Wu (region)


Wu (region)

Wu (吳) or Wuyueh (吳越) is a region in the Jiangnan area (the south of Yangtze River), surrounding Suzhou, in Jiangsu province and Zhejiang province of China. It is also the abbreviation of several kingdoms based in Wu. The two largest cities in the Wu region today are Shanghai and Hangzhou (Nanjing was one Wu-speaking city, however, after several political/religious movements, it became a mandarin city and Nanjing is still considered as an important part of Wu region). Most of the region speaks the Wu language.

The first Wu nation was established in late Zhou Dynasty. Once considered as a foreign kingdom to Kingdom Zhou, it emerged to be a power overlord at the end of Spring and Autumn Period.

The most influential Wu nation was the Kingdom of Wu during the period of Three Kingdoms.

The city of Suzhou (also called Wu) has traditionally been the capital of the Wu nations. The dialect spoken in Suzhou is usually regarded as the standard Wu language.

Go-on (呉音), which is one of the sources of Japanese pronunciation for kanji (the others being kan-on, tō-on and kan'yō-on), is sometimes said to have originated from this region. The "Go-" component in the name "Go-on" is cognate to the Chinese word "Wu" (Wu is the pronunciation for the Chinese character 呉 in Mandarin. However, in Wu language 呉 is usually pronounced as "Ho", "Oh", "Ng", or "Nguu").


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