Kwak (Korean surname)

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Revised Romanization Gwak
McCune–Reischauer Kwak
IPA /kwak/

Kwak (Hangul; Hanja) is a Korean surname.


The family name Kwak is written with a hanja meaning "city walls" (; 둘레 곽; dulle gwak; also called 외성 곽; oeseong gwak). The same character is also used to write the family name now pronounced Guō in Mandarin Chinese. The 2000 South Korean census found a total of 187,322 people and 58,396 households with this family name.[1] They identified with a number of different bon-gwan (seat of a clan lineage, for example the residence of an ancestor from whom the clan claims descent):

In a study by the National Institute of the Korean Language based on 2007 application data for South Korean passports, it was found that 75.4% of people with this family name spelled it in Latin letters as Kwak in their passports, while 14.4% spelled it in Revised Romanization as Gwak, and 5% spelled it Kwag. Rarer alternative spellings (the remaining 5.2%) included Kwack, Gak, Guak, Kwack, Gwag, Kag, Kawk, Koag, Koak, Kweak, and Kwug.[4]

Notable people[edit]





  • Gwak Jae-u (1552–1617), general under Seonjo of Joseon
  • Chung Hwan Kwak (born 1936), Unification Church leader
  • Kwak Pom-gi (born 1939), North Korean government official
  • Kwak Jae-gu (born 1954), South Korean poet
  • Kwak Yi-kyong (born 1979), South Korean LGBT rights activist
  • Kwak Jaesik (born 1982), South Korean novelist
  • Kwak Jun-hyeok, South Korean associate professor of political science at Korea University
  • Kwak Kyung-sup, South Korean professor of electrical engineering at Inha University


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "행정구역(구시군)/성씨·본관별 가구 및 인구" [Family names by administrative region (district, city, county): separated by bon-gwan, households and individuals]. Korean Statistical Information Service. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "현풍 곽씨" [Hyeonpung Gwak clan]. JoongAng Ilbo. 8 May 1982. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "청주곽씨(淸州郭氏)" [Cheongju Gwak clan]. Saemangeum Ilbo. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  4. ^ 성씨 로마자 표기 방안: 마련을 위한 토론회 [Plan for romanisation of surnames: a preparatory discussion]. National Institute of the Korean Language. 25 June 2009. p. 58. Retrieved 22 October 2015.