Kim (Korean name)
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|Region of origin||Korea|
|Language(s) of origin||Korean|
Kim, sometimes spelled Gim, is the most common family name in Korea. The name is common in both modern-day North Korea and South Korea along with the Korean diaspora. The hanja used for the name (金) means "gold", and although the character is usually pronounced 금 [kɯm] geum, it is pronounced 김 [kim] gim when used for the family name and names of some cities, e.g. Gimhae (김해, 金海) and Gimpo (김포, 金浦). The surname is also used in China (as Jin) along with Cambodia and Vietnam, although it is less common in Vietnam. In Japan some Koreans use the hanja read Kim either by itself or as a combination with another hanja, per Japanese rules. Often they are read Kane- in kun'yomi, (e.g. Kaneda, Kanemoto), but not every Japanese person who bears such name is of Korean descent.
As with most other Korean family names, there are many Kim clans, known in Korean as bon-gwan (본관, 本貫), each of which consists of individual Kim families. Most Kims belong to one of a few very large clans. Even within each clan, people in different families are not related to each other. These distinctions are important, since Korean law used to prohibit intermarriage in the same clan, no matter how remote the relationship; now, however, only those in a relationship of second cousins or closer are prohibited from marrying.
As with other Korean family names, the Kim clans are distinguished by the place from which they claim to originate. A very large number of distinct Kim clans exist, besides those listed here. The 2000 South Korean census listed 348 extant Kim lineages.
The Uiseong (의성) Kim Clan traces its lineage back to the last prince of Silla, who later became a Monk. Some research[clarification needed] states that the Old Kims are descended from the Great Huns: north Asian people, including Mongols, Turks and Koreans. Linguists say that old Koreans are derived from the Hun which were called "Xiongnu" by the Chinese.
Gimhae (Kimhae) 
According to a story recorded only in the Samguk Yusa, in 48 CE, Princess Heo Hwang-ok travelled from a country called "Ayuda" to Korea, where she married King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya and gave birth to 10 children, thus starting the Kim dynasty of Geumgwan Gaya, the capital of which was in present-day Goryeong County. The country of Ayuda is often identified with Ayodhya in India.
Famous ancient members of this clan, aside from the kings of Geumgwan Gaya, include the Silla general Kim Yu-shin. In the Unified Silla period, members of the Gimhae Kim family were admitted to all but the highest level of the Silla bone rank system.
This clan is by far the most populous of all Korean clans. The 2000 South Korean census found it to contain more than four million people.
The Gyeongju Kims trace their descent from the ruling family of Silla. The founder of this clan is said to have been Kim Alji, an orphan adopted by King Talhae of Silla in the 1st century CE. Alji's seventh-generation descendant was the first member of the clan to take the throne, as King Michu of Silla in the year 262.
This clan is also extremely populous. In the South Korean census of 2000, more than 1.7 million citizens claimed to be Gyeongju Kims.
This clan is extremely rare. In the South Korean census of 2000, less than 10,000 citizens claimed to be Nagan Kims.
The Hamchang Kims trace their origin to the founder of the little-known Gaya state of Goryeong Gaya. His alleged tomb, rediscovered in the 16th century, is still preserved by the modern-day members of the clan. This clan numbered only 26,300 members in the 2000 South Korean census.
Two clans have been set as the main Andong exist.
Gwangsan Kim clan was one of the famous and respected Kim clans during the Joseon Dynasty.
Yaseong clan from the City of Yeongdeok, Gyeongbuk Korea. Yaseong means city in the wilderness(city name Yaseong was later changed to Yeongdeok), dates back to Silla Dynasty. Yaseong Kim clan are now found in the United States. Yaseong Kim clan immigrated to the US in the early 1970's. As of 2013, they are found in California, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Yaseong clan in the US work in the field of education, medicine, IT, legal, or other professional field.
Notable people 
See also 
- Korean culture
- Korean name
- List of Korea-related topics
- List of Korean family names
- Jin, the equivalent Chinese surname
- Storey, Robert. Lonely Planet: Korea. Lonely Planet Publications: Melbourne, Aus. 2001.