after the Shanrong

July 11th, 2007

I haven’t managed to find a lot of information about the period between the Shanrong and, well, now. Mostly just a few tantalising little glimpses into what may have been happening. I suppose for starters we could begin with Baidu Baike’s brief rundown of Yanqing‘s history:

春秋时期,延庆县曾是山戎�活动地区。春秋晚期和战国�期地属燕国。秦统一全国�,地属上谷郡。西汉开始在延庆境内设县;�末开始在延庆境内设州。此 �二�多年�先�建有居庸县�夷舆县�妫�县�缙山县�永�县�四海县和延庆县,并曾先�设置过儒州�镇州�龙庆州�隆庆州和延庆州。

During the Spring and Autumn period Yanqing County was an area where the Shanrong people were active. In the later part of the Spring and Autumn period and the early Warring States period the area belonged to the State of Yan. After Qin unified China, the land belonged to the Shanggu Prefecture. At the start of the Western Han a county was established in Yanqing; towards the end of the Tang a zhou [an administrative division of ancient times] was established in Yanqing. From this time over two thousand years Juyong County, Yiyu County, Guichuan County, Jinshan County, Yongning County Sihai County and Yanqing County were established one after the other, as were Ru Zhou, Zhen Zhou, Longqing Zhou, Longqing Zhou [different characters for long], and Yanqing Zhou.

Well, the first question is, if all these different counties and zhou were established one after the other over two thousand years from the latter days of the Tang Dynasty, doesn’t that take us into  the 2800s or 2900s? I had no idea I was so old. Secondly, some of those old names for Yanqing are quite interesting. Take Yiyu County, for one example: The territory of the Yi? Isn’t Yi an old term for the people east China in ancient times? Also, some of those names are still in use in Yanqing, with Longqing being the really glaringly obvious example, but also Gui is still the name of a river in the centre of the county. Anyway, the article continues:

1912年,延庆州改为延庆县。1928年�立察哈尔�,延庆县属之。1937年8月25日,日本侵略军�领延庆�,延庆县隶属三个伪政府统治。以延 庆县城为中心设延庆县,隶属伪蒙疆自治政府察�政厅(�改为宣化�);刘斌堡以东隶属伪�北自治政府昌平县。1941年八路军开辟了“平北�抗日根�地, 今延庆县分属昌延��县和龙延怀��县。1944年撤销昌延��县,�设延庆县,与日伪所设的延庆县并存。

In 1912 Yanqing Zhou became Yanqing County. In 1928 Chahar Province was established, with Yanqing County being a part of it. On the 25 August 1937, after the invading Japanese army captured Yanqing, Yanqing County was under the jurisdiction of the the three puppet governments. With Yanqing county town as the centre, Yanqing County was established, under the jurisdiction of the Chanan [Southern Chahar?] Zhengting of the puppet Mengjiang Autonomous Government (which later became Xuanhua Province); the are east of Liubinbao was under the jurisdiction of Changping County of the puppet North China Autonomous Government. In 1941 the Eighth Route Army opened its “Pingbei� anti-Japanese base area and modern Yanqing was divided into the Changyan United County and the Longyanhuai United County. In 1944 the Changyan United County was disestablished and Yanqing County reestablished, existing side by side with the Yanqing County established by the Japanese puppet regime.

Now, there’s a lot in there that I’m really not sure of, especially all those weird Japanese collaborationist place names and that last clause. Help would be appreciated. But anyway, we now have nothing but a list of the various administrative divisions established in what is now Yanqing in the “two thousand years” since the end of the Tang filling the gap between the Tang and the anti-Japanese war, followed by a brief sketch of what happened in Yanqing during the war. But it continues:

1945年9月20日,八路军解放了延庆县城,以�龙桥为界,�龙桥以�为国民党统治区,�龙桥以北为共产党领导的解放区。1946年10月12日, 国民党军队侵�延庆县城之�,�次出现分属共产党和国民党管�的两个延庆县。1948年5月19日,解放军解放了延庆县城。延庆县属察哈尔�,1952年 改属河北�,1958年10月划归北京市.

On the 20 September 1945, The Eighth Route Army liberated Yanqing county town, with Qinglong Bridge as the boundary. South of Qinglong Bridge was the area ruled by the Guomindang [Kuomintang/KMT/Nationalist Party] and north of the Qinglong Bridge was the liberated area under the leadership of the Communist Party. On the 12 October 1946, after the Guomindang army invaded Yanqing county town, once again there were two separate Yanqing Counties ruled respectively by the Communist Party and the Guomindang. On the 19 May 1948, the PLA liberated Yanqing county town. Yanqing County belonged to Chahar Province, but in 1952 came under the jurisdiction of Hebei Province. It was incorporated into Beijing Municipality in October 1958.

So we get a brief rundown of the last civil war, then Yanqing is transferred from Chahar (which was carved up between Inner Mongolia and Hebei) to Hebei to Beijing. And that article is actually a little more detailed than others I’ve found on the history of Yanqing.

So what happened, apart from the establishment, disestablishment, reestablishment, and coexistence of various counties and zhou, in that huge, huge gap between the Shanrong and the Japanese invasion?

