Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Omutu

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OMUTU 鄂穆[貌]圖 or Omuktu 鄂莫[謨]克圖 (T. 麟閣, H. 遇義[堯]), 1614–1662, Jan. 21, official and one of the earliest Manchu scholars, was a member of the Janggiya clan (張佳 or 章佳) and of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner. Well trained in his youth in riding and archery as well as in the classics and history, he passed the examination at Mukden for hsiu-ts'ai in 1638 and for chü-jên in 1641. Thereafter he worked at the Manchu translation of the Ta-Ming hui-tien (see under Dahai). In 1644 he followed the Court to Peking where he was raised to a sub-reader in the Pi-shu Yüan 秘書院, one of the Three Inner Courts which were later changed to the Grand Secretariat. Then he served as a compiler in the commission for the Shih-lu or "veritable records" of Emperors T'ai-tsu and T'ai-tsung, and as a translator of the Kang-chien hui-tsüan (see under Dahai) and of the Classic of Poetry and the Record of Rites.

Owing to his knowledge of military tactics, Omutu served most of the time as a member of the staff in some campaign, spending only short periods in Peking. From 1644 to 1645 he accompanied Dodo [q. v.] to T'ung-kuan, Shensi, in pursuit of Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] and then helped in the conquest of Kiangsu; in 1646 he followed Bolo [q. v.] to Fukien; and from 1647 to 1651 he was with Jirgalang [q. v.] pacifying Szechwan and the neighboring provinces. Returning to Peking in 1651, he was made a reader of the Hung-wên Yüan 弘文院, another of the Inner Courts, and was rewarded with the minor hereditary rank of Ch'i-tu-yü for his military exploits. In 1653, after being made a sub-chancellor of the Pi-shu Yüan, he accompanied Yolo [q. v.] to Outer Mongolia to subdue the Tushetu Khan, and in 1654 he went to Fukien under Jidu [q. v.] to fight against Chêng Ch'êng-kung [q. v.].

When the Three Inner Courts were abolished in 1658, Omutu was made sub-chancellor of the Chung-ho Tien (中和殿學士), one of the titles given at that time to s sub-chancellor of the Grand Secretariat. Then he joined Doni (see under Dodo) in a campaign to conquer Yunnan and Kweichow from the Southern Ming prince, Chu Yu-lang [q. v.]. The campaign was successfully concluded in 1661. In the same year (1661), after Emperor Shih-tsu had died and the Three Inner Courts were restored, he was again made a sub-chancellor of the Pi-shu Yüan. Upon his return with the armies to Peking, he died near Tientsin and was given posthumous honors befitting an official who had died at his post in the service of the throne.

Omutu is reputed to have written poems in Chinese, and his collection of verse, entitled 北海集 Pei-hai chi, is said to have had a preface by the famous poet, Shih Jun-chang [q. v.].


[3/1/39a (mistaken in classifying Omutu as a Grand Secretary); 4/5/4a; 23/1/1a; T'ieh-pao [q. v.], Hai-ch'ao ya-sung chi 1/1a; Tung-hua lu, Ch'ung-tê 6:7, Shun-chih 15:11; Pa-ch'i Man-chou shih-tsu t'ung-p'u (see under Anfiyanggû) 40/7b, 9b (mistaken in the identity of his grandfather).]

Walter Fuchs