Yu (Chinese surname)

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Yu is the pinyin romanisation of several Chinese family names. However, in the Wade–Giles romanisation system, Yu is equivalent to You in pinyin. "Yu" may represent many different Chinese characters, including , , 由, (鱼), 漁, 渔, 楀, 俞, 喻, 兪, 於, 遇, 虞, 郁, 尉, 禹, 游, 尤, 庾, 娛, 娱, and 茹. Yu is also a common Korean family name (also romanised as Yoo or Ryu) and may represent these characters: 劉, 兪, 庾, 柳.

The most common of the Yu surnames are 于, 余, and 俞. In China, 0.62% of the population have the family name 于 in 2002 (about 7.4 million), and this surname is most common in Shandong province and northeastern China.[1] Around 0.41% of the population have the surname 余 in 2002 (over five million), and it is most common in Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.[2] The 俞 surname represents around 0.12% of China's population.

Surname Yu (余)[edit]

余; Yú

Yu (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 余 or 餘) is one of the Chinese family names. It is listed as the 90th surname in the "Hundred Surnames". It is also sometimes translated to Yee, the Taishanese spelling, in English. The name is transliterated as in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam. In Indonesia known as Oe (from Hokkien Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Û)


Yu (余) is a typical name in the southern area of China. Its place of origin of this name is thought to be in the area of Fengxiang (鳳翔) to Xianyang (咸陽) in Shaanxi. The Yu moved and settled in the She County (歙縣) in Anhui. During this period, the Yu became a prominent clan in the prefecture of Xin An (新安郡), Luoyang. Because of the war in the north at that time, they moved to the south, to places like Hunan and Hubei. After the Han Dynasty, the surname became quite well-spread in the southern China, less so in northern China. Many of the Yu moved into counties like Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Jiangxi in southern China during the Southern and Northern Dynasties.[3] After the Tang Dynasty the surname became widespread and very well known in the southeast area of China. At this point they moved into other places like Fujian and Guangdong.

During the Spring and Autumn Period of China, there was an court physician of the Qin state known as You Yu (由余). His descendents used the surnames You (由) or Yu (余).[4]

Some non-Han Chinese people adopted the Yu surname, such as the Xiongnu, Chi Di, Mongols, Manchus, Qiang and Miaos.

Prominent people with family name 余[edit]

Surname Yu (于)[edit]

The character Yu with stroke order

Yu (Chinese: 于) is the 82nd surname mentioned in the Hundred Family Surnames. According to the 2006 census of People's Republic of China, it ranks 38th nationally. The name is transliterated as Vuu in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam.

Note that even though the literary usage of the character 於 was simplified to 于 in simplified Chinese, the surname usages of 於 was unchanged. So both are recognized as distinct surnames in both simplified and traditional Chinese.


The Yu (于) surname originated from the surname Ji (姬). According to history records, after Zhou Wu Wang (surname Ji) overthrew the Shang Dynasty, he created many dukes. He gave his second son Yu Shu (邘叔) the Yu kingdom (邘国, in present Qinyang in Henan), whose descendants then acquired the surname Yu (于). The Yu lived in Kaifeng and Chenliu areas in Henan for a long period of time, becoming prominent families there. After the Tang (618-907AD) and Song (960-1127 AD) dynasties, Yu families started to move to Huiji (now in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province).[5]

  • Yu Jin (于禁) military general under the warlord Cao Cao in the late Eastern Han dynasty
  • Kaila Yu (于麗萍) Taiwanese American nude model and pop singer
  • Ronny Yu (于仁泰) Chinese director, producer, and movie writer
  • Yu Qian (于谦) Chinese Defence Minister of the Ming dynasty
  • Yu So Chow (于素秋) Chinese actress
  • Yu Zhong (于忠) an official of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty, Northern Wei also known as Wuniuyu Deng (勿忸于登) and Duke Wujing of Lingshou (靈壽武敬公)
  • Yu Chenghui (于承惠), veteran Chinese martial artist, action choreographer and actor
  • Yu Pinqing (于品卿), Vice-Chairman of the Mongolian United Autonomous Government

Surname Yu (俞)[edit]


Yu (俞) is said to have been derived as a term used by medical practitioners Yu (腧) since the time of The Yellow Emperor. The two words are closely related and the family name was change from Yu (腧) to Yu (俞).

During Zhou Dynasty period, the Zheng (state) ruler Duke Wen of Zheng (鄭文公)'s son create a family name Yu (俞). The surname was also used by the ruling families of the State of Chu . The surname is also found in various minority people such as the Yi people (彝), Hui people (回), etc.

Prominent people with family name 俞[edit]

See also: Yu people

In Korean the name is transcribed as Yoo.

Surname Yu (虞)[edit]

The surname was derived from the State of Yú 虞国. The name is transliterated as Ngu in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam.


According to Chinese legend, Yu (虞) is an ancient surname in China. The ancestors of the surname were closely linked with the ancient sage-king named Yu Shun. When Yu Shun was getting old, he took his initiative to hand over the state power to Da Yu. Da Yu granted Yu Shun's son Shang Jun (商均) the Yu kingdom (虞国, now in Yucheng, Henan Province). Later, the descendents of Shang Jun took the name of the kingdom as their surname.

During the Zhou Dynasty, Zhou Wu Wang (1,134-1,115BC) granted the descandants of Zhongyong of Wu, the son of King Tai of Zhou, territory to the northeast of Pinglu in Shanxi. The kingdom was named Yu (虞国) and they took the name of Yu (虞) after the kingdom.

Prominent people with family name 虞[edit]


Surname 魚[edit]

The name is transliterated as Ngư in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam.

Surname 郁[edit]

The name is transliterated as Úc/Uất in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam.

Surname 游[edit]

The name is transliterated as Du in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam.

Surname 庾[edit]

The name is transliterated as Dữu in Vietnamese but is very rare in Viet Nam.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 袁义达, 张诚 (2002). 中国姓氏: 群体遗传和人口分布. East China Normal University Press. p. 83. 
  2. ^ 袁义达, 张诚 (2002). 中国姓氏: 群体遗传和人口分布. East China Normal University Press. pp. 100–102. 
  3. ^ 陈建魁 (2008). 中国姓氏文化. 中原农民出版社. p. 191. 
  4. ^ 新編百家姓. 正中書局. 2005. p. 150. 
  5. ^ Chinese surname history: Yu

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