Han (simplified Chinese: 韩; traditional Chinese: 韓; pinyin: Hán; Korean: 한) is a common Chinese and Korean surname. The spelling "Han" is based on China's pinyin system and so used throughout Mainland China. Spelling can vary from 'Hon' in Cantonese-speaking areas to 'Hang' in Hainan.
Han (韩) is currently ranked 25th in China in terms of the number of bearers at around 8 million persons.
Four Chinese Origins of '韩'
From '姬' surname
'姬' (Jì) is an ancient Chinese surname. It is an alternate surname of the Yellow Emperor (Gongsun Xuanyuan) and the Zhou ruling family. A descendent of King Wu of Zhou, Wan, was given land in Hanyuan. Wan's descendants created the State of Han during the Warring States period. When the state was conquered by Qin in 230 BC, members of the ruling family adopted Han '韩' as their surname.
From the transcription of non-Han names
Non-Han ethnic groups tend to adopt Chinese surnames through the process known as sinicization.
Manchu clan names Hacihuri (Chinese: 哈思呼哩; pinyin: Hāsīhūlī), Hangiya (Chinese: 韩佳; pinyin: Hánjiā), Hanja (Chinese: 罕扎; pinyin: Hànzhā), Hanyan (Chinese: 翰颜; pinyin: Hányán), and Gilate (Chinese: 吉喇特; pinyin: Jílǎtè) were changed to Han '韩'.
From given name to surname
By Imperial Appointment
The Salar Muslims voluntarily joined the Ming Dynasty. The Salar clan leaders each capitulated to the Ming Dynasty around 1370. The chief of the four upper clans around this time was Han Pao-yuan and Ming granted him office of centurion, it was at this time the people of his four clans took Han as their surname. The other chief Han Shan-pa of the four lower Salar clans got the same office from Ming, and his clans were the ones who took Ma as their surname.
Ma and Han are the two most widespread names among the salar. Ma is a Salar surname for the same reason it is a common Hui surname, Ma substitutes for Muhammad. The upper four clans of the Salar assumed the surname Han and lived west of Xunhua. One of these Salar surnamed Han was Han Yimu, a Salar officer who served under General Ma Bufang. He fought in the Kuomintang Islamic Insurgency in China (1950–1958), leading Salars in a revolt in 1952 and 1958. Han Youwen was another Salar General, who served in the Communist People's Liberation Army.
Notable people with surname 韩/韓
- Han Dang (韩当/韓當), general of the Three Kingdoms period
- Han Dongfang (韩东方/韓東方), human rights activist
- Han Fei (韩非/韓非), philosopher of the Warring States period
- Han Gan (韩干/韓幹), painter of the Tang Dynasty
- Han Geng (韩庚/韓庚), singer and actor
- Han Hong (韩红/韓紅), singer and songwriter
- Han Lao Da (韩劳达/韓勞達), Singaporean playwright
- Han Meilin (韩美林/韓美林), artist
- Han Sai Por (韩少芙/韓少芙), Singaporean sculptor
- Han Shaogong (韩少功/韓少功), novelist
- Han Shizhong (韩世忠/韓世忠), general of the Southern Song Dynasty
- Han Xiaopeng (韩晓鹏/韓曉鵬), freestyle skier
- Han Xianchu (韩先楚/韓先楚), general in the People's Liberation Army
- Han Xiangzi (韩湘子/韓湘子), one of the Eight Immortals
- Han Xin (韩信/韓信), general of the Western Han Dynasty
- King Xin of Han (韩王信/韓王信), a vassal ruler under Emperor Gaozu of Han
- Han Xinyun (韩馨蕴/韓馨蘊), tennis player
- Han Youwen (韓有文), general in the National Revolutionary Army
- Han Yu (韩愈/韓愈), poet and philosopher of the Tang Dynasty
- Han Zheng (韩正/韓正), mayor of Shanghai
- Hon Sui Sen (韩瑞生/韓瑞生), Singaporean politician
- "Chinese surname history: Han". People's Daily Online. July 21, 2005.
- 据近年来的人口统计资料，按人口多少排序，韩姓在中国100大姓中，排行第25位，约800多万人[dead link]
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- Allatson, Paul; McCormack, Jo (2008). Exile cultures, misplaced identities. Rodopi. p. 74. ISBN 90-420-2406-2. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
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- Goodman, David S. G., ed. (2004). China's campaign to "Open up the West": national, provincial, and local perspectives. Cambridge University Press. p. 73. ISBN 0-521-61349-3. Retrieved June 28, 2010.