Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 02-02-12 20:35
強改華人姓 (歐陽) - Forced to change the Chinese surname
The Japanese Colonial Authorities in Taiwan forced the Chinese to change
In the State of Yue (越國 the present day county of Zhuji 諸暨縣 in Zhejiang
province 浙江省) there was a huge pavilion built on a mountain called Ouyu
(歐餘). It faced south and received sunlight throughout the year. People
living around the area near the mountain called it Ouyang Ting (歐陽亭 or
"the sunshine pavilion"). It was located in present day Wujin county (吳
進縣) in Jiangsu province (江蘇省).
The States of Yue and Chu (楚國 present day Jiangling county 江陵縣 in Hubei
province 湖北省) were neighbouring and rival States. They fought a war in
334BC. The State of Yue was defeated. The State of Chu annexed Yue as a
part of Chu.
Si Ti (姒蹄), the second son of the last ruler of the State of Yue, Si Wujiang
(姒無疆), was delegated by the ruler of the State of Chu to administer the
district of Ouyang Ting. He was awarded the title Ouyang Ting Hou (歐陽亭
侯) which was inheritable by his descendants after his death.
By the end of the period of Warring States (戰國時代 453BC to 221BC) there
were only seven States left in the land.
The State of Qin (秦國 present day Fengxiang county 鳳翔縣 in Shaanxi province
陜西省) was the strongest. In 223BC the State of Qin conquered Chu. The
title of Ouyang Ting Hou was abolished. Si Ti the first Ouyang Ting Hou
had many descendants. Some of them adopted Ouyang (歐陽) as their surname
and left out the words Ting and Hou (pavilion and Marquis).
In 221BC, the State of Qin conquered and subjugated all the other six States
and united China. Ying Zheng (嬴政), the ruler of Qin established the Qin
Dynasty (221BC to 207BC) and proclaimed himself the First Emperor of Qin
The island of Taiwan (台灣) was occupied by Japan from 1894 to 1945. During
the Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan (1894 to 1945) the Japanese forced
those people bearing the surname Ouyang to delete the character Yang (陽
). Within a few days all those with this surname had been shortened from
Ouyang (歐陽) to Ou (歐).
The Japanese have double-characters for their surnames and they forbade
the Chinese living in Taiwan to have double-character surnames like them.
However, after the Japanese surrendered in 1945, many Ous did not have their
surname reverted to Ouyang and continued to use Ou (歐) as their surname
but they are still considered Ouyang as their ancestors.
Posted to asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)