|Meaning||Vermillion; named after the ancient State of Zhu (邾)|
|Related names||Zou (邹)|
The most common of the four, 朱, was the surname of the Ming Dynasty emperors. Today it is the 13th most common surname in the People's Republic of China, with a population of over fifteen million.
Origination and distribution
The Zhu (朱) family originated from the minor state of Zhu (邾, later renamed Zou) (p. 43, Chao) in present-day southwestern Shandong Province. King Wu of Zhou granted Cao Xie, an alleged descendant of the Yellow Emperor through his grandson Zhuanxu, control over the small state. He was a vassal ruler under the Lu (state) (魯) and held the feudal title Viscount (子), but later held the title Duke of Zhu (邾公) during the Spring and Autumn Period. (p. 138, Li Chi; p. 239, Tan & p. 306, Wu).
The ancestral surname (姓) of the ruling family 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.
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. 
Notable people surnamed 朱
- Zhu Jun (Han Dynasty), politician during the late Han Dynasty; also a character in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
- Zhu Ling, General of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period
- Zhu Zhi, military general of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China
- Zhu Huan,military general of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China
- Zhu Ju,military general of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China
- Zhu Ran, military general of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China
- Zhu Can, an agrarian rebel leader during the disintegration of the Sui Dynasty
- Zhu Jingze, a prominent official during the Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty
- Zhu Mei, a prominent general during the Tang Dynasty
- Zhu Pu, an official of the Tang Dynasty, serving briefly as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Zhaozong
- Zhu Jin, a warlord in the late Tang Dynasty
- Zhu Ci, general and military governor under the Tang Dynasty
- Zhu Tao, general under the Tang Dynasty;
- Zhu Kerong, grandson of Zhu Tao and military governor under the Tang Dynasty
- Zhu Yansi,general of the Tang Dynasty
- Zhu Xicai, general and military governor under the Tang Dynasty;
- Zhu Quanzhong, founder of the Later Liang,
- Zhu Yougui, second emperor of the Later Liang;
- Zhu Youzhen, third emperor of the Later Liang;
- Zhu Yuanzhang, Founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
- Zhu Yunwen, Second Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
- Zhu Biao, the Hongwu Emperor's first son and Crown Prince
- Zhu Quan, Prince of Ning, Seventeenth son of the Hongwu Emperor and younger half-brother to the Yongle Emperor; military commander, historian and playwright
- Zhu Zaiyu, Prince of Zheng, a sixth-generation descendant of the Hongxi Emperor, the fourth emperor of the Ming Dynasty; a musician and one of the first people to describe equal temperament in music in 1584
- Zhu Zhenhao, Prince of Ning; 5th generation descendant of Zhu Quan, Prince of Ning; a rebel Prince
- Zhu Zhifan, Prince of Anhua; a rebel Prince
- Zhu Changqing, Prince of Huai, Ming pretender reigning as Emperor Dongwu of the Southern Ming Dynasty
- Hongguang Emperor, born Zhu Yousong, Prince of Fu; Ming pretender and emperor of the Southern Ming Dynasty which resisted the Qing Dynasty
- Longwu Emperor, born Zhu Yujian, Prince of Tang; Ming pretender and emperor of the Southern Ming Dynasty
- Yongli Emperor, born Zhu Youlang, Prince of Gui; Ming pretender and emperor of the Southern Ming Dynasty
- Prince of Lu, born Zhu Yihai; a leader of the Southern Ming Dynasty
- Prince of Ningjing, born Zhu Shugui; ninth-generation descendant of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty of China, via the line of his 15th son, Zhu Zhi, the Prince of Liao; a leader of the Southern Ming Dynasty
- Koxinga whose title literally means Lord with the Imperial Surname; he was born Zheng Chenggong but given the right to bear the imperial surname, Zhu, by the Longwu Emperor, a pretender to the then collapsing Ming Dynasty, for his noteworthy loyalist efforts; Koxinga founded the short-lived Kingdom of Taiwan
Government, Politics and Military
- Zhu Binhou, a military aviation pioneer and WWI veteran pilot.
- Zhu Maichen, an impoverished student working as woodcutter; his wife divorced him to remarry a richer man; subsequently he became a provincial governor under Emperor Wu of Han; he rejected his ex-wife's subsequent attempts at reconciliation and is credited with the Chinese proverb: "Poured water cannot be retrieved". His biography is recorded in Volume 64 of the Book of Han.
- Zhu Youqian, a warlord in the late Tang Dynasty, he was falsely accused of plotting a rebellion and Emperor Zhuangong put him and his entire family to death
- Zhu Hongzhang, a loyalist general during the Qing Dynasty; he helped put down the Taiping Rebellion
- Zhu Zhixin, Revolutionary and comrade of Sun Yat-sen who named Zhixin High School after his dead comrade
- Zhu Shaoliang, general in the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China
- Sir Moilin Jean Ah-Chuen (Chu Moi-Lin 朱梅麟), Hakka Chinese Mauritian politician; First Chinese member, Legislative Council, 1949; Minister of Local Government, 1967–1976; Second Hakka after Sun Yatsen to have his portrait printed on the bills of a country's currency
- Marie Madeleine Ah-Chuen (朱志筠), Hakka Chinese Mauritian diplomat; Mauritius' first ambassador to China, 1999–2000
- Zhu Lühe, a politician and judicial officer in the Republic of China; he became an important politician during the Reformed Government of the Republic of China and the Wang Jingwei regime
- Zhu Shen, a politician and public prosecutor in the Republic of China; he became an important politician during the Provisional Government of the Republic of China and the Wang Jingwei regime
- Zhu De, co-founder of the Chinese Red Army, forerunner of the People's Liberation Army
- Zhu Qi, general of the People's Liberation Army; currently commander of the Beijing Military Region
- Zhu Jiahua, famous politician of the Republic of China
- Zhu Rongji, former PRC Premier; he is a direct descendant of the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
- David S.C. Chu, United States Under Secretary of Defense appointed by George W. Bush
- Jim Chu, Chief Constable of the Vancouver Police Department
- Zhu Qizhen, former Vice Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States
- Steven Chu, the 12th United States Secretary of Energy.
