In China, the word minzu (Chinese: 民族; pinyin: mínzú) means a community that inherits culture (文化) or consanguinity (血缘). Depending on the context, the word has various meanings, such as "nation", "race" and "ethnic group". In modern Chinese languages, minzu has a stronger cultural meaning than racial meaning.

Etymology

In Chinese, the term minzu has several meanings; it can be confused with concepts such as "zhǒngzú" (种族, lit. "race"), "guózú" (国族, lit. "nation"), "zúqún" (族群, lit. "ethnic group"). For example, 民族主义 (pinyin: mínzú zhǔyì, lit. "minzu-ism") means "nationalism", but 民族学 (pinyin: mínzú xué, lit. "minzu-study") means "ethnology".

The term "minzu" is found in Xiao Zixian's book 《南齐书·高逸传》 during the Liang dynasty ("今诸华士女, 民族弗革"), and in the book 《太白阴经》 during the Tang dynasty ("愚人得之, 以倾宗社, 灭民族"). However, these terms are closer to the meaning of "people" (民众) than they are to today.[1][2]

Minzu is a loanword from Japanese.[3]: 109  Durinf the Meji period, Japanese translators rendered "nation", "ethnic group", and "Volk" into minzoku (Japanese: 民族) when translating European books, which was introduced to China.[4]

Zhonghua minzu

Main article: Zhonghua minzu

Before the 1911 Revolution, the members of the Chinese Revolutionary Party were hostile to the Qing dynasty ("Anti-Qing sentiment") and tried to build a nation-state around the Han Chinese; at this time the concept of Zhonghua minzu (中华民族 / 中華民族, zhōnghuá mínzú, lit. "Chinese nation") was about the same meaning with Han minzu (汉民族 / 漢民族, hàn mínzú, lit. "Han nation") or Hanzu (汉族 / 漢族, hànzú, "Han ethnic group").

After the 1911 Revolution, the concept of "Five Races Under One Union" was introduced, and later Zhonghua minzu united various ethnic groups in China. Today, Zhonghua minzu is concept is related to multi-ethnic nationalism, and therefore distinct from Han minzu or Hanzu.

Other countries

民族 is not a word spoken only in China and Japan, and can be used in countries throughout Chinese cultural sphere where Chinese characters are spoken. The "dân tộc" in the Vietnamese language, and "민족" in the Korean language are 民族 and lexical cognates.

In the modern Japanese language, minzoku (民族) is mainly used to express "ethnic group", instead "nation" is translated into kokumin (国民).

National symbolism

In many Northeast Asian countries, 民族 is often related to official national symbol as well.

The word appears in People's Republic of China's official national anthem ("March of the Volunteers"), Military Anthem of the People's Liberation Army, and the National Flag Anthem of the Republic of China (Taiwan). In South Korea, the word was used in the Pledge of Allegiance until 2007.

Anti-imperialism

民族, 国民, and 国族 all mean "nation". Among them, 民族 is often used to describe anti-imperialist left-wing nationalism centered on ethnic identity, especially stateless nationalism; 国民 or 国族, means "nation", which can be established only on the premise of 'state' (国), so in Northeast Asia, when it comes to words like "national self-determination" (民族自決) and "national liberation" (民族解放), the word "nation[nal]" translates to the 民族, not the 国民 or 国族. Because of this, in Northeast Asia, minzu-based nationalism (民族主義) and state-based nationalism (国族主義, 国民主義 or 国家主義) are applied in different contexts.

In Postwar Japan, liberal nationalists like Masao Maruyama emphasized "国民主義" (kokumin shugi, lit. "state-based nationalism" or "civic nationalism"[5]) while left-wing nationalists who supported Marxism and anti-imperialism emphasized "民族主義" (minzoku shugi, lit. "ethnic nationalism").[6]

Today, in South Korea, left-liberals tend to value minjok (the Korean race) over the North–South ideological and political divide. In a broader sense, left-liberals embrace "ethnic nationalism" (民族主義, Korean: 민족주의); the notion that sharing the same bloodline is superior to temporary national partition. Conservatives on the other hand support "regime-based nationalism" (國民主義 or 國家主義, Korean: 국민주의 or 국가주의), which puts emphasis on being South Korean and stresses the differences in social and political values between the two Koreas.[7][8]

In South Vietnam, which existed in the past, the anti-communist nationalist Vietnamese Nationalist Party defined "nation" as quốc dân (國民). In contrast, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, a dissident communist nationalist guerrilla in South Vietnam, defined "nation" as dân tộc (民族).

