Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hakka History

Hakka History

Hakka - Origin

There has been some debate about the origin of Hakka as a Han derivative. Here is some more evidence that Hakka is the true Han ethnic group.
  1. The Great Wall built by Qin Shihuangdi extended to Lin Tiao in Gansu, which is about 100 km west of Long3 Xi1 (the original town for Hakka Lees) By definition, Qin people were true "Chinese" (Chine = Qin).
  2. The Great Wall was further extended by Han Wudi to Yu4 Men2 Guan (Jade Gate) and Yang Guan (Sun Gate) which were at the northwestern tip of Gansu Province. This is called the He2 Xi1 Zou3 Lang2 (the corridor west of the River). In 1980s, a Japanese/Chinese expedition went there and made a TV series, shown in both US and Hong Kong.(It is called "Silk Road" for the English edition and "Ba1 Qian1 Li3 Lu4 Yun2 He2 Yue4" (Eight Thousand Miles of Cloud and Moonlight) for the Chinese title).
  3. In Tang dynasty, Wang Wei's very famous poem "Yang2 Guan1 San1 Die2" (The three Stanza/Movements of Yang Guan) clearly indicates "There won't be old friends west of Yang Guan". So, east of Yang Guan was under the sovereignty of China during Han and Tang.
  4. The Atlas of the People's Republic of China (by CIA. 1971) presents a map of the ethnolinguistic groups in China, dividing them into the following major groups:
    A. Sino-Tibetan - includes Han, Hui, Tibeto-Burman, Tai, Miao-Yao. Hakka, Kan(Gan), Xiang, Wu, Min, Mandarin, Cantonese are classified under Han language system.
    B. Altaic - Turkic, Mongolian, Korean, Tungusic
    C. Indo-European - Tadzhik
    D. Austroasiatic - Mon-Khmer
    E. Uighur
    The Altaic languages are multisyllable languages, clearly distinguished from Hakka, Mandarin and all the Han dialects. Spoken Japanese should be closer to Altaic language in certain ways although kanji was adopted.

History of Migrations

[Revised Feb 10, 1997]
There have been some debate about the origin of Hakka people whether they belong to "Han" people or a minority from "Xiongnu". From most of the evidence gathered, it can be concluded that Hakkas are likely Han people rather than a derivative from the Xiongnu.
Hakka people originated in central China and gradually migrated south to flee from war and famine. There were five major migrations according to the Hakka historian Lo Xiang Lin:
  1. East Jin2 (317 -420 A.D.), Sui dynasty (581-618 A.D.) - Due to "Wu Hu Luan Hwa"(5 barbarian intruding Zhong Hua), Hakkas originated from Shanxi moved to Henan, and then towards the Yangtze river, settling in Hubei, south Henan, Anhui, and Jiangxi.
  2. Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) to North Song/Liao2 (960-1127 A.D.) - Particularly due to Huang Chao rebellion (880 A.D.), Hakkas migrated further south from Henan toward south Anhui, southeast Jiangxi, southwest Fujian and north of Guangdong.
  3. South Song and Jin1 (1127-1279 A.D.), Yuan dyanasty (1271-1368 A.D.) to Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) - Due to Jin1 invasion, Hakka migrated to north and east of Guangdong, establishing a strong influence. Before the Song dynasty, the "Hak" was used in broad definition, for those migrated South. As the migrated groups assimilated with the Xiang group (Hunan, Hubei), Gan group (Jiangxi), Min-Yue group ( most of Fujian), the "Hak" during Song dynasty then was used in narrow definition referring to those migrated South and maintained their independent identity or the Hakkas as we know today.
  4. Early Qing dynasty (1644-1866 A.D.) - Manchurians force Hakka to migrate to central Guangdong, the coastline of Guangdong, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hunan, and Taiwan.
  5. Late Qing dynasty (after 1867 A.D.) - Resulted from the defeat of Taiping Tian Guo, many Hakkas fled to Hainan Island, Guangxi, Taiwan and overseas. An important event for overseas Hakka was the establishment of a Hakka state, Lan Fang Guo by Lo Fangbo.
Another theory (proposed by Professor Fan Qi of National Central University) traced the earliest Hakka to late Qin dynasty. According to professor Fan, the three periods of migration and the settlements are :
  1. Qin - north Pearl River
  2. Jin, Wu-Hu-Luan-Hua - Fujian
  3. South Song - Nanjing to Hanzhou, Wanzhou, East Pearl River
When Qin ShiHuangDi sent Zhao4 Tuo2 to administer Guangdong. After Qin ShiHuangDi died, Zhao declared himself king of NanYue kingdom, independent from Qin, and set up the capital near Guangzhou. The kingdom included Fujian, Guangdong to Guangxi. Zhou Tuo and about 200,000 of his people (mostly soldiers) were originally from different parts of central China. This sizable population was the earliest settlement of Central Plain Hans in Guangdong. Even now, Guangdong remains as a province with the highest diversity of dialects. The Hakka dialect in the northern part of Guangdong is called "North River Hakka" which is slightly different from the "East River Hakka" from subsequent migrations via Fujian and Jiangxi.
Due to the general belief by Hakka that they are "Han" people, the Hakka people are extremely diligent in keeping clan/family genealogy records in hope that they would go back to their hometown in North China. No other Chinese groups keep an in-depth clan/family genealogy as complete as the Hakkas.
For a sample of representative genealogy of the major Hakka families, please see our Genealogy Page. This will be continuously updated by members who have the records, many of which have been kept for hundreds of years.

