Monday, October 6, 2008

Wang (surname)

Wang is one of the most common and ancient Chinese family names. It is ranked 8th in the Hundred Family Surnames, and 1st in "National Citizen ID Information System" . As of 2007, Wang is ranked as the most common surname in Mainland China, with 92.88 million people bearing this surname. Translated into English, Wang literally means "” , although bearing the name has no royal implications in most cases. Outside of China, there are also many people who bear Wang as their surname, such as in Korea.

Wang is also romanized as "Wong", especially for people from Hong Kong or from Guangdong. Note that "Wong" is actually the Cantonese romanization of three different surnames; Wang , Huang and Wang . In addition, "Wang" is the Cantonese romanization of the following uncommon family names: , , , and . In Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, it was romanized as Ong and Heng.


In western countries, the surname Wang is very commonly mispronounced. In most forms of English including American English, "Wang" is often anglicized into /w??/ with a long "a" and has entered common usage, and even adopted by some Chinese immigrants to the area who grow weary of correcting the mispronunciation. The actual pronunciation of the surname is with a short "a"; /wɑ?/ in a rising tone.

Origins and development

There were many origins in the development of Wang as a surname, but the main origins that structure the modern surname of Wang were four: , , and change of surnames from other ethnic groups outside of Han Chinese.

Zi house

The most ancient family name of Wang was originated from the surname . The Chinese legend mentions that near the end of Shang Dynasty, King Zhou of Shang's uncle Bi Gan, Qi Zi and Wei Zi were called "The Three Kindhearted of Shang". King Zhou was violent in his rule, and Bi Gan repeatedly remonstrated to the king regarding his behavior. The king refused his comments, and killed Bi Gan instead. Bi's descendants used "Wang" as their surname as they are descendants of a prince, and was known as the "The Bi clan of Wang family". The Zi clan existed around 3100 years through Qin Dynasty to Tang Dynasty, and until today. The Zi clan of Wang lived predominantly in Henan during these times, and developed into the famous Wang Family of Ji prefecture.

Ji house

More families of Wang were originated from the royal family of Zhou Dynasty. The original surname of the royal family of Zhou Dynasty was . However, many of them have separated out of the family due to the loss of power amd land. Because of they once belonged to the royal family, they used "Wang" as their surname. This family of Wang traced its ancestry to Wang Ziqiao

According to the classical records, after King Wu of Zhou defeated the Shang Dynasty, he chose the capital at the city of Gao. This was known in history as the Western Zhou Dynasty. During the reign of the 21th king, King Ling of Zhou , the capital was in Chen Zhou, which is the present day Luoyang, Henan. The son of King Ling, , was reduced to civilian status due to his remonstration to the king. His son Zong Jin remains to be a Situ in the palace, and because of the people at the time recognized him as the descendant of the royal family, they called his family the "Wang family". From this moment on, this clan used "Wang" as their surname. When the 8th generation of the Ji clan of Wang Wang Cuo became a general in the State of Wei, the clan finally regained its status. In the early period of Qin Dynasty, this clan was active in areas of Luoyang, Henan. Between the end of Qin Dynasty and the beginning of Han Dynasty, Wang Yuan and Wang Wei, sons of the Marquis of Wuchen Wang Li, moved to Langye, Shandong and Taiyuan, Shanxi. Since then, they have developed into the most famous Wang family of Langye and Taiyuan, the biggest group in the surname of Wang. The Ji clan of Wang existed around 2600 years. In China, 90% of the Wang family that have their family tree originated from the Ji clan of Wang.

Wang in other countries and ethnic groups


The Hmong version of Wang is Vang, or in RPA Vaj or Vaaj. It has the same etymology as the Chinese surname, and is fairly common among the Hmong. The Vang constitute one of the largest of the eighteen clans of the Hmong.


Wang is a ? but fairly rare in Korea. According to the South Korean census of 2000, in that year 23,447 people bearing the Wang surname were living in the country.

Wang was one of the most powerful clans in the Chinese on the Korean Peninsula. According to the ''Houhanshu'', its ancestor Wang Zhong originally lived in Qi in the 2nd century B.C.E., but fled to when the Prince of Qibei revolted against the Han Dynasty. The Wang clan flourished in the Lelang commandery, and seems to have contributed to the cultural development of subsequent kingdoms.

Although it was the Goryeo royal family name, Wang is very rare today. It is said that when Goryeo fell, people called Wang changed their surname to avoid severe persecution from the succeeding Joseon Dynasty. The Kaesong Wang traces its ancestry to the Goryeo rulers.


is a rare which is the equivalent of Wang. ? is the way Japanese pronounce the character 王. Most Japanese with this family name are of Chinese descent. Sadaharu Oh is a famous baseball player and manager in Japan.


