Yan Huang Zisun

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A temple dedicated to the worship of Yandi in Baoji, Shaanxi
Xuanyuan Temple, dedicated to the worship of Huangdi, in Yan'an, Shaanxi

Yan Huang Zisun (Chinese: 炎黃子孫; lit. 'Descendants of Yan[di] and Huang[di]') is a term that represents the Chinese people and refers to an ethnocultural identity based on a common ancestry associated with a mythological origin.[1][2]

This term is connected to Yandi (炎帝) and Huangdi (黃帝), in which both figures are considered the legendary ancestors of the Huaxia people who themselves are ancestral to the Han people.[3] The term most specifically refers to the Han ethnic group, as it does not include groups who do not share the legendary ancestors.[4]

Modern usage[edit]

To this day, the Chinese still refer to themselves with this term.[5]

The derivation of the term is mentioned as Yan Huang Shizhou (炎黃世胄) in the National Flag Anthem of the Republic of China.

Ma Ying-jeou, ex-president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), has used this term to refer to all Chinese people in the context of his view on cross-strait relations.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yeo, K.K. (2008). Musing with Confucius and Paul: Toward a Chinese Christian theology. Cascade Books. p. 407. ISBN 9781556354885. Zhonghua (Chinese) or huaren (Chinese people) can be inclusive terms that refer to a common ancestry, traceable according to legend to the Yellow Emperor. Sometimes the Chinese are called the Yan-Huang zisun—descendants of the legendary Emperor Yan (a.k.a. Shen Nong, god of husbandry and first pharmacist) and Emperor Huang (whose burial place is in Huangling). [...] The legend of Emperors Yan-Huang can provide only an "imagined" identity for those who wish their genealogy to be traced to the royal gene of the emperors.
  2. ^ Yuan, Haiwang (2006). The magic lotus lantern and other tales from the Han Chinese. Libraries Unlimited. p. 10. ISBN 9781591582946. The Chinese believe that they all came from the common ancestors Sanhuang Wudi [...] referring to themselves as Yanhuang zisun (descendants of Yandi and Huangdi).)
  3. ^ Wienen, Ingmar (2002). Developing international business in the context of culture and ethics in transformation: The example of China. Peter Lang. pp. 19–20. ISBN 9780820459851.
  4. ^ Liang, Yongjia (2013). "Developmentalism, secularism, nationalism and essentialism: current situation and challenges of the ethnic issue in China". In Zhao, Litao (ed.). China's social development and policy: Into the next stage?. London: Routledge. p. 195. ISBN 9780415642835. One problem with current Chinese nationalism is the discursive confusion with the terms Zhonghua Minzu (Chinese Nation), Yanhuang Zisun [...] However, a closer examination indicates that only the first justifies such a definition, while the other three can only be designated as the Han as most of the ethnic minorities do not share the legendary ancestors of the Yellow Emperor or the dragon.
  5. ^ Law, Eugene (2004). Intercontinental's best of China. Beijing: China Intercontinental Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-7-5085-0429-2.
  6. ^ Ko, Shu-ling (Oct 29, 2010). "'1992 consensus' is basis of ties: Ma". Taipei Times. p. 3. Retrieved 25 October 2011.