Zhu (surname)

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Word/nameShandong, China
MeaningVermillion; named after the ancient State of Zhu (邾)
Other names
Variant form(s)Zou (邹)
Cao (also adopted by former subjects of Zou)

Zhu is the pinyin romanization of four Chinese surnames: , , , and . It is alternatively spelled Chu in the Wade–Giles romanization system (primarily used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Gee[citation needed][clarification needed] in the United States, and Choo (predominantly adopted in Singapore and Malaysia). It is the 17th name on the Hundred Family Surnames poem.

The most common of the four, 朱, was the surname of the Ming dynasty emperors. Today it is the 13th most common surname[when?] in the People's Republic of China,[1] with a population of over fifteen million.[2] In 2019 Zhu was the fourteenth most common surname in Mainland China.[3]

Origin and distribution[edit]

The ancestral surname (姓) of the ruling family of the State of Zhu was Cao. (p. 144, Li Xueqin). The state of Zou was conquered and annexed by the state of Chu during the reign of King Xuan of Chu (楚宣王) (369–340 BC). (p. 43, Chao). The ruling family and its descendants adopted Zhu (朱) as their surname in memory of their former state of Zhu (邾). (p. 43, Chao & p. 239, Tan).

During the Ming dynasty, some Zhus moved to Taiwan, and others later migrated to Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. The clan is also found in Korea and is known as: 주 (朱; Ju, Joo); it is the 32nd most common name in Korea though it is combined with the Zhou (周) surname.[4]

Zhu has been one of the most influential clans in Chinese history. Zhu (朱) is technically a branch of the Cao (曹) surname, but now surpasses the parent ranking 13th and 27th respectively in terms of population size. [5]

A 2013 study found that it was the 14th most common surnames, shared by 17,000,000 people or 1.280% of the population, with the province with the most being Jiangsu.

Notable people surnamed 朱[edit]

Historical figures[edit]

Government, politics and military[edit]

Philosophy and religion[edit]


Science and technology[edit]


Sports and entertainment[edit]




  1. ^ http://zhongwen.com/xingshi.htm
  2. ^ "中国最新300大姓排名(2008 [Statistics on the number of citizens with each surname in China, based on records of National Identity Cards]." 2009-01-06. Accessed 20 Jun 2015.(in Chinese)
  3. ^ http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2020/01/20/676822.html
  4. ^ List of common Korean surnames
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100314095535/http://www.chinapage.com/biography/lastname.html
  • Brook, Timothy, 1998, The Confucian of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China, University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21091-3
  • Chao, Sheau-yueh J., 2000, "In Search of Your Asian Roots: Genealogical Research on Chinese Surnames", Clearfield. ISBN 0-8063-4946-8
  • Li, Chi, 1967, "The Formation of the Chinese People: An Anthropological Inquiry", Russell & Russell. U.S. Library of Congress Card No: 66-27117.
  • Li Xueqin, 1985 "Eastern Zhou and Qin Civilizations", (K.C. Chang trans.). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03286-2
  • Mote, F.W., 1999, "Imperial China 900 - 1800", Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-44515-5
  • Paludan, Ann, 1998, "Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial China", Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05090-2
  • Paludan, Ann, 1981, "The Imperial Ming Imperial Tombs", Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02511-4
  • Tan, Thomas Tsu-wee, 1986, "Your Chinese Roots: The Overseas Chinese Story", Times Books International. ISBN 0-89346-285-3
  • Wu, Kuo-Cheng, 1982, The Chinese Heritage. Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-54475-X

External links[edit]