Hakka and Xiongnu

There has been some discussion on the origin of Hakka and its relationship with Han and Xiongnu. The following is a collection of information intended to further explore this concept.
The definition of Han should be traced to Han dynasty as a conglomeration of the various tribes Hua µØ , Xia®L , ManÆZ , Yi¦i , Rong¦¥ , Di¨f during the Chunqiu-Zhanguo ¬K ¬î ¾Ô °ê era. Although the unification was actually done in Qin¯³ dynasty, historically Qin has been labeled a negative period in Chinese history. So, even the word "Chinese" was derived from "Chin" (Qin) as it was known to the west at that time, Chinese people rather identify with Han than Qin. To that effect, Han people is in fact an inclusive term of many tribes.
North of Han are a number of nomadic tribes which are more distinct in their language, custom, and physical features: Xiongnu
¦I ¥£ , XianbeiÂA ¨õ , Wuyuan¯Q «® , FuYu¤Ò ¾l ,Wusun¯Q ®] , Dingling¤B ¹s , Jiankun°í ©ø . In the south there were southwest Yi¦è «n¦i , southern Man«n ÆZ , and the Hundred Yues ¦Ê ¶V .
At the end of Han dynasty, there was a major integration of the northern tribes with the Han people. From the 4th century, Xiongnu, xianbei, Jie, Di, Jiang from the north established their kingdoms and moved to central China.
The composition of Xiongnu is no less complicated than Han. During Han dynasty, Xiongnu became a major tribe in the north, covering Xinjiang to northeast China, driving Wuyuan and Xianbei to Liaodong¿ñ ªF , Liaoxi¿ñ ¦è . Wuyuan and Xianbei both helped Han to fight Xiongnu, and some of them adopted Han culture. In the middle of this, there were a lot of mixing between Xiongu, Xianbei and Wuyuan.
Due to an internal dispute of inheritance, Xiongnu split into south Xiongnu and north Xiongnu. 52 BC, South Xiongnu led by HuHanYe©I Áú ¨¸ surrendered his 5000 people and settled in Shanxi¤s ¦è . They guard the border for Han and fought against the north Xiongu. During Han HeDiº~ ©M «Ò period, there were 230,000 south Xiongnu under the sovereignty of Han. They started to intermarry Han.
North Xiongnu finally got defeated by a combined force of Xianbei, Dingling(from Siberia), south Xiongnu and Han. Around 90 AD, 400,000 north Xiongnu surrendered to Han. Han sent back the south Xiongnu to take over the territory of north Xiongnu. Part of north Xiongnu's territory was also occupied by Xinabei. Some of the south and north Xiongnu people did settle down in Han territories. The rest of the defeated north Xiongnu moved westward to Siberia and perhaps Europe. They were probably referred to as the Huns by the Europeans.
There were 19 tribes of Xiongnu settling in Han territories. During WeiÃQ dynasty, the decendents of HuHanYe changed the name to Liu ¼B (that is how it got confused. Liu Bang ¼B ¨¹ of Han dynasty was about 400 years earlier). The total number of Xiongnu was about several hundred thousand.
During Jin®Ê dynasty, the population of all Chinese was 2.45 million while around 280 AD, about 260,000 Xiongnu were allowed to settled in Shanxi region. However, they did not receive equality treatment with Han, and were never recognized as part of the Han group. Liu Yuan ¼B ²W was a Xiongnu who totally adopted the Han culture and used Han language. He later established Han kingdom º~ °ê (304-318 AD, which is NOT to be confused with the Han dyansty). They finally took Henan ªe «n and Shanxi¤s ¦è , and destroyed West Jin ¦è ®Ê . Liu Yuan claimed to be a nephew of the Liu family of Han dynasty and adopted Han emperors as his ancestors. He even held ceremonies twice a year to commemorate the Han emperors. EVEN SO, the Xiongnu Liu did not gain the confidence of the Han people. The Xiongnu noblemen were only treated as peasants and servants by the Han group. Finally the Xiongnu decendent Liu Yao ¼B Â` changed the name of the kingdom to Zhao »¯ («e »¯ ¡^ , and abandoned the Liu Bang "Han" ancestry. The Xiongnu "Han" kingdom was later conquered by Hou Zhao «á »¯ led by Shi Le ¥Û °Ç of a Jie½~ tribe. Hou Zhao divided the Chinese territory with East Jin at Huai River²a ¤ô .
The wars between the xiongnu "Han" kingdom and Jie, and the downfall of West Jin caused the southward migration of the Han tribe. And this was thought to be the first major maigration of Hakka (Lo Hsiang Lin). Jie ½~ tribe have high nose bridge and deep eye sockets, easily recognized. When Shi Le's nephew became the emperor, a Han general Ran Min ¥T ¶{ overthrew Hou Zhao and slaughtered all people with high nose bridge. This indicates an extreme ethnic conflict existed between the Han and non-Han at that time, close to the ethnic cleansing we see today in Bosnia.
