Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yanggûri efu

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

YANGGÛRI efu 揚古利額附, d. 1637, age 66 (sui), of the Sumuru clan at Huncun, served while still a youth as a page in the control of Nurhaci [q. v.]. His father, Langju 郎柱, chieftain of a Kûrka 庫爾喀 tribe, was murdered by one of his followers; and when in 1585 this tribe came to swear allegiance to Nurhaci, Yanggûri sought out his father's murderer, killed him, and ate his ears and nose. This alleged act of a thirteen-year-old boy excited the admiration of Nurhaci, who gave him one of his daughters as wife. For this reason the epithet efu (Manchu for "son-in-law") is often attached to Yanggûri's name. Yanggûri became one of Nurhaci's most warlike generals. From 1593 to 1621 he was in the forefront at all the important battles, and on many occasions led his troops of the Plain Yellow Banner to turn defeat into victory. In the latter year Nurhaci promoted him to the command of the left wing of the army, making him inferior in rank only to the eight beile; he especially requested him to avoid exposing himself in the front lines. In 1625 Yanggúri was made a duke of the third class for successfully repulsing Mao Wên-lung [q. v.].

At a council of war in 1633, when Abahai [q. v.] was uncertain what his policy should be, Yanggûri made proposals which determined the future course of the war with China. He advocated that the attempt to conquer Korea or the Chahar Mongols, or to enter China by way of Shanhaikuan, should be postponed in favor of direct raids through weak spots in the Great Wall. One interesting feature of his proposals was the suggestion that only officers who had had smallpox be sent on these expeditions—a precaution apparently dictated by the fact that the route proposed led through the territory of Mongols who were then, as throughout the Ch'ing dynasty, considered especially dangerous carriers of the disease.

In 1634 Yanggûri was again promoted and two years later, though already sixty-four years of age, accompanied Abatai and Ajige [qq. v.] on an extensive invasion of China. In the following year, during a battle with Koreans near Han-ch'êng (not far from Seoul), he was killed by gunfire from the enemy. He was posthumously granted the title Wu-hsün Wang 武勳王, "Prince of Military Merit", and honored with a memorial tablet. In 1644 his name was entered in the Imperial Ancestral Temple, and in 1731 his descendants were assigned the permanent rank and title of Ch'ao-têng Ying-ch'êng Kung 超等英誠公, duke of the highest degree.

Yanggûri's second son, Tajan 塔瞻 (d. 1647), inherited the dukedom. Tajan's son, Aisingga 愛星阿 (d. 1664), became the third duke in 1647. In 1660 Aisingga was designated "General Who Pacifies the West" (定西將軍) to command the Manchu forces in Yunnan fighting the Ming loyalists. In 1661 he and Wu San-kuei [q. v.] advanced into Burma and later captured the Ming Prince of Kuei (see under Chu Yu-lang). Aisingga was canonized as Ching-k'ang 敬康.

One of Yanggûri's cousins, named Tantai 譚泰 (1594–1651), was a supporter of the powerful Regent, Dorgon [q. v.]. In 1644 he was made a duke, but owing to a feud with Soni (see under Songgotu) and others, was reduced to a viscount in 1645 and to a commoner in 1646. For two years (1646–48) he served as Dorgon's private advisor. In 1648 he was given the title, Chêng-Nan Ta-chiang-chün 征南大將軍, and the command of all the armies in Kiangsi who were fighting the forces of Chin Shêng-huan [q. v.]. For quelling Chin's revolt in 1649 he was again made a viscount, rising in 1650 to president of the Board of Civil Office. After the decease of Dorgon (December 31, 1650), Tantai transferred his allegiance to Emperor Shih-tsu and then did his full share in persecuting many who had been Dorgon's supporters. For this show of loyalty he was again made a duke (March 25, 1651). However, on October 1, 1651, he was charged with arrogant conduct, with interference in the affairs of the other five Boards, and with nepotism in office. In the course of his trial all those whom he had offended or wronged while Dorgon was in power came out to bring charges against him. He was finally ordered to be executed.


[1/232/1a; 3/263/16a; 4/3/8b; 7/2/24b; 11/1/12a; 34/147/1a; China Review, vol. IX, 1880–81, pp. 169–71; Tung-hua lu; Shun-chih, 8:8.]

George A. Kennedy