|Variant(s)||Lu, Lv, Lyu, Lui|
Lü (Mandarin pronunciation: [ly˧˩˧]) is the pinyin (Lǚ with the tone diacritic) and Wade–Giles romanisation of the Chinese surname written 吕 in simplified character and 呂 in traditional character. It is the 47th most common surname in China, shared by 5.6 million people, or 0.47% of the Chinese population as of 2002. It is especially common in Shandong and Henan provinces.
The surname originated from the ancient State of Lü. Lü Shang (fl. 11th century BC), the founder of the State of Qi, was the first person known to have the surname. Lü is the 22nd surname listed in the Song Dynasty classic text Hundred Family Surnames.
Lü is the standard pinyin spelling of the Chinese character 吕/呂. However, when input of the umlaut is not possible, the surname is commonly romanized as Lu or Lv (v being the pinyin input shorthand for ü). On 31 October 2011, the National Standardization Committee of China issued The Chinese phonetic alphabet spelling rules for Chinese names, which stipulates that Lü should be spelled Lyu in such situation. The rule came into effect on 1 February 2012. In Cantonese the name is commonly romanized as Lui.
The surname Lü originated from the Jiang 姜 clan, which is said to have descended from the legendary Yan Emperor. According to the Tang Dynasty genealogy text Yuanhe Xing Zuan, a branch of the Jiang clan was enfeoffed at the State of Lü by Yu the Great, the legendary founder of the Xia Dynasty.
The Jiang clan was a close ally and frequent marriage partner of the Ji clan, which conquered the Shang Dynasty to establish the Zhou Dynasty in 1046/45 BC. Lü Shang, also known as Jiang Ziya, was the first person known in history to have the surname Lü. A member of the Lü lineage of the Jiang clan, he was a top general who led the Zhou army to decisively defeat the Shang at the historic Battle of Muye. Another important general during the battle, Lü Ta, was also from the Lü lineage of the Jiang clan. After the establishment of Zhou, Lü Shang was enfeoffed at the State of Qi in modern Shandong province, which later became one of the major states of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. Lü Shang, posthumously named Duke Tai of Qi, is considered an original ancestor of the Lü surname.
During the Western Zhou period, the State of Lü was located near the Zhou court in modern Shaanxi. Inscriptions on many excavated bronzes from the period show that the Lü lineage played an active role in the Zhou court. Several people named Lü, including Lü Xing, Lü Gang, Lü Bo, and Lü Fuyu, were separately recorded to have participated in military campaigns, sometimes accompanying the Zhou king. The state was later relocated to the Nanyang basin, in present-day southern Henan, during the late Western Zhou. During the Spring and Autumn period, Lü was annexed by the State of Chu, a rising power in the south. Many people of Lü adopted the name of their former state as their surname.
A different, later origin of Lü was from the Wei (魏) lineage of the Ji (姬) surname. During the Spring and Autumn period, Prince Chong'er was exiled from the Jin and one of his followers was Wei Wuzi (魏武子). Chong'er later ascended the throne of Jin in 636 BC and became the Hegemon of China. Wei Wuzi's son, Wei Qi (魏锜) was given the fiefs of Lü and Chu (厨). Many of his descendants changed their surname to Lü.
During the Xianbei Northern Wei dynasty, Emperor Xiaowen (reigned 467–499 AD) implemented a drastic policy of sinicization, ordering his own people to adopt Chinese surnames. The Chilü (叱吕) clan of Xianbei adopted Lü as their surname. The Xianbei people have since completely assimilated into the Han Chinese.
- Lü Shang (11th century BC), Zhou dynasty general and founder of the State of Qi
- Duke Ding of Qi (Lü Ji; c. 10th century BC), second recorded ruler of Qi
- Lü Buwei (291?–235 BC), Chancellor of Qin, sponsored the creation of the Lüshi Chunqiu
- Empress Lü Zhi (241–180 BC), wife of Emperor Gaozu, effective ruler of the Han dynasty after the death of her husband
- Empress Lü (died c. 180 BC), wife of Emperor Houshao of Han
- Mother Lü (died 18 AD), rebel leader against the Xin dynasty
- Lü Bu (died 199), Eastern Han warlord
- Lü Meng (178–220), Eastern Wu military general
- Lü Dai (161–256), Eastern Wu military general
- Lü Fan (died 228), Eastern Wu official
- Lü Guang (337–400), founding emperor of Later Liang of the Sixteen Kingdoms
- Lü Shao (died 400), third son of Lü Guang, emperor of Later Liang
- Lü Zuan (died 401), first son of Lü Guang, emperor of Later Liang
- Lü Long (died 416), nephew of Lü Guang, last emperor of Later Liang
- Lü Yin (712–762), Tang dynasty chancellor
- Lü Dongbin (796–?), Tang dynasty scholar revered as one of the Eight Immortals
- Lü Mengzheng (吕蒙正; 946–1011), Song dynasty chancellor
- Lü Liuliang (1629–1683), poet and scholar
- Lü Bicheng (1883−1943), woman writer and activist
- Lü Simian (1884–1957), prominent historian
- Lü Shuxiang (1904–1998), linguist, a founder of modern Chinese linguistic studies
- Lü Zhengcao (1905–2009), People's Liberation Army general, Minister of Railways of China
- Annette Lu (born 1944), former Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Lü Fuyuan (1945–2004), Minister of Commerce of China
- Lü Zushan (born 1946), former Governor of Zhejiang province
- Jiang Rong (born 1946), real name Lü Jiamin, best-selling novelist
- Lü Xiwen (born 1955), former deputy party chief of Beijing
- Ray Lui (born 1956), Vietnam-born Hong Kong actor
- Lü Yue (born 1957), cinematographer and film director
- Lü Liping (born 1960), actress
- Lü Qin (born 1962), xiangqi master
- David Lui Fong (呂方; born 1963), Hong Kong singer and actor
- Lü Lin (born 1969), table tennis player, Olympic champion
- Lü Xiaojun (born 1984), weightlifter, Olympic champion and world record holder
- Lü Jianjun (born 1985), professional football player
- The approximate English pronunciation is //.
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- Yang Kuan (2003). History of the Western Zhou (in Chinese). Shanghai People's Publishing House. p. 100. ISBN 978-7-208-04538-5.
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- Li, Feng (2006). Landscape and Power in Early China: The Crisis and Fall of the Western Zhou 1045-771 BC. Cambridge University Press. pp. 228–230. ISBN 9781139456883.
- 呂姓來源及郡望堂號 [Origin and prominent clans of the Lü surname] (in Chinese). Taiwan.cn. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2014-02-11.