The Jimi system (Chinese: 羈縻制) is a way to organize the government to rule over far-away foreign lands. It uses barbarians to rule over barbarians or the people you conquered to rule over the people you conquered.
It was used in China between the 7th century and 10th century. It was used during the Tang Dynasty from 650s-740s. It was also used in the Song, Mongol Yuan, Ming dynasties. But then it was also called the Tusi system (Chinese: 土司制). It ended around 1726. Then the Qing dynasty created a new system.
Origin of term[change | change source]
Jimi roughly translates as "loose reigns". It was an indirect way to rule over people.
What is it?[change | change source]
China back then often conquered foreign lands. For example when China would conquer barbarians in the north, it would gain a lot of land. How does China govern so much land? They needed a way to govern these foreigners (or "barbarians").
China tells one of the barbarians they conquered to rule over the land for them. That ruler would have to follow orders from China, pay money, and help with China's military. This is Jimi.
The jimi ruler would received instructions from the central authorities in China. They would pass their power to their first sons.
Examples[change | change source]
The Tang conquered the Gokturks and made two jimi governments (duhufu 都護府) in 658. They were around the Tarbagatai Mountains and Lake Balkhash. Sometimes the term was applied to military camps created within Tang China.
Notes[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Zhou, Weiyan, "Jimizhou". Encyclopedia of China, 1st ed.
- Yuan, Bolan, Min, Shenglan and Huang, Li. "Tang Song Minzu Zhengce Jimi Wenti Zhi Bijiao Yanjiu" ("Ethnic Policy of the Tang and Song Dynasties, A Comparative Study on the Question of Jimi"). Journal of Northwest University for Nationalities. 2004.5. ISSN 1001-5140.
- Liu, Tong (1998). The Study of Tang Dynasty's Jimifuzhou. Xi'an: Northwest University Press. ISBN 7-5604-1298-X.
- Tian, Suisheng et al. (1994). A Comprehensive Knowledge of Local Government. Beijing: China's Archives Press. ISBN 7-80019-461-2.
- Zhang, Youjun et al. (1992). General Discussion of Ethnic Policy in China. Nanming: Guangxi Education Press. ISBN 7-5435-1527-X.