Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 01-20-12 09:08
一家養女百家求,---Yi jia yang3 nu3 bai3 jia qiu2,
一馬不行百馬憂.---Yi ma3 bu4 xing2 bai3 ma3 you.
One family has a daughter and many families are seeking her,
One horse does not gallop and people are worrying about other horses.
The 64th most common Chinese surname JIN 金 (064)
Jin means: gold
The surname Jin is more than 3,000 years old.
The surname Jin originated in an area referred to during the Han Dynasty
(漢朝 206BC to 220AD) as the Pengcheng prefecture (彭城郡). The present
day location of Pengcheng prefecture is in the Tongshan county (銅山縣 117.5
degree East and 34.4 degree North on the world map) of Jiangsu province
Huangdi (黃帝) or the Yellow Emperor, the legendary leader of the united
clans before the formation of kingdoms, married Lei Zu (嫘祖) who invented
the technique of sericulture to make silk. They had many sons and one of
them, Ji Zhi (己摯), succeeded him as the leader of the united clans. Legend
had it that on the day of the installation of Ji Zhi as the leader, a golden
phoenix flew down and perched on top of a house right opposite where he sat.
His followers believed that it was an auspicious beginning and they decided
to use Jin Fenghuang (金鳳凰) or Golden Phoenix as the emblem of their tribe.
The official title of Ji Zhi was Shao Hao (少昊).
Since Ji Zhi was their leader they titled him Jin Tianshi (金天氏) or golden
sky and named their tribe as Jintian Clan (金天族) or Golden Sky Clan. Their
settlements were in Lu Jun (魯郡 located in the present day Qufu county
曲阜縣 of Shandong province 山東省).
Ji Zhi died in 2515BC and historians did not write much about him. Some
of his descendants and followers adopted JIN (金) as their surname and left
off the words Tianshi (天氏). Many generations after Ji Zhi many of his
offspring relocated themselves to the south in present day province of Shandong
and settled in the Prefecture of Pengcheng in Jiangsu province where surname
JIN (金) is said to have originated.
The couplet of surname Jin
源自少昊,---Yuan2 zi4 Shao Hao
望出彭城.---Wang4 chu Pengcheng
The progenitor of surname Jin was Shao Hao,
And it was originated from Pengcheng.
Prominent persons of the Jin clan
(1) Jin Ridi (金日磾 134BC to 86BC)
During the reign of Emperor Wu Di Liu Che (武帝皇帝劉徹 140BC to 87BC) of
the Han Dynasty (漢朝 206BC to 220AD), Xiu Tu (休屠), the King of Xiong
Nu (匈奴王) in the north, pledged allegiance to the Han Court. King Xiu
Tu sent his son, Ridi (日磾), the Crown Prince, to the Han capital of Changan
(長安 present day Xian 西安 in Shaanxi province 陜西省) to make a bronze
statue for Emperor Wu Di to offer as a sacrifice to Heaven. Emperor Wu Di
was very happy and bestowed upon the Xiong Nu Crown Prince the surname of
JIN (金Gold) and the Crown Prince came to be known as Ji Ridi (金日磾).
The Emperor also appointed Jin Ridi as a general. Jin Ridi did not return
to his homeland but continued to serve the Han Court and he surnamed his
children Jin. His offspring continued to use Jin as their surname.
(2) The relatives of the last Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (清朝 1644AD to
1911AD) changed their surname from Aixinjiailuo (愛新覺羅) to JIN (金)
During the early period of the Song Dynasty (宋朝 960AD to 1279AD) there
lived a tribe called Ru Zhen (女真族) in the regions around the river basins
of the rivers of Songhuajiang (松花江) and Yalujiang (鴨綠江) in the present
day provinces of Heilongjiang (黑龍江省), Jilin (吉林省) and Liaoning (遼
Gradually the Ru Zhen tribe grew stronger and stronger and became very powerful.
In 1125AD, Ru Zhen tribe subjugated the Kingdom of Liao (遼王國 in the
present day region north of the Great Wall). In 1126AD, the Ru Zhen tribe
captured the newly crowned Song Emperor Qin Zong Zhao Huan (欽宗皇帝趙桓
) and his father Zhao Ji (趙吉), the ex-Emperor. That was the end of the
However, in 1127AD the relatives of the Song Emperor established another
Song Dynasty called Southern Song Dynasty (南宋朝) in the south and installed
Zhao Gou (趙構) the 9th son of Zhao Ji as the new Emperor and was crowned
Emperor Gao Zong (高宗). The capital of the new Dynasty was in Linanfu (臨
安府 the present day city of Hangzhou 杭州市 in Zhejiang province 浙江省
The Ru Zhen tribe established the Jin Dynasty (金朝 1115AD to 1234AD) with
its capital in present day Beijing city (北京市). Jin Dynasty was conquered
by the Mongolians in 1234AD.
More than four hundred years later in 1644AD the offspring of the Ru Zhen
tribe established the Qing Dynasty (清朝 1644AD to 1911AD). The surname
of all the rulers of the Qing Dynasty was Aixinjiaoluo (愛-新-覺-羅). In
1911AD Dr Sun Yat-Sen (孫中山) overthrew the Qing Dynasty and the last Emperor
of the Qing Dynasty was Aixinjiaoluo Puyi (愛-新-覺-羅溥儀).
In order to hide themselves from publicity many relatives of Puyi (溥儀),
changed their surname from Aixinjiaoluo (愛新覺羅) to Jin (金 or gold),
the name of the Jin Dynasty (金朝) that their ancestors founded several
hundred years ago.
The fourth younger brother of the last Emperor was called Aixinjiaoluo Puren
(愛新覺羅溥任) who also changed his surname to JIN (Gold) and he gave himself
a new name, Youzhi (友之). His full name is Jin Youzhi (金友之) and he is
the only surviving member of the last Emperor's generation. Jin Youzhi surnamed
his children JIN.
The eldest son of Jin Youzhi, is called Jin Yuzhang (金毓嶂). He was born
in 1943 in Beijing. After he was graduated as a geologist from Beijing University
in 1968 Jin Yuzhang was sent to work in the Geological Department in the
province of Qinghai (青海省). Jin Yuzhang was then transferred back to Beijing
in 1985 and worked in the district of Suiwen (祟文區). In 1999 Jin Yuzhang
was appointed the deputy District Officer of the district of Suiwen.
Jin Youzhi said that they are no more members of the royal family but just
the ordinary citizens.
(3) Jin Shengtan (金聖嘆 1608AD to 1661AD)
Jin Shengtan, a literary critic and a poet, was born in Wu Xian (吳縣) of
Jiangsu province (江蘇省). He was an official in the Ming Government. When
the Ming Dynasty (明朝 1368AD to 1644AD) collapsed and the Qing Dynasty
(清朝 1644AD to 1911AD) was established Jin Shengtan refused to serve the
Jin Shengtan dedicated his life to study. He titled the six books of Zhuang
Zi (莊子), Li Sao (離騷), Shi Ji (史記), Du Shi (杜詩), Shui Hu (水滸) and
Xi Xiang Ji (西廂記), "The Books of the Six Scholars". His comments and
critics on many books, particularly the books of San Guo Zhi (三國志), Shi
Hu Chuan (水滸傳) and Xi Xiang Ji (西廂記), was considered to be the best
In 1661, he was alleged to have taking part in a political plot. He was
arrested and later executed by the Qing Government.
Posted to Overseas Chinese Forum at asiawind.com
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
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