Migration of the eight clans

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The migration of the eight clans is the movement from Northern to Southern China, of eight powerful families, in order to avoid living under the control of invaders. During the reign of the Jin dynasty, many tribes overran parts of China. The "eight clans" moved to the South after the invasion.


During the Jin dynasty (265 to 420 AD) five non-Han Chinese, semi-nomadic tribes destroyed and overran Northern China. They were the Turkic Xiongnu, the Jie the Xianbei, the Di and the Qiang.


Unwilling to live under the rule of these foreign tribes, many big and powerful families, as well as the upper classes, followed the Jin Court and moved to the South. The eight clans recorded as part of this migration were the Lin (林), Huang (黄), Chen (陈), Zheng (郑), Zhan (詹), Qiu (邱), He (何), and Hu (胡).

According to the Jin Shu, or the historical records of the Jin dynasty, it was recorded that:

"When Luojing [present day Luoyang(洛阳) in Henan(河南)] was overrun, 60 to 70 percent of the government officials in the Zhong Zhou [Henan] found safety near the Yangtze River."

According to the book called the Jin Book, written by Wang Dau:

"Some of these [in the] exodus moved to Qunyang, Wuhu(芜湖), and Jingyi (in present-day Southern Anhui province), and others to the regions of present-day Southern provinces of Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang. Administrations were installed by the Jin Court [Note: The Eastern Jin dynasty was not established until March 317 in Jiankang, in present-day Jiangning county, Jiangsu province] to care for these new settlers, who were called liu wang ke ren ['refugee guests'], in several regions. . . The refugees settled down in these regions permanently."