It is likely that to avoid genocide, some Xiongnu disguised as Han and move to the south with the Han. Many Han aristocrats also had hundreds to thousands of Xiongnu servants and soldiers. However, Jin dynasty is a period with highly distinct class difference. It is difficult for someone with a clearly distinct physical feature to infiltrate Han even as a civilian unless there was some inter-ethnic marriage or affiliation with the Han aristocrats. It was almost impossible for a xiongnu to become a nobility among Han. The number of Xiongnu who could mingle with Han and fled to the south could not be in great number. Culturally speaking, although Liu Yuan was totally Sinicized (Hanized), most of the Xiongnu inhabitants in central China could not have received the kind of education. It would be quite amazing if the Xiongnu decendents could upbring so many famous names like Han YuÁú ·U , Wang YangMing ¤ý ¶§ ©ú , Zhu Xi¦¶ ¿Q ....
If the Hakka language was really a Xiongnu tongue they maintained, they would not have survived at all in East Jin territory. They would have been all massacred. So Hakka language must be at least the language spoken by Han people during Jin dynasty if not earlier. As indicated by the architecture of Hakka 5-Phoenix Building¤­ »ñ ¼Ó , the residents cannot be just ordinary civilians, as the structure is like a miniaturized Imperial palace. They have to be related to the emperor or key court officials. It is difficult to imagine that under such extreme ethnic hostility and class distinction at that time, that Hakka could be derived from Xiongnu and enjoyed such treatment in Han occupied territories. (How many Bosnians can disguise as Moslims, or Serfs, or vice versa?)
Even if some Hakkas were Xiongnu, their language, behavior must be totally integrated with Han to survive this era. Culturally speaking, if certain Hakka were Xiongnu decendents, they should be totally indistinguishable from the Hans. It is not impossible, but unlikely that 400 years can upgrade the identity and class of Xiongnu to equal the Hans. Even nowadays with all the communication tools and education, African Americans took more than 200 years to gain their current social status.
In conclusion, the theory that Hakkas were derived from Xiongnu needs a lot more substantial support. However, it cannot be excluded that some Hakkas do have blood relationship with Xiongnu. Whatever the situation, Hakka culture should be mainly Han culture and not Xiongnu culture.
Clyde Kiang proposes that all Hakkas were "sinicized" Xiongnu(Huns) assimilated with Han. Based on that, he claims Hakkas are not even indigenous Chinese. That is a crucial point of the debate. Unfortunately, there are some very fundamental errors in his book that even a layman would not make in defining Hanº~ . Here are some interesting quotations:
{Kiang : The Hakka Odyssey - p.77
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word han in English is an ancient form of Khan which is the turkish word meaning lord, or prince, but originated in Tartars......Clearly the Chinese character Han derives from the sound of what the rulers called themselves Han (Khan) in their mother tongue. This pictophonetic character is a phonogram for water, representing the Mongolian sound of han. Therefore, the original Han people signifies the people of sinicized Huns or barbarisan Mongols dominant cultural group in China....}
The Mongolian "Khan" (or "Han") is only a sound that happen to be same as the Han people. Khan as in Gingis Khan is written in word as "sweat"¦½ which is only a phonetic translation. It surely means prince or lord, but it is totally way off from what the Chinese "Han" º~ was from. (Liu Bang ¼B¨¹ would be rolling over in his grave if he heard this.) Han people as a Chinese ethnic group is from the identification with Han dynasty created by Liu Bang, who was King of Han º~¤ý , ruling the territory of Sichuan ¥|¤t , southern Shanxi¤s ¦è and Hubei ´ò¥_ .
{Kiang: The Hakka Odessey. p. 79 : ...if he(Liu Bang) came from the Chinese Liu clan, why didn't he use the family name Liu to proclaim the Liu dynasty?}
Here is a list of the dynasties and family names associated:
Dynasty Surname
Qin ¯³ Ying ¾Æ
Han º~ Liu ¼B
Jin ®Ê Sima ¥q °¨
Sui ¶¦ Yang ·¨
Tang ­ð Li §õ
Song §º Zhao »¯
Ming ©ú Zhu ¦¶
Qing ²M Aixinjuelo ·R ·s ı ù
In none of the dynasties was the family name used as the dynasty name. Why should Liu Bang be different? There were kingdoms in the Chunqiu/Zhanguo period that when a king was "knighted" (Feng) and given a state, the people also adopt the name of the state as the clan's name, but never for a dynasty!
These statements cast a heavy shadow on the credibility of the book.
S. L. Lee
September 14, 1996