Hong Kong nationalists reject the concept of "Chinese minzu" (中華民族) and define themselves as "HongKonger minzu" (香港民族). "Hong Kong [ethnic] nationalism" (民族主義 or 香港民族主義) is often opposed to Chinese state nationalism (國家主義 or 中國國家主義),[9] because many Chinese state nationalists support reducing Hong Kong's autonomy.[10]

Racial pride

See also: An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus and The Cleanest Race

Some Northeast Asia's nationalists value the 'blood purity' when defining 民族, showing racial nationalism.[11] Yamato nationalism during Empire of Japan, and today's North Korea's Juche are linked to racial nationalism.[12]

According to some scholars, Northeast Asia's "nationalism" (民族主義) has right Hegelians and 19th century notions of blood and soil.[13]

Three Principles of the People

Main article: Three Principles of the People § Mínzú or Nationalism

"Mínzú" (民族, nationalism) is a core principle of Tridemism, along with "Mínquán" (民權, democracy) and "Mínshēng" (民生, socialism).

See also

References

  1. ^ 邸永君. “民族”一词见于《南齐书》. 民族研究. 2004, (3): 98–99.
  2. ^ 茹莹. 汉语"民族"一词在我国的最早出现. 世界民族. 2001, (6): 1.
  3. ^ Qian, Ying (2024). Revolutionary Becomings: Documentary Media in Twentieth-Century China. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231204477.
  4. ^ Shiyuan Hao (30 November 2015). How the Communist Party of China Manages the Issue of Nationality: An Evolving Topic. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 39. ISBN 978-3-662-48462-3. ... minzu to translate the German word volk and the English words ethnos and nation. After the Japanese philosopher Enryou Inoue founded the magazine Nihonjin in 1888, the term minzu became widely used in Japan and influenced the whole news ...
  5. ^ Andrea Castiglioni; Carina Roth; Fabio Rambelli (12 November 2020). Defining Shugendo: Critical Studies on Japanese Mountain Religion. Bloomsbury Publishing. ... civic nationalism (kokuminshugi 国民主義) in an attempt to forcibly construct the identity of Japanese society (Hayashi 2010: 34). ...
  6. ^ Gayle, Curtis Anderson (2003-08-29). Marxist History and Postwar Japanese Nationalism. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203217771. ISBN 978-1-134-43159-5.
  7. ^ Cloudy forecast for Moon’s ‘Sunshine Policy 2.0’ Archived 31 October 2023 at the Wayback Machine East Asia Forum (2017. 07. 20). "In South Korean politics, liberal political parties often support a policy of engagement with North Korea. This is because left-wing politicians tend to value miunjok (the Korean race) over the North–South ideological and political divide. In a broader sense, liberals embrace ethno-nationalism; the notion that sharing the same bloodline is superior to temporary national partition. Conservatives on the other hand support regime-based nationalism, which puts emphasis on being South Korean and stresses the differences in social and political values between the two Koreas."
  8. ^ Myers, Brian Reynolds (December 28, 2016). "Still the Unloved Republic". Sthele Press. Retrieved June 26, 2019. ... Someone who is asked by a pollster whether he is prouder of the Taehan minguk or of the minjok therefore knows which answer is better, more progressive-sounding. In all likelihood he is not prouder of the republic than of his Koreanness. One should be wary of polls on this issue that were not conducted precisely and clearly.
  9. ^ Daniel Cetrà; ‎Coree Brown Swan (2022). State and Majority Nationalism in Plurinational States. Taylor & Francis. p. 135. ... Hong Kong nationalism, or at least opposition to Chinese state nationalism.
  10. ^ Chang, Che (1 December 2020). "The Nazi Inspiring China's Communists". The Atlantic.
  11. ^ Ko-wu Huang, Max (15 March 2008). The Meaning of Freedom: Yan Fu and Origins of Chinese Liberalism. Chinese University of Hong Kong Press. p. 97. doi:10.2307/j.ctv1x0kc5b. ISBN 978-962-996-278-4. JSTOR j.ctv1x0kc5b. S2CID 261749245. ... racial nationalism (minzu zhuyi 民族主義) was characteristic of any race, but he asked: "Will racial nationalism strengthen our race? In my opinion, it definitely will not."...
  12. ^ B. R. Myers (2010). The Cleanest Race.
  13. ^ Kelly, Robert E. (24 May 2010). "More on Asian Multiculturalism: 5 Masters Theses to be Written". Retrieved 10 February 2024. Northeast Asians (NEA – Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) strike me as quite nationalistic, and nationalism up here is still tied up in right-Hegelian, 19th century notions of blood and soil.