In order to escape from the turmoil caused by the Sino-Japanese War, the Institute of History and Philology temporary moved its operation to Nanxi County, Sichuan Province in 1940. The nearby Miao people of Southern Sichuan, because of their proximity to the research institute, had therefore become one of main research subjects of anthropologists in the Institute. A thorough study of the Miao people living in Hunan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan was completed then. In December 1942, Yi-Fu Rui and Ching-Chun Hu, who were then associate research fellow at the IHP and doctoral student at Beijing University respectively, went on to an investigation in Xu-Yong County in the southern-most tip of Sichuan. Their research findings were later made into a book “Marriage and mortuary Customs of the Magpie Miao Southern Szechuan, China”, published by the IHP in 1962.
This diary is a record of Professor Rui’s activities during this field work, as well as his thoughts and observations. Many of these are first-hand information on the socio-cultural characters of the Miao people in Southern Sichuan, making it an important contribution to modern Chinese ethnology and anthropology.