Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 01-08-12 17:02
平生只會量人短,---Ping2 sheng zhi3 hui4 liang4 ren2 duan3,
何不回頭把自量.---He2 bu4 hui4 tou2 ba3 zi4 liang4.
For all his life he only knows how to appraise other people,
Why can't he turns around and appraise himself?
The 25th most common Chinese surname TANG 唐 (025)
Tang means: a Chinese family surname.
The surname Tang is more than 3,000 years old.
The surname Tang originated in an area referred to during the Jin Dynasty
(晉朝 265AD to 420AD) as the Jinchang prefecture (晉昌郡). The present day
location of Jinchang prefecture is in Shiquan county (石泉縣 108.2 degree
East and 33.1 degree North on the world map) of Shaanxi province (陜西省
According to the Chinese historical records, Ji Fangxun (姬防勳) was a kind,
hard-working, brave, industrious and wise man. In 2357BC, Ji Fangxun was
elected as the chief of the Federated Tribes in ancient China. He came to
be known as Yao Di (堯帝) or Sovereign Yao and his domain was known as Tang
(唐) or Tao Tang (陶唐). He was credited as being the person who first made
the decision that 365 days in one year and each year should have twelve
months. He divided a year into four seasons of three months per season being
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. He devised the seasons to help facilitate
farmers, by assigning each of these seasons to specific farming activities,
such as when to toil their lands and when to harvest their crops. He was
a humble and simple Sovereign who shared the highs and lows of life with
In 2255BC, Yao Di abdicated in favour of Yao Zhonghua (姚重華) who was known
as Shun Di (舜帝). Shortly after the death of Yao Di, Shun Di appointed
Dan Zhu (丹朱), a grandson of Yao Di to rule a district called Tang (唐)
which was renamed as the State of Tang (唐國 located in present day Yi Cheng
county 翼城縣 in Shanxi province 山西省). Shun Di also bestowed upon Dan
Zhu the inheritable title of Hou (侯) or the Marquis. Dan Zhu was known
as Tang Hou (唐侯) or the Marquis of Tang who eventually adopted TANG as
his surname. The offspring of Dan Zhu continued to rule the State of Tang
during the Xia Dynasty (夏朝2205BC to 1766BC) and Shang Dynasty (商朝 1783BC
Ji Fa (姬發), who was later known as Zhou King Wu (周武王), the leader of
the Zhou Clan (周族) ended the 626 years rule of Shang Dynasty (商朝 1783BC
to 1122BC). Ji Fa established the Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC to 256BC) before
dying six years later in 1116BC. Ji Song (姬誦), Ji Fa's son succeeded him
as Zhou King Cheng (周成王) who was only twelve years old. Since Zhou King
Cheng was too young to rule, the Zhou Court appointed Ji Dan (姬旦), the
younger brother of Ji Fa, as Regent. At the same time, the State of Tang
took this opportunity to rebel the Zhou Court. Ji Dan sent an expeditionary
force which re-conquered Tang.
In 1106BC Zhou King Cheng conferred the title of Hou to his younger brother
Shu Yu (叔虞) and also delegated him the authority to rule the area previously
referred to as the State of Tang. Shu Yu was known as Tang Shuyu. However,
Zhou King Cheng discovered that there was another state by the name of Tang
existing in the location of Tang Zhou (唐州 present day Zhengyang 正陽 county
in Henan province 河南省). In order to avoid the confusion of having two
States with the same name Zhou King Cheng renamed the State that belong
to Tang Shuyu as the State of Jin (晉國, in the present day Yicheng county
翼城縣 in Shanxi province 山西省). Tang Shuyu (唐叔虞) became the founder
of the State of Jin. The offspring of Dan Zhu, who resided there, continued
to use TANG (唐) as their surname.
The couplet of surname Tang is:
桐圭錫慶,---Tong2 gui xi qing4,
禾冊基祥.---He2 ce4 ji xiang2.
A leave of tung tree was given,
As sample of the authority to establish a State.
Prominent persons produced by the Tang Clan;
(1) Tang Bohu (唐伯虎 1470AD to 1523AD)
He was born in Wu county (吳縣) of Jiangsu province (江蘇省). When he was
young he did not prepare for the Imperial Examinations. However, in 1498AD,
he listened to his friend Zhu Yunming's (祝允明) advice and sat for the
Provincial Examinations and passed on top of the list. He was appointed
an official. However he was implicated in the crime of leaking the Provincial
Examination papers by his friend Cheng Minzheng (程敏政). He was jailed for
a few years.
When he came out from the prison he swore that he would not become an official.
He vowed he would devote the rest of his life to painting, calligraphy
and poetry. He built a big house in a place called Tao Hua Wu (桃花塢).
His friends, Zhu Yunming, Xu Zhenqing (徐禎卿), Wen Huiming (文徽明) frequently
visited him. The four of them were known as the "Four gifted scholars of
central Wu 吳中四才". People also nicknamed him with Wen Huiming, Shen Zhou
(沈周) and Chou Ying (仇英) the "Four Schools 四家". Tang Bohu's famous
painting book was Liu Ru Ju Shi Quan Ji 六如居士全集).
(2) Tang Jingsong (唐景崧 1841AD to 1903AD)
台灣義舉光史冊,---Taiwan yi4 ju3 guang shi3 ce4,
總統勛名記人心.---Zong3 tong3 xun4 ming2 ji4 ren2 xin.
A magnanimous act undertaken for the public good in Taiwan shines in history,
The people remember the meritorious service of the president.
He was born in Guanyang county (灌陽縣) in Guangxi province (廣西省). In
1882, under the command of Liu Yongfu (劉永福), he fought against the French
invaders in Vietnam (越南). The following year he was ordered by Zhang Zhidong
(張之洞), the Governor of the two provinces of Guangdong (廣東省) and Guangxi
(廣西省), to organize an army. Later in the same year he led his army to
attack the French in Xuanguang (宣光) which was occupied by the French.
In 1891 he was appointed the Governor of Taiwan. When the Qing Government
ceded Taiwan to Japan after China lost the 1894 war to Japan, the people
of Taiwan unilaterally declared Taiwan an independent country and elected
Tang Jingsong, the President of Taiwan. However, when the Japanese troops
landed in Jilong (基隆) in northern Taiwan Tang Jingsong fled with his family
to Shamen (廈門) in Fujian province (福建省).
(3) Tang Jian (唐儉)
He was born in Jinyang (晉陽) in Shanxi province (山西省). He was a good
friend of Li Shimin (李世民 598AD to 649AD) who was the second son of Li
Yuan (李淵 566AD to 635AD), the founder of the Tang Dynasty (唐朝 618AD
to 907AD). In 626AD, when Li Yuan, the Emperor, was still alive, there was
a power struggle among his many sons. With the help of his many friends,
including Tang Jian, Li Shimin won the day and became the most powerful
man in the country. Seeing him so powerful Li Yuan abdicated the throne in
favour of Li Shimin who was, eventually,crowned Emperor Tai Zong (太宗皇
帝 627AD to 49AD) the second Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Li Yuan, the ex-Emperor
died in 635AD.
Tang Jian was not only being appointed by Li Shimin as a high official but
aloso being awarded the title of 莒國公 Ju Guo Gong or the Duke of the State
Posted to Overseas Chinese Forum at asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
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