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|Hanfu literally means "Clothing of the Han people" refers to the traditional clothing of the Han Chinese, the predominant ethnic group of China. Hanfu encompasses all types of traditional clothing worn by the ethnic Han Chinese prior to Manchurian and Western influences. Chinese clothing such as Qipao and Tangzhuang, that are popularly regarded as traditional Chinese clothing in popular in Western and international media are Manchu in origin and only introduced into Chinese society after the 17th century. Pre-17th century Chinese dress traditions, which included all forms of Hanfu were forbidden by the Manchu rulers who established the Qing Dynasty after their military take-over of Ming Dynasty China.
|The Manchurian style of dress was strictly enforced by the new government, thus largely eliminating the traditions of wearing Hanfu in Chinese society. Many traditional costumes of East Asian countries, such as the Kimono in Japan, along with the traditional Korean dress, Hanbok, have been heavily influenced by the Chinese Hanfu due to the extensive cultural exchanges between the neighbouring countries. In contrast to China, traditional Japanese and Korean dress have not been affected by similar changes like in China and thus have retained many core elements of the original Hanfu.