Imperial Clan Court
Tông Nhân phủ ấn (宗人府印), the great seal of the Nguyễn dyansty's Imperial Clan Court.
Agency overview
  • Office of the Imperial Clan (太宗正院)
Imperial Clan Court
Ming, Qing
Manchu name
Manchu scriptᡠᡴᡠᠨ ᠪᡝ
Möllendorffuksun be kadalara yamun

The Imperial Clan Court or Court of the Imperial Clan was an institution responsible for all matters pertaining to the imperial family under the Ming and Qing dynasties of imperial China.[1] This institution also existed under the Nguyễn dynasty of Vietnam where it managed matters pertaining to the Nguyễn Phúc clan.[2]

Established in 1389 by the Hongwu Emperor, it was based on previous institutions like the "Court of the Imperial Clan" (宗正寺, Zōngzhèng Sì) of the Tang and Song dynasties and the "Office of the Imperial Clan" (太宗正院, Tài Zōngzhèng Yuàn) of the Yuan dynasty.[3] Under the Ming dynasty, the Court was managed by the Ministry of Rites; during the Qing, it was outside the regular bureaucracy.[4] Under both dynasties, the Court was staffed by members of the imperial clan.[5] Imperial clansmen who committed crimes were not tried through the regular legal system.[6] Qing imperial clansmen were registered under the Eight Banners, but were still under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Clan Court.[7] The Court used regular reports on births, marriages, and deaths to compile the genealogy of the imperial clan (玉牒, Yùdié).[8] The imperial genealogy was revised 28 times during the Qing dynasty.[9]


  1. ^ Hucker 1985, p. 531; Rawski 1988, p. 233.
  2. ^ Trần Văn Dũng (18 October 2021). "Tinh thần tương thân tương ái của Đồng tôn tương tế phổ. - 14:45 - 18/10/2021. - TRẦN VĂN DŨNG. - Trong suốt quá trình tồn tại của mình, Đồng tôn tương tế phổ đã cố gắng chăm lo đời sống vật chất lẫn tinh thần cho những người hoàng phái, tôn thất. Tinh thần tương thân tương ái từ những năm 20 của thế kỷ XX này đã góp phần lan tỏa giá trị tốt đẹp trong cuộc sống, và đến nay vẫn còn nguyên giá trị" (in Vietnamese). Tạp chí Sông Hương Online. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  3. ^ Hucker 1985, pp. 530 (zongzheng si 宗正寺 as "Court of the Imperial Clan") and 531 (tai zongzheng yuan 太宗正院 as "Office of the Imperial Clan").
  4. ^ Ming: Elman 2000, p. 161. Qing: Rawski 1998, p. 13.
  5. ^ Hucker 1998, p. 28.
  6. ^ Wu 1970, p. 9; Lui 1990, p. 31.
  7. ^ Banner registration: Elliott 2001, p. 88. Jurisdiction: Rawski 1998, p. 72; Rhoads 2000, p. 46.
  8. ^ Ming: Farmer 1995, p. 92. Qing: Rawski 1998, pages 12 (marriages) and 75 (births and deaths; compilation of genealogy).
  9. ^ Rawski 1998, p. 75.


  • Elliott, Mark C. (2001), The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China, Stanford: Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-3606-5.
  • Elman, Benjamin A. (2000), A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-21509-5.
  • Farmer, Edward L. (1995), Zhu Yuanzhang & Early Ming Legislation: The Reordering of Chinese Society following the Era of Mongol Rule, Leiden, New York, and Köln: E.J. Brill, ISBN 90-04-10391-0.
  • Hucker, Charles O. (1985), A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China, Stanford: Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-1193-3.
  • Hucker, Charles O. (1998), "Ming Government", in Denis Twitchett and Frederick W. Mote (ed.), The Cambridge History of China, Volume 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 9–105, ISBN 0-521-24333-5.
  • Lui, Adam Yuen-chong (1990), Ch'ing Institutions and Society, 1644-1795, Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong.
  • Rawski, Evelyn S. (1988), "The Imperial Way of Death: Ming and Ch'ing Emperors and Death Ritual", in James L. Watson and Evelyn S. Rawski (ed.), Death Ritual in Late Imperial and Modern China, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, pp. 228–253, ISBN 0-520-06081-4.
  • Rawski, Evelyn S. (1998), The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions, Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-21289-4.
  • Rhoads, Edward J.M. (2000), Manchu & Han: Ethnic Relations and Political Power in Late Qing and Early Republican China, 1861-1928, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, ISBN 0-295-97938-0.
  • Wu, Silas H. L. (1970), Communication and Imperial Control in China: Evolution of the Palace Memorial System, 1693–1735, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-14801-0.