Well, this article tells us about a bunch of tombs from the Warring States, Han and Tang all the way through to the Liao and Jin being dug up. Apparently Nan Caiyuan “has now turned out to be the largest burying area of ancient tombs recently discovered in Beijing, and it has also provided very important archaeological materials for studying the history of the Yanqing County.” Apart from the usual terrible English and lack of details, the article does manage to tell us this:

First, no matter whether it is Han Tomb or Tang Tomb, the large number of unearthed relics and the burial forms are quite different to that of the central China, nor the same as those found in other counties in Beijing area. This shows that Yanqing, a county lying in between the Central and the north China, has always been the hotspot for the collision and blending of the Central China culture and the north grassland culture.

Ah, thanks, People’s Daily, but I think we’d already managed to figure this out. Now how’s about, instead of telling us that this find is really important for the study of Yanqing’s history and repeating what we’ve known for a long time already, actually telling us why these finds are important and how, exactly, they improve our knowledge of Yanqing’s history.

Moving on, we do manage to discover that Genghis Khan paid a visit to the Kangxi Grassland:

公元å??二世纪,女真人建立了北起黑龙江å?—到淮河æµ?域的强大å¸?国,是为金æœ?。当时,康西è?‰åŽŸä¸€å¸¦å±žé‡‘德兴府(今涿鹿)下辖的妫å·?县。å??三世纪åˆ?,蒙å?¤æ—?å…´ 起。公元1211å¹´7月,æˆ?å?‰æ€?汗以哲别为先锋,率军å?—下,首先攻破乌沙堡(今张北县西北),9月攻陷德兴府,å? æ?®å¦«å·?县(今怀æ?¥åŽ¿ä¸œéƒ¨å’Œåº·è¥¿è?‰åŽŸä¸€ 带)。金æœ?居庸关守将è§?蒙军势大,é?‚弃关å?—逃。æˆ?å?‰æ€?汗军直抵中都(今北京)城,久攻ä¸?下,12月撤兵北归。此å?Žï¼Œé‡‘æœ?将缙山县(今延庆)å?‡ä¸ºé•‡å·žï¼Œå¹¶åŠ  强了镇州至德兴一线的防务。公元1213年秋,æˆ?å?‰æ€?æ±—å†?次出兵,金军与蒙军在妫河激战,金兵大败。金尚书完颜纲将大å?°ä¸¢è¿›å¦«æ²³é€ƒèµ°ã€‚蒙军å? é¢†é•‡å·žå?Žï¼Œé?‚ ç»?八达岭进攻居庸关。蒙军攻居庸关ä¸?下,æˆ?å?‰æ€?æ±—ä¾?计从å°?é?“绕过居庸关,直抵å?—å?£ï¼Œç„¶å?Žå…µåˆ†ä¸‰è·¯ï¼ŒæŽ å¤ºäº†é»„河以北除中都ã€?檀ã€?顺等城之外的在部分州县。金 元帅é?£éƒ½å…ƒå¸…完颜晖与蒙军议和。金æœ?以献童男女å?„五百ã€?绣衣三å?ƒä»¶ã€?御马三å?ƒåŒ¹å’Œå¤§æ‰¹é‡‘银ç? å®?,并将歧国公主献给æˆ?å?‰æ€?汗为æ?¡ä»¶ï¼Œå?‘è’™å?¤å±ˆæœ?。1214å¹´ 4月,æˆ?å?‰æ€?汗出居庸关过妫河北还。公元1213年秋,æˆ?å?‰æ€?æ±—å†?次出兵,金军与蒙军在妫河激战,金兵大败。金尚书完颜纲将大å?°ä¸¢è¿›å¦«æ²³é€ƒèµ°ã€‚蒙军å? é¢†é•‡å·žå?Žï¼Œé?‚ ç»?八达岭进攻居庸关。蒙军攻居庸关ä¸?下,æˆ?å?‰æ€?æ±—ä¾?计从å°?é?“绕过居庸关,直抵å?—å?£ï¼Œç„¶å?Žå…µåˆ†ä¸‰è·¯ï¼ŒæŽ å¤ºäº†é»„河以北除中都ã€?檀ã€?顺等城之外的在部分州县。

