
e-mail: asnet[at]