Liu

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Liu
SurnameLiu.svg
PronunciationLiú ([ljǒu]) (Pinyin)
Lau4
Lâu (Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
Language(s)Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean
Origin
Language(s)Old Chinese
Other names
Variant form(s)Liú (Mandarin)
Lau (Cantonese)
Lieu (Shanghainese)
Lưu (Vietnamese)
Yoo, Ryu (Korean)
See alsoLưu
Yoo (Korean surname)

/ (/lj/ or /lj/[1]) is a East Asian surname. pinyin: Liú in Mandarin Chinese, Lau4 in Cantonese. It is the family name of the Han dynasty emperors. The character originally meant 'kill', but is now used only as a surname. Today, it is the 4th most common surname in Mainland China as well as one of the most popular surnames in the world.[2][3]

Distribution[edit]

In 2019 劉 was the fourth most common surname in Mainland China.[4] Additionally, it was the most common surname in Jiangxi province. In 2013 it was found to be the 5th most common surname, shared by 67,700,000 people or 5.1% of the population, with the province with the most people being Shandong.[5]

Origin[edit]

One source is that they descend from the Qí (祁) clan of Emperor Yao. For example the founding emperor of the Han Dynasty (one of China's golden ages), Liu Bang (Emperor Gaozu of Han) was a descendant of Emperor Yao.

Another origin is from the Jī (姬) clan of King Qing of Zhou. For example, Duke Kang of Liu [zh], the youngest son of King Qing of Zhou, founded the State of Liu [zh] and his descendants took state names as surname.

History[edit]

Liu was a place name in ancient China (located in present-day Henan). The Liu family name has two main origins from this place name.

Kongjia, the fourteenth King of the Xia dynasty, was given a male and a female dragon as a reward for his obedience to the god of heaven, but could not train them, so he hired a dragon-trainer named Liu Lei (劉累), who had learned how to train dragons from Huanlong. Liu Lei was a descendant of Emperor Yao, won the admiration of King KongJia for his skill in raising dragons. In order to reward Liu Lei, King KongJia granted him Liu (place) as his fief. Liu Lei took the name of his fief as his family name. One day, the female dragon died unexpectedly, so Liu Lei secretly chopped her up, cooked her meat, and served it to the king, who loved it so much that he demanded Liu Lei to serve him the same meal again. Since Liu Lei had no means of procuring more dragon meat, he fled the palace. Liu Lei was the first person surnamed Liu in Chinese history, and his descendant Liu Bang founded the Han Dynasty.

During the Zhou dynasty, King Ding of Zhou granted Liu (place) to his younger brother Ji Jizi (姬季子) as a fief. Ji Jizi also took his fief name as his family name. Liu became a State and Ji Jizi ruled the State of Liu as Duke Kang of Liu. After more than a hundred years under the rule of the Liu family, the State of Liu was destroyed by the central government of the Zhou Dynasty.

Liu was the ruling family of the Han dynasty, one of the most prosperous and influential empires in Chinese history. After the Chen Sheng Wu Guang uprising overthrew the Qin, the Han dynasty was founded by Emperor Liu Bang. Later, Emperor Liu Che helped expand the Han dynasty even further, ushering in a golden age for China.

The Han dynasty had 30 emperors were surnamed Liu, making it among the Chinese dynasties that had the most emperors. The Han dynasty lasted 400 years, making it one of the longest lasting Chinese empires in history. The Han is what gives its name to the Han people as well as Han characters / Hanzi / Chinese characters.

Even after the Han dynasty, several Liu continued to hold power within China including Liu Bei (written about in Records of the Three Kingdoms) and Liu Yuan (Han Zhao).

Over history, several non-Han Chinese people have converted to the Liu surname, including Xiongnu and Turks.

Prominent people with the family name 劉[edit]

Historical figures[edit]

  • Duke Kang of Liu [zh], son of King Qing of Zhou and founder of the State of Liu [zh]
  • Liu Bang, Founder of the Han dynasty as Emperor Gaozu of Han
  • Liu Jiao (King of Chu), the younger brother of Liu Bang and famous scholar
  • Liu Ying, Second Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Heng, Fifth Emperor of the Han dynasty
  • Liu Qi, Sixth Emperor of the Han dynasty
  • Liu Che, Seventh Emperor of the Han dynasty known for expanding the Han Dynasty to its fullest extent and for a long reign of 54 years
  • Liu An (King of Huainan), advisor to his nephew, Emperor Wu of Han. Best known for editing the (139 BCE) Huainanzi compendium of Daoist, Confucianist, and Legalist teachings
  • Liu Sheng (King of Zhongshan), the direct ancestor of the Shu Han emperors, had more than 120 sons
  • Liu Xiang, government official, scholar, and author of who lived during the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Fuling, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu He, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Xun, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Shi, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Ao, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Xin, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Kan, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Xin, astronomer, historian, and editor during the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Xuan, Emperor Gengshi of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Xiu, The restorer of the Han Dynasty and the founding emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty
  • Liu Zhuang, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Da, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Zhao, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Hu, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Bao, Emperor of the Han Dynasty
  • Liu Zhi, Emperor of the Han dynasty
  • Liu Hong, Emperor of the Han dynasty
  • Liu Xie, Last emperor of the Han dynasty
  • Liu Bei (161–223), Founding emperor of Shu Han
  • Liu Shan (207–271), Second emperor of Shu Han
  • Liu Hong, astronomer and mathematician of the Han dynasty
  • Liu Hui, mathematician during The Three Kingdoms period
  • Liu Kun, general, poet and musician of the Western Jin
  • Liu Yuan, First emperor of Han Zhao
  • Liu He, Second emperor of Han Zhao
  • Liu cong, Third emperor of Han Zhao
  • Liu Can, Fourth emperor of Han Zhao
  • Liu Yao, Fifth emperor of Han Zhao
  • Empress Liu E, Empress of Han Zhao
  • Liu Yu, Founder of the Liu Song as Emperor Wu of Liu Song
  • Liu Yilong, Emperor Wen of Liu Song
  • Empress Liu, Empress of Northern Song
  • Liu Zhiyuan, Founding emperor of Later Han
  • Liu Chong, Founding emperor of Northern Han
  • Liu Yan, Founding emperor of Southern Han
  • Liu Rengui, chancellor and general of the Tang Dynasty
  • Liu Xiangdao, chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
  • Liu Zhan, chancellor and official of the Tang Dynasty
  • Liu Chongwang, chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
  • Liu Changqing, famous poet and politician
  • Liu Yuxi, famous poet and statesman
  • Liu Kezhuang, famous poet of southern song
  • Liu Xu, chancellor of Later Tang and Later Jin
  • Liu Bingzhong, chancellor of the Yuan dynasty
  • Liu Bowen, famous poet, statesman, strategist and thinker
  • Liu Tongxun, politician of the Qing dynasty
  • Liu Yong, politician and calligrapher of the Qing dynasty
  • Liu Mingchuan, First Governor of Taiwan

Contemporary[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Liu Shaoqi". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. ^ 张、王、李、赵谁最多—2010年人口普查姓氏结构和分布特点. China Statistics Bureau. 23 June 2014.
  3. ^ 最新版百家姓排行榜出炉:王姓成中国第一大姓 [Latest surname ranking: Wang is the number one surname in China]. Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese). 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  4. ^ http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2020/01/20/676822.html
  5. ^ 中国四百大姓, 袁义达, 邱家儒, Beijing Book Co. Inc., 1 January 2013

External links[edit]