About Hakka, Huns and Xiongnu (Hsiongnu)

The Huns were traced to a nomadic tribe in Central Europe (the Steppes near the Black Sea). It is still uncertain whether the Huns in Europe were the same as Xiongnu (which sometimes are also called Huns) [see Encyc. Britannica].
Huns in Europe appeared around 370 AD, while the presence of Xiongnu was felt in China during Qin dynasty (221 BC). The result of conflict between Han dyasty and Xiongnu was a division of Xiongnu. Part of the Xiongnu tribe was "sinicized" (Hanized?), as recorded in history about Wang2 Zhao1 Jun1 and Han Wudi. The others were driven away. It is not surprising that after several hundred years, they actually showed up in Europe.
Hungary, which obviously is derived from the word "Hun", has a language of Uralic origin. It is quite certain that Hungary had heavy influence by the Huns. Interestingly, a Hungarian friend told me that Hungarians put their family first when they address people, which is distinctly different from other European culture, but similar to Chinese culture. Whether this is the influence of the original Huns or the Mongolian occupation later in 1200 AD is uncertain.
Huns are significantly different from Hakka in their cultural behavior. Although both Huns and Hakkas are migratory, Huns never settled in one place. They kept moving, conquering and moving. Huns mainly made their living by snatching from the conquered while Hakkas are agriculturally based and self-sufficient. Huns were illiterate and had no idea about civilization and knowledge preservation, while Hakkas have a tradition of strong emphasis on education and intellectualism. These two cultures are totally dissimilar and incompatible. Huns finally disappaered and was integrated with Europeans without a trace of their original "culture". Xiongnu in China also intermarried Han people. During the downfall of West Jin dynasty, the Han people cross the yangtze River and settled in southern China, bringing with them some Xiongnu soldiers and servants. While Xiongnu descendents established "Han" Kingdom in the north, gradually became sinicized. Han Kingdom was destroyed by Zhao kingdom (Jie2 ethnic group), which was in turn destroyed by Han people again.
If Hakka were actually sinicized "non-Han", then Hakka migration from north to south would not be "fleeing" the "northern foreign invasion" to "preserve" their own culture. Intead, Hakkas would have to be the actual "invaders" from the north trying to spread their own culture to the south. However, how a non-Han minority could preserve the Han culture better than the true Han people would be very difficult to explain. And it would be even more difficult to explain why the poems in Shijing (The Book of Poems) popular in the Chunqiu-Zhanguo period (pre-Qin) rhymes better with Hakka than Mandarin. Xiongnu although had attempted invasion of the northern kingdoms during the Chunqiu-Zhanguo period, they could hardly have had major settlement in "China" prior to Han dynasty.
The "theory" on Hun origin of Hakka was based on very fragmentary blood typing and DNA analysis done by Japanese and Russian researchers.
According to DNA typing by Hideo Matsumoto (1966) who gathered blood from China, Korea, Rusia, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia countries and found the folloiwng: [extracted from Kiang's book]
GM genes
North Mongoloids (Koreans, Japanese, Hakka) 45% 15% 25% 15%
Malaysian, Polynesian, Southern Chinese
5% 85%
Burma, Assam, Tibetan, Nepal, Malayo-Polynesian ~0% ~100%
The author thus concludes that Hakkas like Koreans and Japanese were from Baikal Lake as a subgroup of the Altaic people.
Similarity in bloodtype between Japanese, Hakka and Koreans, however, should not be the only way to classify Hakkas. In fact, using blood-type is not a good way to define a culture. Undoubtedly, the original Hakkas migrated under the pressure of the northern intruders. During this cultural conflict, there could be a small portion of the population derived from voluntary or involuntary marriages causing the inclusion of non-Han factors. However, blood-typing does not explain the deeply rooted Han culture of Hakka people. Xiongnu as an ethnic group "foreign" to Han culture and just starting to occupy northern China during Jin period. Never in history before was class distinction more obvious than Jin dynasty. The Royal Jin families and other Han aristocrats might have brought some surrendered Xiongnu soldiers and servants to the south. The number cannot be larger than Han. It was estimated 60% of the Han in the north crossed the Yangtze River. It is also doubtful that under such social discrimination, sinicized Xiongnu could received the proper education to evolve a large number of poets and other literati such as Han Yu, Du Mu in Tang dynasty, which is the dynasty immediately following the short-lived Jin dynasty.
After hundreds of years of migration and settlement in the south, Hakka people likely carry all kinds of genotypes. And there is no distinction any more on Man, Yi, Yong, Di, which are all Han people. Whether Hakkas were blood-related to Xiongnu is beside the point. Hakka culture should be basically Han culture and not Xiongnu culture. More discussion on this topic is available in the following section on Hakka and Xiongnu.
Last updated September 20,1996.

