- Yang (surname)
Yang is most often the transliteration of the character 楊 (in simplified Chinese: 杨). The same character can also mean a type of poplar. The character is composed of a "wood" radical on the left and the character yang (昜) on the right, which indicates the pronunciation of the whole character.
Yang can also be the phonetic translation of other Chinese surnames, including 阳, the Chinese character for the Sun, and a very rare Chinese family name 羊, the Chinese character for Goat or Sheep.
Four origins are recorded for the surname Yang (楊):
- Out of the Ji (姬) surname, the surname of the royal family during the Zhou dynasty. A fifth generation descendant of Duke Wu of Jin was enfeoffed at a place called Yang, and his descendants adopted this as their surname, giving rise to the surname Yang.
- Translation of surnames used by other ethnic groups in ancient China. For example, the Di people used the surname Yang. The Yang clan of the Di people lived in Chouchi in Gansu.
- Homogenisation of another surname pronounced Yang (揚), written with a "hand" radical rather than the "wood" radical. The two characters were used interchangeably in ancient times.
- Other adoptions. For example, the Mohulu clan of the Northern Wei dynasty changed their surname to "Yang".
The "Four Knows"
Some branches of the Yang clan (in particular the Hongnong branch) refer to themselves as "Yang of the Hall of Four Knows". The "Hall of Four Knows" refers to a story concerning Yang Zhen, an official of the Eastern Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), known for his erudition as well as moral character. When a man named Wang Mi visited Yang Zhen at night and attempted to bribe him 10 catties of gold, Yang rejected the gift. Wang Mi persevered, saying that nobody would know. Yang Zhen famously retorted "the Heaven knows, the Earth knows, I know and you know". Descendents of Yang Zhen adopted the "four knows", or "Si Zhi" as the title of their clan hall. Some Yang family clan halls in various parts of China still carry this name.
Other variations of the Yang surname (e.g. alternative regional pronunciations)
- Yeo (Hokkien, Singapore)
- Eyu (Hokkien/Cantonese, notably Fujian or Hong Kong) (very rare)
- Yeung (Cantonese, notably Hong Kong)
- Yeung (Hakka, in Mauritius)
- Yio (Hokkien)
- Yong (Hakka)
- Yeoh (Hokkien, Malaysian, teochew, notably Penang)
- Njo ( Indonesia spelling derived from old Dutch pronunciation )
- Ieong (Cantonese, notably Macau - Portuguese pronunciation)
- Dương (Vietnamese)
- Yaaj (in the Green Hmong dialect)
- Yaj (in the White Hmong dialect)
- Ngeo (Hokkien, Peranakan pronunciation)
- Yoo/Yu (from Philippines)
- Duong (Vietnam)
Notable people with family name Yang
- Yang Yoseob, main vocal of South Korean group B2ST.
- Du Wenxiu (original name was Yang before name change), Chinese Muslim rebel leader
- Yang Zhu, philosopher 440 – 360 BC associated with an ethical Egoism
- Yang Zhen, Minister of War in China circa 122 A.D, known as Confucius of Western China
- Yang Hu, general of the Three Kingdoms era
- Yang Jian, first emperor of the Sui Dynasty (581-618)
- Chen-Ning Yang, physicist and a Nobel medalist
- Yang Guifei, famous emperor's consort in Tang dynasty
- Yang Guozhong, politician and Yang Guifei's brother
- Howard Young, member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!
- Yang Jiang, noted translator and playwright, widow of Qian Zhongshu
- Yang Kaihui, wife of Mao Zedong
- Xiangzhong Yang - world animal cloning leader, University of Connecticut
- Yeung Kai Yin, former official of the Hong Kong Government, and former chairman and CEO of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation
- Yáng Lìwěi, PRC astronaut
- Yeung Wing Yi, noted stock broker from Hong Kong
- Yang Lu-ch'an (楊露禪, 1799–1872), whose family became the most well-known exponents of the Chinese martial art known as T'ai Chi Ch'uan. The most famous member of this family is his grandson, Yang Ch'eng-fu (楊澄甫, 1883–1936)
- Miriam Yeung, singer and actress
- Yang Shangkun, PRC politician
- Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China 2007-(incumbent)
- Xuefei Yang, classical guitarist
- Yeung Sum, member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Sir Ti Liang Yang, former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, the first ethnic-Chinese to the position
- Yong Pung How, former Chief Justice of Singapore
- Yang Xianyi, noted translator
- Yen-Yi Yang, victim of murder by Stanley Williams
- George Yeo, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Singapore
- Michelle Yeoh, famous international actress from Malaysia
- Yeoh Tiong Lay, business man, founder of YTL Corporation Berhad
- Francis Yeoh Chairman of YTL Corporation Berhad
- Yang Yang (painter), contemporary artist
- Yang Yang- badminton player(China)
- Yang Yang (A), speed skater
- Yang Yang (S), speed skater
- Shirley Yeung, winner of 2001 Miss Hong Kong, TVB actress.
- Rainie Yang, Taiwanese singer and actress
- Yeo Ning Hong, Former minister of Singapore
- Yang Erche Namu, ethnic Mosuo writer
- Tavia Yeung, TVB actress.
- Yuwen Yang, concubine of Zhenjin during the Yuan Dynasty whose ruthlessness has often been compared with Empress Dowager Cixi.
- Vivien Yeo, TVB actress.
- Yong Pung How Second Chief Justice, Singapore, 1990–2006
- Yang Yilin, a Chinese gymnast
- Yang Jianli, a Chinese dissident with U.S. residency
- Yang Han Ning, A famous architect.
- Dong Yi Yang (born 1984), South Korean mixed martial arts fighter
- Yong Mun Sen,b 1896 - d 1962, Malaysian pioneer artist, known as Father of Malaysian Painting.
- Yang Seungho, member of South Korean group MBLAQ.
- Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen, chief Justice, Mauritius 2007-actual.
- Henry T. Yang, chancellor of University of California, Santa Barbara
- Sao Edward Yang Kyein Tsai (杨振材), last reigning prince of Kokang in Myanmar. His family ruled Kokang from 1739 - 1959.
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