- Eric Chu, a former Vice Premier of the Republic of China; subsequently the first Mayor of New Taipei.
- Choo Leong Huat, Singapore Crown Service government official, descendant of the Straits-Chinese.
- Choo Han Teck, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore.
- Ju Hala (Sinicized: 朱氏), a Manchu clan during the Qing Dynasty, perhaps founded by and composed of assimilated Han Chinese of the Zhu surname. One example might be Zhu Guozhi (朱國治), a Chinese Bannerman in the Eight Banners during the Qing Dynasty who was appointed the Governor of Yunnan. He was captured by Wu Sangui in 1674 and died cursing the rebels. In 1742, he was included into the Temple of Patriots. Zhu Hongzhang could possibly be regarded as another example.
Philosophy and Religion
- Zhu Xi, Song Dynasty scholar and main proponent for Neo-Confucianism; he was elevated to a position of honor in the Temple of Confucius several decades after his death and recognized as the third sage of Confucianism after Confucius and Mencius during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty
- Zhu Qianzhi, Chinese intellectual and historian; influenced Mao Zedong
- Zhu Da, renowned painter and calligrapher of the Qing Dynasty; agnatic descendant of Zhu Quan, Prince of Ning
- Zhu Dake, Chinese scholar, cultural critic and essayist.
- Zhu Ziqing, renowned contemporary writer and poet
- Zhu Jian'er, a prominent Chinese composer.
- Chu Yibing, one of the most influential cellists in the world.
- Zhu Wen, contemporary writer and director.
Science and Technology
- Zhu Shijie, one of the greatest Chinese mathematicians
- Steven Chu, one of three co-recipients of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics; 12th US Secretary of Energy
- Chu Ching-wu, renowned physicist; expert on superconductivity
- Gilbert Chu, professor of medicine and biochemistry at Stanford Medical School; older brother of Steven Chu, the 12th US Secretary of Energy
- Zhu Xiping, professor of mathematics at Sun Yat-sen University; winner of the 2004 Morningside Medal of Mathematics at the Third International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM)
- Zhu Qingshi, famous chemist, member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was the former president of the University of Science and Technology of China. He was also a delegate of the 8th and 9th National People's Congress, and the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
- David Chu, Taiwanese-American founder of Nautica, men's designer outerwear company
- Zhu Baoguo, Chinese billionaire founder of Joincare Pharmaceutical Group Industrial
- Zhu Gongshan, Chinese billionaire founder of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited, an energy supplier in China
- Zhu Huiming, Chinese billionaire founder of Hangzhou Binjiang Real Estate Group
- Zhu Jun (businessman), Chinese industrialist and businessman; Chairman of Nasdaq listed company, the Nine City (NASDAQ: NCTY); also chairman of the Shanghai Shenhua football club.
- Zhu Mengyi (朱孟依), Chairman of Guangdong Zhujiang Invest, Hopson Development
- Zhu Xingliang, Chinese billionaire founder of Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration
- Zhu Xinli, Chinese multi-millionaire founder and chairman of China Huiyuan Juice Group
- Zhu Yicai, Chinese billionaire founder and chairman of China Yurun Group
- Zhu Yunlai, CEO of China International Capital Corp; he is the son of Zhu Rongji, former Premier of the People's Republic of China, and a direct descendant of the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
- Abehymann Zhu, Managing Director of APX World Logistics Inc., a Shanghai-based 3PL provider formed in July 1993
Sports and Entertainment
- Alex "Xpecial" Chu, American League of Legends player
- Choo Hoey, Singaporean musician and conductor; formerly Music Director of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra
- Ken Chu, F4 member
- Dadawa, real name Zhu Zheqin; singer/songwriter/indie producer, who is well known for her vocalization
- Julie Chu, U.S. Olympic Team hockey player
- Jon M. Chu, American film director and screenwriter
- Loletta Chu, Ethnic Chinese from Myanmar; winner of the 1977 Miss Hong Kong Pageant
- Athena Chu 朱茵, Hong Kong Actress
- Zhu Jianhua, P.R.C. Olympic high jumper
- Zhu Lin, a Chinese badminton player
- Zhu Ling (volleyball), a Chinese volleyball player who competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics
- Chu Mu-Yen 朱木炎, Hakka Chinese; Gold medalist, Taekwondo, 2004 Athens Olympics; Champion, World Taekwondo Championships, 2003
- Zhu Xiaolin, a Chinese long-distance runner, who specialises in marathon running; won the Xiamen International Marathon and was third at the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon. She represented China at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
- Zhu Zhu (actress), Chinese actress and singer who rose to fame as a host for MTV China
- Morgan Chu, an intellectual property attorney and one of the first Asian Americans to lead a major U.S. law, Irell & Manella LLP; younger brother of Steven Chu, the 12th US Secretary of Energy
- Zhu Ling (poisoning victim), victim of an unsolved 1995 thallium poisoning case in Beijing, China
- Chu Van An 朱文安, a Confucian, teacher, physician and high-ranking mandarin of the Trần Dynasty in Đại Việt
- Chau Van Tiep 朱文接, an 18th-century Vietnamese military commander, best known for his role as a general of Nguyễn Ánh
- Ju Ji-hoon 朱智勳, a popular model and actor from South Korea
- 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
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