Hakka and She people in Fujian

The following may clarify some confusion about Hakka and "She" ethnic group (in GB font):

畬族,自稱山哈或山達,意為居住在山里的客人. 但文獻記載中稱畬族為畬人,意思指在山里搭棚而住的人. 現有630378人,主要居住在福建, 浙江兩省的廣大山區,其余分布在江西, 廣東和安徽省境內. 其聚居點多為數十戶人家組成的自然村寨,因而形成典型的散居與雜居特點.

She people reside in a different area. Their housing structure is less sophisticated.

She group has her own tongue but no language. 99% of the She people communicate in Hakka.

畬族有自已的語言但無自已的文字. 百分之九十九的畬族使用漢語客家方言,通用漢文.

That is how Hakka was mistaken to be She.

對畬族來源說法不一. 有畬, 瑤同源于漢晉時代長沙武陵蠻說, 南蠻后裔說和古越人后裔說. 公元7世紀,就已居住在閩, 粵, 贛三省交界的山區,被稱為蠻, 蠻僚等. 南宋末年,14世紀起,部分遷到閩東, 浙南等山區.  明, 清時期大量出現在閩東, 浙南等地山區.

She people are found in east Fujian and south Zhejiang, which is different from Hakka in west Fujian, east Guangdong and south Jiangxi. This also led to the confusion of Hakka as Yao. Their time of migration to Fujian is almost identical with that of Hakka.


Hakka and Japanese Culture

Hakka culture might be a key component of Japanese culture.
It is hard not to notice that spoken Hakka dialect/language and Japanese language are closer than Mandarin and Japanese. Certain Japanese also resemble Shandong Chinese, distinct from the Ainu features of Hokkaido. Some Japanese friends point out that Hakkas look like Japanese. In fact the strong adherance to tradition and stubbornness are very characteristic of both Hakka and Japanese. The following is an account that could provide some support to the link between Hakka and Japanese culture.

Qin dynasty, Xu Fu, Yamoto, and Yayoi culture

The earliest record of Chinese travelling to Japan was in Qin dynasty when Qin Shihuangdi sent Xu Fu with a company of 3000 boys and girls to obtain longevity medicine. They started out from Shandong and reached what they called Peng Lai (Ying Zhou) which is Kyushu today. In Kyushu, there are significant traces of Xu Fu and his company including Xu Fu's tomb. Xu Fu's landing place should be around Fukuoka (The Hill of Fu), which was named in memory of him.
To be entrusted by Qin Shihuangdi with such an enormous task at that time, Xu Fu at 36 years of age was obviously a very capable person who was also higher up in the official rank. One theory is that he actually used this proposal to leave Qin. He brought a whole fleet of ships fully loaded with all kinds of supplies. It is also clear that Xu Fu had travelled back to China more than once to gather supplies. So, likely he brought more people over for the long trip. The crew he brought over stayed in Japan and became the Yamato clan. That is why some Japanese look like Shandong people, which should be Han/Hakka in genetic trait.
The history of Japan is very vague as to how the empire started. Only legends exist. Japanese culture has two major components: The Jomon culture and the Yayoi culture. The native Jomon culture was based on hunting and fishing, dating back to 10,000 years ago.
The Yayoi culture, which suddenly emerged around 250 BC - 250 AD as a very advanced culture, bears all the marks of Qin/Han culture including paddy rice cultivation, bronze mirror, coins, bronze weapons, bells, etc. The three major symbols of the Japanese Kingdom : bronze mirror, sword, and the royal seal stone are exactly the same as the Qin symbols. With no archaeological precedent of a gradual evolution, Yayoi culture has to be introduced from outside, and the most probable source was China. The Yayoi culture spread northeastward towards the Kanto plain and eventually became the mainstream of the Japanese culture.
Japan's celebration of the "birthyear" of Shen Wu Tian Huang (Ten-no) was held every 50 years (last held 1930 and 1980) as a very sacred ceremony simultaneously in a memorial celebration of Xu Fu. The beginning of Shen Wu Tian Huang was in the same time period of Xu Fu's landing in 219 BC. So these two are too coincidental not to be related. Shen Wu Tian Huang is supposed to be the Father of the Japanese kingdom. The celebration actually could be for the birthyear of the Empire rather than a person.

