Assistant Professor Chen Ying

Affiliations :

History Detective: Finding Clues in Classical Chinese Texts

I am conducting research on the bureaucratic system of the Ming Dynasty in China from the 14th to the 17th century. I am often asked, 'As a Chinese person, why did you come to Japan to study Chinese history?' The answer is not easy to explain succinctly, but it is all about the research methodology.
When it comes to studying history, especially Chinese history, accurately deciphering classical Chinese texts is an essential task. The painstaking process of decoding primary historical sources, understanding the meaning of each character, and physically handling and reading materials stored in archives around the world is akin to a detective in a mystery novel investigating a crime scene and collecting clues to reconstruct the truth. While this work is by no means easy, overcoming each obstacle brings me closer to uncovering the truth. I've enjoyed every moment of it. When I first came to Tohoku University's Department of East Asian History, I was taught by professors and senior researchers how to read historical documents. I instantly fell in love with this research methodology and have been immersed in it ever since.
Let's embark on historical adventures together with everyone who loves classical Chinese texts and mysteries.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Personal History
    Born in Tianjin, China. Graduated from the College of Foreign Languages,Nankai University. Completed the doctoral program (without a doctoral degree) at the Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    Career:Currently employed as a Research Assistant in the Graduate School of Arts and Letters,Tohoku University.
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    History of Early Modern China
    Research Subject
    History of modern China;
    Chinese bureaucratic system;
    History of modern China;
    Chinese bureaucratic system;
    Society for the Study of Chinese Literature, History, Philosophy
  • Academic Papers
    ・The Mid-Ming Change in Ch‛ao-chin K‛ao-ch‛a:The Assessment of Local Officials(「Tohoku historical journal」138, 2022)
    ・On Ming dynasty's evaluation system : Focusing on the Self-appraisal submitted by capital officials of the 4th and higher ranks(「Shukan Toyo gaku (Chinese and Oriental studies)」117、2017)