The surname Wang in Indonesia is often pronounced as Heng or Bong for people of Hokkien descent, and more commonly as Ong by Chinese Peranakan.


The name Wang in the Vietnamese language is V??ng.

Prominent personages

:''Note: people with the family name “?” are listed in the “” article.''


* Wang Chien-Ming, a Taiwanese baseball pitcher of the New York Yankees
* Wang Banyang , US-born volunteer fighter pilot, pre-Flying Tigers, made one of the earliest monoplane-fighter versus monoplane fighter kills in air-combat history
* Wang Guowei, scholar of late Qing Dynasty, early era
* Wang Jin-pyng, Taiwanese politician
* Winston Wong, Taiwanese businessman


* An Wang, computer scientist who founded Wang Laboratories
* Wang Anshi, politician during the .
* Wang Can, scholar of late Eastern Han Dynasty
* Charles Wang, co-founder of Computer Associates International Inc.
* Wang Chien-shien, politician of the Republic of China

* Wang Chong , Chinese philosopher
* , general during the Three Kingdoms period
* Wang Chongyang, Taoist
* Wang David, former Chinese ambassador to Australia.
* Wang David, professional American track athlete
* Wang Dan, Student Leader - Tiananmen Square Dissident
* Wang Dao, statesman and chief advisor of Emperor Yuan of Jin
* Wang Dun, ambitious militant of the Eastern
* Wang Fanxi, Trotskyist
* Faye Wong, Chinese singer
* Wang Fuzhi Chinese philosopher and historian
* Garrett Wang, Chinese American actor
* Wang Guangmei, wife of Liu Shaoqi
* Wang Guangya, UN ambassador
* , Chinese-American logician, philosopher and mathematician
* Wong Kar-wai, movie director
* Wang Liqin, table tennis player
* Wang Mang, founder of Xin Dynasty
* Wang Meng, Chief Advisor of Fu Jian
* Wang Nan, table tennis player
* Paul Wang, American film producer
* Wang Pi, Taoist philosopher during the Three Kingdoms
* Wang Shiyan, Chinese Painter
* Wang Shizhen, Yuan Shikai's Beiyang subordinate
* Wang Tao, Reformer, political essayist, newspaper publisher, fiction writer
* Vera Wang, designer
* Wang David, Abercrombie/Hollister model
* Wayne Wang, movie director
* , Famous poet of Tang Dynasty
* Wang Xizhi, calligrapher during the Eastern
* Wang Xianzhi, calligrapher, son of Wang Xizhi
* Wang Xiaobo, modern writer
* Wang Yan, statesman and Taoist philosopher during the Western
* Wang Yangming, prominent Neo-Confucian of Ming Dynasty
* Wang Yung-ching, influential businessman
* Wang Zhaojun, one of the Four Beauties of ancient China
* Empress Wang Zhengjun, mother of Emperor Cheng of Han and aunt of Wang Mang
* Wang Zhizhi, former NBA player
* Yuja Wang, Classical pianist
* Wong Jing, movie director
* Wang Jingwei , politician of early Republic of China
* Wang Daohan , politician of the People's Republic of China and president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits
* Lee-Hom Wang, Taiwanese American singer-songwriter, actor, and commercial model
* Wáng Dǐngchāng, , The first directly elected President of Republic of Singapore


*The royal family of the Goryeo Dynasty, founded by Wang Geon
**Wang Go
**Wang Toghtua Bukha
* Wang Ki-Chun, judo world champion
* Wang Ji-hyun, popularly known as Jun Ji-hyun


* Wang Shizhen, a character in ''Hikaru no Go''
* Amy Wong, a character from ''''
* Wang Lung from the book ''The Good Earth''
* Nina Wáng a character in ''My-Otome''
* Lo Wang, the protagonist of the video game ''Shadow Warrior''
* Chon Wang, a protagonist in ''Shanghai Noon'' and ''Shanghai Knights''
* Wang Jinrei, a playable character in the popular video game franchise

Notes and citations

1 comment:

Steve said...

It’s the middle of September, 1957 during a hot summer afternoon in Beijing China. In an inner room of the White Cloud Monastery a somewhat bored seven year old boy, Wu Waize was thinking of what kind of game he could play be himself. While doing so, he sees a thousand-year-old chair and his temptation begins to wonder. Like it has done so many times before. His temptation gets the best of him and he climbs up onto the chair. The chair that is said to belong to Wang Chongyang, the legendary founder of the Dragon Gate Sect.