Source: Classical literature
The Agūrai Hiya or "Leopard Tail Lance Bodyguards" were sort of an honor guard that served very close to the emperor. The men were selected from war heroes and descendants of war heroes of the Upper Three Banners.1
During processions, they would carry a lance with a leopard's tail attached to it.
Chinese: Bàowěi Bān Shìwèi (豹尾班侍衛)
Leopard Tail Imperial Bodyguards with their leopard tail spears,
escorting the Qianlong emperorduring the Grand Review of the Troops.
The Leopard Tail Imperial Bodyguards were part of the Clansmen Corps of the Imperial Bodyguard, Zōngshì Shìwèi (宗室侍衛) or Sān Qí Zōngshì Shìwèi (三旗宗室侍衛) in Chinese.
The Clansmen Corps of the Imperial Bodyguard consisted of:
- 150 Sān Qí Shìwèi (三旗侍衛).
- 9 of which are First Class, Yī Děng (一等)
- 18 of which are Second Class, Èr Děng (二等)
- 63 of which are Third Class, Sān Děng (三等) and Fourth Class, Sì Děng (四等)
(Of the above, indefinite numbers are selected as Guards of the Antechamber, Yùqián Shìwèi (御前侍衛) and Guards of the Qianqing Gate, Qiánqīngmén Shìwèi (前清門侍衛)).
- 60 Imperial Bodyguards wearing the Leopard's tail, Bàowěi Bān Shìwèi (豹尾班侍衛)
1. Aisin Gioro Jaoliyan; Xiào Tíng Zá Lù (啸亭杂录), chapter 4.
2. H.S. Brunnert and V.V. Hagelstrom; Present Day Political Organization of China. Published in 1911. Pages 25-27.