Did Xu Fu start out from Shandong or Guangdong?

There is also a hypothesis that Xu Fu started out from Guangdong because the spoken Japanese sounds like Guangdong dialect more than Mandarin. However, Qin Shihuangdi's active area was in the north. It would be hard to trust someone so far from the south. The climbing of Taishan (Shandong) by Qin Shihuangdi was well documented by Li Si's stone engravings on Taishan. So, Shandong is a place frequented by QSHD. It is natural that he might want to watch the ships set sail to fetch the longevity medicine too. As pointed out by a netter friend, Shandong dialect actually has some similarities to Hakka (see language page). If Hakka was indeed the official language commonly used in Qin-Tang dynasties, then that was the language Xu Fu and his crew spoke. So, it would be natural for the Japanese spoken language to bear some resemblance of Hakka.
For detailed evidence of Xu Fu's excursion to Japan, please consult a book by Yu Jin Hong : "Xu2 Fu2 Dong1 Du4 Zhi1 Mi2 Xin1 Tan4" (A New Study on the Riddle of the East Expedition by Xu Fu), Jiangsu People's Press. 1990.

Buddhism, Wei - Tang period

Buddhism was spread to Japan during Wei-Jin and Tang period. There were more and more interactions between the two countries. In Wei Zhi (history of Wei) the word "Wo" (Japanese "Wa", Mandarin "He") first appeared to represent the Japanese kingdom.
Hakka language was highly likely the official language in Tang dynasty (see language section about Tang poems). In Japan, much of the government bureaucratic system, including the names of bureaus still use the system developed from Qin-Han to Tang period.

