Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Bujantai

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3633246Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — BujantaiGeorge A. Kennedy

BUJANTAI 布占泰, beile of the Ula tribe, a part of the Manchu Hûlun nation, belonged to the Nara clan. He was descended from the same ancestor, Nacibulu 納奇卜祿, as the chieftains of the Hada tribe (see under Wan). Tradition has it that Nacibulu once attracted the attention of some Mongols who desired to make him subservient to them. When they tried to capture him, however, he successfully repulsed them, and when they shouted to inquire his name he responded with a defiant challenge, "Nara" (come on). In this manner the important Nara clan is supposed to have received its name. Nacibulu settled near modern Kirin on the Sungari river, which was often called simply the Ula, or "the river". There he was a successful hunter and trapper who attracted to himself many followers. Several generations later, two brothers among his descendants, Kesina 克什納 and Gudui juyan 古對珠延, became the ancestors of the Hada and Ula branches of the Nara clan. Buyan 布延, grandson of Gudui juyan, fortified the settlement on the Sungari and named himself beile of the Ula tribe. Two of his grandsons were Mantai 滿泰 and Bujantai, of whom the former succeeded to the position of beile.

The Yehe tribe under beile Bujai (布齋, 布戒) and Narimbulu [q. v.] assembled the various groups in the Hûlun nation, together with some Korcin Mongols, to oppose the spreading power of Nurhaci [q. v.]. Bujantai was sent with the Ula contingent, but was taken prisoner by Nurhaci when the confederation was defeated at Mt. Gure in October 1593. Nurhaci refrained from killing Bujantai and after keeping him three years as a retainer sent him back under escort to his tribe. The beile, Mantai, and his son having recently been executed by their tribesmen for misdemeanor, Bujantai was established as beile in his brother's place. He sent a sister as wife to Nurhaci's brother, Šurhaci [q. v.], and in 1597 joined the Yehe and other tribes in a formal truce with Nurhaci. After about two years Bujantai received a daughter of Šurhaci for wife, and in 1601 he married his niece to Nurhaci (see under Hsiao-lieh). Two years later after unsuccessful attempts to secure a daughter of the Mongol, Minggan 明安, chief of the Borjigit tribe, he requested another wife from Nurhaci and was given a second daughter of Šurhaci.

Despite these matrimonial ties, a war broke out in 1607 between Nurhaci and the Ula in which the latter were defeated with the loss of some towns. Bujantai promised that if given another wife he would remain at peace. Nurhaci thereupon sent one of his own daughters to him and this step secured friendly relations for a period of four years. In 1612 Bujantai tried to bribe the Yehe beile, Bujai, into giving him for a wife a daughter who had been promised to Nurhaci. He also subjected Nurhaci's daughter whom he had married to indignity by "shooting whistling arrows at her". Enraged by these acts, Nurhaci took personal command of an expedition which completely defeated the Ula tribe in 1613. Bujantai fled to the Yehe who gave him refuge. He died sometime before 1620 when the Yehe tribe also fell into Nurhaci's hands.

[1/229/11a; Hauer, E., K'ai-kuo fang-lüeh, pp. 23, 25–8, 29, 37–40, 44–8.]

George A. Kennedy