In the 12th century AD the Jurchen established a powerful empire stretching from the Amur River in the north south to the Huai River valley, the Jin Dynasty. At that time the area around the Kangxi Grassland belonged to Guichuan County under the jurisdiction of Jindexing Prefecture (modern Zhuolu [a county in Hebei]). At the beginning of the 13th century the Mongolian people rose up. In July 1211, Genghis Khan with Zhebie [Mongolian general http://baike.baidu.com/view/11073.htm] as the vanguard, he led the army south, first breaking through Wushabao (the northwest of modern Zhangbei County), then in September capturing Jindexing Prefecture, occupying Guichuan County (the area of modern eastern Huailai County and the Kangxi Grassland). The general of the Jin Dynasty’s Juyongguan Garrison, on seeing the strength of the Mogolian army, abandoned his post and fled south. Genghis Khan’s army headed for Zhongdu (modern Beijing), but didn’t attack, and in December he withdrew his army to the north. From then on, the Jin Dynasty made Jinshan County (modern Yanqing) Zhen Zhou, and strengthened the defensive line from Zhen Zhou to Dexing. In the autumn of 1213 AD, Genghis Khan sent his troops out again, and the Jin and Mongol armies fought fiercely at the Gui River, the Jin soldiers being heavily defeated. The high official of Jin Wan Yangang [just guessing that’s his name] threw the Great Seal into the Gui River and fled. After the Mongolian army occupied Zhen Zhou, it immediately crossed Badaling and attacked Juyongguan. Not being able to break through Juyongguan, Genghis Khan had to use a small path to pass Juyongguan, heading straight for Nankou, then he sent his soldiers on three separate routes, pillaging zhou and counties north of the Yellow River apart from towns such as Zhongdu, Tan, and Shun.

Now this is the kind of thing I’m looking for, exciting things happen in places I’m familiar with, but I just haven’t managed to find that much of it.

The Kangxi Grassland also gets a mention in this story about the emperor Kangxi fighting people in the north, but only towards the end.

Now let’s add this article about a discovery from the Jiuyanlou section of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, which does contain a few details, but not much, and no explication, with everything we’ve learnt so far and you could be forgiven for thinking that Yanqing County has been of some serious strategic importance since the Spring and Autumn period. An impression that would be reinforced by a quick trip up the Badaling Expressway, in which you will pass under the Great Wall twice (Juyongguan and Badaling, the latter via a tunnel through the mountain on which Badaling sits) and pass a third section (Shuiguan).

So where are all the detailed stories of events in Yanqing County over these thousands of years of strategic importance?!?!?!?

Where are the Yanqing people proud of their county’s unique history publishing articles online to enlighten us all of the importance of this little slice of northwestern Beijing?

Or let’s play another favourite game of mine and look at the place names. Here’s a list of the one community (社区) and thirty two village committees (æ?‘委会) under Zhangshanying Township (å¼ å±±è?¥é•‡):

张山�镇 辖1个社区(张山�镇社区)�32个�委会(大庄科��佛峪���水峪��胡家���姚家���东门���下���西五里����黑龙庙��� 黑龙庙��西�家���下�凤���上�凤���张山���马庄���河屯��上�泉��下�泉��玉皇庙��西羊���辛家堡���家堡���家堡�� 田宋����庄��龙�山庄���家堡��中羊���黄�寺��上�庄��韩�庄���庄�)。

Note the prevalence of the character �? That means camp, barracks or battalion. That character appears in the name of the township itself, a name that is taken from one of the villages under the township, and in the names of 10 of the thirty two villages, or roughly one third of the villages, namely 胡家���姚家���东门���下���西五里���西�家���下�凤���上�凤���张山���田宋��.

Now, Zhangshanying is in the northwest of Yanqing County, whereas the Great Wall runs through the mountains along the border with Changping in the south, on the opposite side of the Guanting Reservoir. The Kangxi Grassland mentioned in those articles about Genghis Khan and the Kangxi emperor are in the southwest of the county, also on the opposite shore of the reservoir. This, to me, only reinforces the impression that Yanqing has a long and proud military history. I would be surprised if all those è?¥ referred to the camps of nomadic herders. And so once again I express my frustration with the lack of information I have found and once again I ask:

So where are all the detailed stories of events in Yanqing County over these thousands of years of strategic importance?!?!?!?

Where are the Yanqing people proud of their county’s unique history publishing articles online to enlighten us all of the importance of this little slice of northwestern Beijing?

Well, all of this brings us back up more modern times, when, as already noted, Yanqing was first a part of Chahar, then after much chopping and changing and division during the war, Hebei, then finally Beijing. And that’s it. Apparently I have reached the end of this little project, and it feels like a huge anticlimax.

Well, all of these posts are preserved on a separate page which I will add to and modify as (if) I find new information, suggestions to improve the translations, and so on.

2 Responses to “after the Shanrong”

  1. John Says:

    It sounds like the area is a march (i.e., a border area). History has ridden across it and left its monuments behind, but it’s as if Yanqing has merely been a spectator. It’s a place where garrisons get sent, but it seems that a lot of the population through history may have been transient.

    I wonder what a genetic study of the local people would reveal. Strong hint of Mongolian or Central Asian genetic patterns? Or perhaps primarily Han with an admixture.

  2. wangbo Says:

    I suspect a genetic study would reveal a very strong Altaic influence- I won’t say Central Asian because it seems Yanqing has a stronger relationship with the Mongolia/Manchuria area, which seems more far north/northeast than central Asia. The first recorded inhabitants were the Shanrong, a branch of the Xiongnu, and after that several peoples speaking Altaic languages either ran over or conquered (usually both, often the running over at least happened several times) the area- the Mongols, Khitan, Jurchen and Manchus are the ones that spring to mind. There may be others. I suspect a genetic study would also show a strong Central Plains influence.

    So Yanqing is the Belgium of North China. Brilliant.