2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

Dreamland of the Kingly Way:
Emotional Resistance and the Participation of Qing Loyalists in Manchukuo

Chih-hung Lin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

Through an examination of the mentalities of Qing loyalists, this article offers a new historical perspective on Manchukuo. This article focuses on the following questions: First, how did Qing loyalists face the immediate problems of 1930s China? Second, why did they choose to participate in Manchukuo? And third, basing themselves on a concept of nationalism, what were their broad views and how did they protect their general interests?

Discussing the roles that the Qing loyalists played in Manchukuo can also give us a clearer understanding of Chinese political culture in the 1930s. Basing themselves on anti-Communism, they participated in Manchukuo to extricate themselves from the social order and institutions of Republican China and restore the absolute monarchy. Given the vigorous growth of “doctrine festishism” during the 1920s and 1930s, Qing loyalists used the “Kingly Way” as a doctrine to establish and maintain the legitimacy of Manchukuo. Furthermore, they wanted to preserve the Qing court and their own interests. In other words, the loyalists used the traditional “intellectual resource” of the spirit of the Kingly Way to all appearances, but they actually backed it up with the “conceptual apparatus” of modern military force. Therefore, if we want to understand the historical position of Qing loyalists, we should not only look at the theme of dynastic change but also must also take into account international conditions, particularly the contest between fascism and communism.


Keywords: Qing loyalists, Manchukuo, Kingly Way, Zheng Xiaoxu, political identity, doctrine fetishism