This introductory chapter lays out the historiographical and theoretical groundwork for documenting a history of the Manchus in Manchuria and for examining the importance of Manchuria to the identity reformation of the Manchus from 1907 to 1985. This period has been little understood by those in Manchu and ethnic studies in modern Chinese history. Although pre-existing problems concerning Manchu identity and borderland crises in Manchuria are introduced in the book, this chapter identifies 1907 as the year when the most significant changes in both the domestic politics and international relations in Manchuria took place. That year witnessed not only the beginning of the provincialization of Manchuria, but also the Japanese expansion into the Manchus' homeland.
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