[KS] A Question about pukkando

Mark Byington byington at fas.harvard.edu
Wed May 10 23:36:31 EDT 2006


The name Kando (Ch. Jiandao) may indeed have origins in local
Jurchen-Manchu dialect, but the accounts I have seen all point to a
semantic reading from the Chinese. According to at least some sources,
including the Qingshigao (p. 4641 in the Zhonghua edition), Jiandao
originally referred to an island formed by the splitting and rejoining of
the flow of the Tumen. This area was earlier referred to by the Qing as
Jiajiang (false river), and was located in the Guangqi valley of Helong
County in southeastern Jilin. In China I read more than once that the name
Jiandao was first used by Koreans who had settled in the area, but I do
not have a source for this claim at hand. At any rate, these accounts
suggest that the name Kando or Jiandao was a Chinese, or sino-Korean name
meaning "intervening island," or something to that effect, meaning a
region where the river splits in two to form an island. As Frank points
out, however, a great many place names in this region are very un-Chinese
and have origins in local dialects, Tumen and Yanji being examples. When I
was doing research in this area I often asked about the meaning of
odd-sounding place names, and the typical reaction from scholars there was
to read the names as distorted colloqial Chinese, even when a likely
correlate in Manchu was at hand. I was therefore skeptical about the
account of Jiandao in the sources I read, though the Qingshigao version
sounds fairly reasonable. Gibert's 1934 dictionary of Manchurian
historical geography (pp. 466-67) has a similar story.


Mark Byington

On Wed, 10 May 2006, Frank Hoffmann wrote:

> >All this chatter about bando brings another
> >question to my mind, and that is the etymology
> >of Pukkando -- the term for Manchuria.  It's is
> >"north" "space" "island" -- and how did that
> >come about?  There is nothing of an island in
> >that northern space.
> Pukkando was the name for only the southeastern
> part of Manchuria, today's Yanbian -- but I guess
> you just simplified since Koreans often use the
> name Kando when referring to Manchuria as such.
> In 1934 the Japanese organized Manchukuo into 14
> provinces and 2 special municipalities and Kando
> (Kantô) was one of them.
> In any case, the translation "Northern - area
> (space) - island" is deceiving because the term's
> origin goes most likely back to the Jurchen. That
> would at least make most sense. Same case with
> Yalu (Yalu / Amnok) and Tumen (Tumen / Tuman)
> rivers right in that area: look at either older
> or modern maps and you see that there are no
> common Chinese characters for these names in East
> Asia. "Tumen" is clearly of Jurchen origin
> (meaning: ten thousand), which is why we have two
> sets of Chinese characters, since these are just
> markers for the pronunciation. Must be the same
> with Jiandao/Kando/Kantô.
> Frank
> --
> --------------------------------------
> Frank Hoffmann
> http://koreaweb.ws

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