Examples of ancient Han/Hakka culture and Japanese culture

Japanese culture retains many of the ancient Chinese custom including deep bowing, seating on tatami with low table (only after Song did high chairs become popular in China), the women's dress and headdress, the way pipa ( a pluck string musical instrument, Japanese call it biwa) is held at an angle rather than upright. These can be easily verified in the murals of Dun Huang, which were done from Wei-Jin to Tang. In terms of calligraphy, the early Japanese masters favored Wang Xi-Zhi (Jin) while the contemporaries follow Yan Zhen-qing (Tang).
Because Xu Fu went to Japan prior to the purge of Confucianism by Qin Shihuangdi, in some ways the earlier Han/Hakka culture was preserved in the original form more so in Japan.
So, Hakka has significant influence on Japanese culture.
The following is a letter from a Japanese friend supporting the similarity of Hakka and Japanese characteristics.
From inamura@po.infosphere.or.jpTue Feb 13 09:41:21 1996 Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 20:12:37 +0900 From: Kobo Inamura  To: "''"  Subject: Hakka culture and Japan  Dear Sir,  I read your article on the Hakka Home page with enthusiasm.  It is true that the characteristics of the independent, but probably the  most conservative minded or stubbornness to preserve one's culture are held  much in common by Hakka people and Japanese.  I met several students in Japan, who happened to come from Mainland China,  but their behavior seems to be different from ideology indoctrinated  students from Beijing.  The architecture of the round big house tradition still remains in this  country, even though fading out quickly.  I wish your study of the relations between Hakka and Japan further develop  into the future.  At least I have never heard of Hakka persons who did not feel comfortable to  stay in Japan and vice versa.  Probably one more thing in common is that they(Hakka and Japanese) are the  most enthusiastic book readers. Do you know any country where so much number  of books and titles are published? Japanese are reading books even in the  crowded trains.  Sincerely yours,  Kobo Inamura         
First posted December 5, 1995.
All rights reserved. S. L. Lee. 1995.
About the discovery of bronze mirrors as gifts to Himiko Empress by Wei Emporer.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 14:23:54 +0900
From: Mark Hudson <>
Subject: Mirrors in tombs at Nara]
Dear Dr. Lee, The following comments from the East Asian Arch list may be
of interest:
This news may interest some of the eaan subscribers.
Japanese archaeologists are very excited by the discovery of
33 bronze mirrors from Kurotsuka Kofun which is situated in
Tenri-city, Nara prefecture. 32 of the morrors are "sankakuen-
shinju-kyo, whose rim froms a triangle in cross-section and
decorated with deities and animals. This type of mirrors are
considered to be ones Queen Himiko received from the Wei
Emperor in AD239. All the sankakuen-shinju-kyo are put around
outside the coffin and only one mirror which belongs to another
type is situated inside the coffin. The Kurotsuka kofun has a
keyhole-shaped mound which is 130m in length. It is almost a
miracle that such a big tumulus has not been disturbed yet.
The excavation is conducted by Kashihara Archaeological Institute.
This discovery, which has just been reported on January 10th, surely
stimulated the "Yamataikoku" debate again not only in academics but
also among many Japanese archaeology and/or ancient history fans.
Naoko Matsumoto
Dept. of Archaeology
Kyushu University
>Dear Naoko Matsumoto,
>Thanks for your description of the exciting discovery of early bronze
>mirrors. For those of us who are not specialists in Japanese archaeology,
>would you please take a few minutes to discuss the meanings and implications
>of the "'Yamataikoku' debate"? I, for one, would appreciate it. A few
>sentences would help put the discovery into perspective.. Thank you.
>Jim Martin
>Richmond, VA
>804 740 0170
In response to Jim Martin's query, let me say -- as one who is very
interested in this issue -- that putting it into a few sentences is a bit
difficult, as the debate is complex and has a long history. I recently
examined its postwar archaeological development in the following:
Walter Edwards, "In Pursuit of Himiko: Postwar Archaeology and the
Location of Yamatai," MONUMENTA NIPPONICA 51(1): 53-79, 1996.
For a quick perspective on what is at stake, let me introduce the first
paragraph of the above, and then comment briefly on the significance of
"A stubborn yet engaging problem in the history of ancient
Japan is provided by an early Chinese text, the WEI CHIH or the
History of the Kingdom of Wei, compiled in the latter part of the
third century AD and chronicling the period from the founding of
the Wei kingdom in 220 AD until its end in 265. Considered one
of the most reliable of the Chinese dynastic histories, the WEI CHIH
includes, among descriptions of various peoples living to the east
of the kingdom, a passage known in Japanese as the Wajinden or the
account of the people of 'Wa' -- the name for Japan used by the
Chinese until the T'ang dynasty. The text of the Wajinden is short,
consisting of just under 2,000 Chinese characters, but its
descriptions are vivid enough to offer a convincing portrait of its
subject matter, the Japanese islands and their inhabitants, as they
were probably observed by Wei envoys in the middle of the century.
The Wajinden portrays third-century Japan as comprising more than
thirty countries, headed by one called 'Yamatai' and ruled by a
Queen Himiko; the image is that of a complex society with distinct
differences between persons of high and low status, and central
regulation over the distribution of goods. Although portions of
the text are believed to be drawn directly from the reports of
envoys who journeyed to Japan, the directions given for reaching
Yamatai cannot be read literally. Accordingly, the question of
Yamatai's location remains a mystery."
The WEI CHIH's most accurate portions are records of the diplomatic
exchanges held with Yamatai, beginning with the visit by envoys from
Himiko in 238 AD. They were sent back the following year with many
gifts for the Queen, including "100 bronze mirrors."
Given the ambiguity of the text regarding the precise location of
Yamatai within Japan, many Japanese scholars have attempted to approach
the issue arcaheologically. The two strongest candidates are the
regions of northern Kyushu, where the largest concentration of Late Han
period mirrors has been unearthed, and the region centering on Nara,
home of the ancient Japanese state of Yamato, which emerged by the 4th
century AD. A type of mirror, called "sankakubuchi (also read
'sankakuen') shinju_kyo_," which in a few examples bears Wei dates
of 238 and 239, has been found distributed widely over Japan, with the
greatest concentration in Nara and the surrounding region. It seems
beyond doubt that the distribution itself is related to the network of
political alliances that supported the early Yamato state, and it
is argued that distribution of mirrors by the central polity was a
key element in alliance building.
Of the 33 mirrors recently discovered at the Kurozuka mound here in
Tenri, at the heart of Yamato in Nara, 32 are of the sankakubuchi type,
thus lending strength to the arguments of those who support Yamato as
Yamatai, and see continuity between the foreign diplomatic exchanges
of the mid third century and the process of alliance formation within
Japan which led to widespread unification by the early fourth. There
is considerable controversy, however, on the status of the sankakubuchi
mirrors themselves, as to whether or not they were actually of Chinese
For further discussion, please see the above article. I also plan to
report on the recent discovery in an academic journal in the future.
Walter Edwards
Professor and Chair
Department of Japanese Studies
Tenri University
Tenri, Nara 632 Japan

