Liaodongese is a term which is sometimes used to refer to a group of people who lived in Liaodong province or neighboring areas in the late 16th to early 17th century, and their descendants. Though the Liaodongese are often described as being of mixed ethnic or cultural background, or by a variety of similar descriptors, scholars such as Pamela Kyle Crossley have emphasized that Qing society was not organized according to modern/Western concepts of "race" or "ethnicity," and further, that Liaodongese culture and identity - by whatever name - was its own distinct phenomenon; while we may not have a standard established name for this culture, this people, and so we adopt "Liaodongese" as a shorthand, their culture is still very much their own, a real thing which they lived, and not merely a mix or hybrid lying "in between" other cultures more well-recognized today. Crossley explains that the Han Chinese and Manchu ethnic/cultural identities, as starkly defined against one another, were largely an ideological invention of the Qing Court in the mid-18th century, and thus, like so much else, are socially constructed identities, and not natural, inherent, or given.
Notable Liaodongese include:
- the famous novelist Cao Zhan (Xueqin, c. 1715-1763) and his family
- Li Chengliang, his son Li Rusong, and the Nongsŏ Yi lineages which claimed descent from them
- possibly, arguably, King Taejo, founder of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea
- The Tong of Fushun, including Tong Bunian, Ming official in Liaodong during the initial rise of the Jurchen Later Jin.
- Wu Sangui, Ming general who allowed the Manchus into China in 1644, and later rose up in revolt against the Manchus.
- Crossley, Pamela Kyle. A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology. University of California Press (1999), 49-50.
- Southern Manchuria; the area just northeast of the Great Wall and northwest of the border with Korea.
- Including descriptions of being Han Chinese under Manchu control, "balanced" "between" Chinese and Manchu cultures, or of "hybrid" culture or ethnicity.
- Though said to be definitively of Korean ancestry, King Taejo was the son of Korean officials who served the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, and grew up in or around what is today the border region between North Korea and Manchuria, an environment at that time settled by a vibrant mix of who we might today consider to have been ethnic Jurchens, Mongols, Chinese, and Koreans.
- Crossley, 260.