Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia


Nurhaci or Nurgaci (Chinese: 努爾哈赤) (1559-September 30, 1626; r. 1616-September 30, 1626) was a chieftain of a Jurchen tribe of northeastern Manchuria. He is considered to be the founding father of the Manchu state and is also credited with ordering the creation of a written script for the Manchu language. Nurhaci's organisation of the Manchu people and first attack on the Ming Dynasty laid the ground work for the conquest of China by the Qing Dynasty.


Much of his Nurhaci's story is covered by later Qing Dynasty sources such as the Veritable Records. Being a member of the Gioro clan of the Suksuhu River tribe, he also claimed descent from Möngke Temür , a Jurchen chieftain of some two centuries earlier. He named his clan Aisin Gioro around 1612, when he formally ascended the throne. According to Chinese sources, the young man grew up in the household of Li Chengliang in Fushun, where he became literate in Chinese. In 1582 his father Taksi and grandfather Giocangga were killed in an attack on Gure (see Jianzhou Jurchens).

From 1583 onwards Nurhaci began to unify the Jurchen bands, and when he was 25, he attacked Nikan Wailan to avenge the deaths of his father and grandfather, starting out with only thirteen suits of armor.

Nurhaci was the organizer of the Eight Banners, which would eventually form the elite that would dominate the Qing empire. In his later life, Nurhaci declared himself a khan. He constructed a palace at Mukden (modern-day Shenyang in Liaoning province).

In 1599 he had two of his translators create the written Manchu language by adapting the Mongolian alphabet.

In 1616 he founded the Later Jin Dynasty (amaga aisin gurun in the Manchu language), also known just as the Jin Dynasty (aisin gurun). Jin was renamed Qing by his son Hong Taiji after his death but Nurhaci is usually referred to as the founder of Qing Dynasty. In 1618 he commissioned a document entitled the Seven Great Vexations and began to rebel against the Ming empire.

Nurhaci led many successful engagements against the Ming empire, the Koreans, the Mongols, and other Jurchen clans, greatly enlarging the territory under his control. In the first serious military defeat of his life, Nurhaci was beaten by the Ming general Yuan Chonghuan at Ningyuan . Nurhaci was wounded in the battle; he did not recover, and he died on September 30 1626.

Nurhaci was succeed by his eighth son Hong Taiji.

His posthumous name was given on 1736: Chengtian-guangyun-shengde-shengong-zhaozhi-liji-renxiao-ruiwu-duanyi-qin'an-hongwen-dingye Gao Emperor (承天廣運聖德神功肇紀立極仁孝睿武端毅欽安弘文定業高皇帝).

In the adventure film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (first released May 23, 1984) an urn containing the remains of Nurhaci was portrayed as stolen in 1935 by Indiana Jones who attempted to trade it for large diamond. This is a rare Western pop culture to a significant historical figure of the East.

Preceded by:
Qing Dynasty Succeeded by:
Tiancong/Chongde Emperor of the Manchus

Last updated: 02-28-2005 02:07:09