Lan Fang Republic

(summary from the book Hakka people - Jews of the Orient by Kao Chung Xi. Summary digest compiled by Jonathan Teoh. Some spelling were revised according to Josef Widjaja, Oct 26, 1996)
Towards the end of the 18th century, Kwangtung Hakkas established a republic in Western Kalimantan which lasted 107 years and had 10 presidents.
The first president is Low Lan Pak. He was born in Kwangtung, Mei Hsien, Shih Pik Pao on the third year of Ching dynasty Chien Long emperor. He married a girl and had a son. But Hakka's custom usually do not take wife along for overseas trip. He left for Western Kalimantan alone to join the gold rush at that time.
He travelled along Han Jiang to Shantao, along Vietnam coastline, and finally landed in Western Kalimantan.
The sultan at that time, Panembahan believing that Chinese workers are hard working, brought in 20 Chinese from Brunei. The sultan Omar in Singkawang, also heard about Chinese diligence and use the lease land system to encourage Chinese to explore in his territory.
When Low Fan Pak reached Western Kalimantan, the Holland has not yet aggressively moved to Kalimantan. Along the coastal area, a lot of Java people and oceania's Bugis people settled down. Also, the Sultan's power were confined to the coastal area, the inland power belongs to the Dayak. The territories among Sultans were not well defined as well.
In the beginning of 1740, the Chinese numbered only a few tens. By 1770, the Chinese has grown to 20,000 strong. By blood clan or by the area they are from, the Chinese established Kongsi(company) to protect themselves.
In 1776, 14 kongsi banded together to form a He Soon 14 Kongsi in order to break the bottleneck of being grouped by area or by blood.
At that time Low Lan Pak established his own Lang Fan kongsi. He then united all the Hakkas in the San-Sin lake area and build a Mem-Tau-Er township and made it the headquarter of his united company.
At that time, Kun Tian(Pontianak) which located in the lower stream of Kapuas River was an important commerce area and was controlled by Sultan Abdul Laman. The upper stream of the river is controlled by the Dayaks. Kun Tian neighboring state Mempawah's Sultan tried to build a palace in the upper stream which led to the fighting between the 2 Sultans.
The Kun Tian Sultan asked Low Lan Pak for help. Since the palace is being built near the Lan Fang company territory, Low Lan Pak decided to help Kun Tian Sultan and defeated the Mempawah's Sultan.
The defeated Mempawah's Sultan then joined forces with the Dayaks and launched a counter-attack. Low Lan Pak again defeated Mempawah Sultan and this time marched North all the way to Singkawang. Singkawang Sultan and Mempawah Sultan signed a peace treaty with Low Lan Pak and Low Lan Pak's popularity increased dramatically. He was 57 then.
After that, Chinese and locals, turned to Low Lan Pak to seek protection, and when Kun Tian Sultan realized that he can not challenged Low Lan Pak, The sultan himself seek protection from Low Lan Pak.
Thus, Low Lan Pak established a government, using his company name, changing kongsi(company) to republic, and formed Lan Fang Republic in 1777, 10 years earlier than USA(1787). At that time people wanted Low Lan Pak to be Sultan, but he declined and take the post of governorship, similar to the president post.
From Qing dynasty's sea nation annals, it recorded that it is a place where Ka Yin people (Mei Hsien area) do mining, build road, establish its own nation, every year has ships reached ng Zhou and Chao Zhou area, doing commerce. >From its own Lan Fang Company annals, it indicated that every year it pays tribute to Qing dynasty like Annan (Vietnam).
The capital was in Che Wan Li. The Ta Tang Chon Chang(president) is elected by election. Both the president position and the vice president position has to be of Hakka from Ka Yin or Ta Pu area. The flag is a rectangle yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi. The president flag is a triangular yellow flag with the word Chuao (General). The high ranking officials dress in Chinese style while lower ranking officials dress western style clothing.
Low Lan Pak passed away on the second year of the republic. He has been in Borneo for 20 years. he 47th year of the republic during the reign of the fifth president Liew Tai Er, Dutch began its active expansion in Indonesia and occupied the South East region of Borneo. Lan Fang lose its autonomy and became a protected state of Dutch.
Then Dutch opened a colonial office in Kun Tian and intervened republic's affair. In 1884, Singkawang refused to be ruled by Dutch, and was attacked by the Dutch. The Dutch occupied Lan Fang Kongsi. Lan Fang Kongsi fought for 4 years but eventually was defeated, and its people fled to Sumatra. Fearful of strong reaction from Ching government, Dutch never declared that it occupied Lan Fang and let one of the descendent be a figure head. It was not until the formation of Republic of China in 1912 that Dutch formally declared its formal control of the area.
Those that fled to Sumatra regrouped in Medan. From there, some moved to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. One of the descendent from these people is Lee Kuan Yew. While Hakkas are the minority in Singapore, it is the Hakkas that played an important part to establish the second Lan Fang company - Singapore.

No comments:

Post a Comment