Monday, October 6, 2008

Jin (surname)

Jin is a Chinese family name. It literally means "gold" and is No. 29 of the Hundred Family Surnames. The surname is also used in Vietnam and Korea, where it is pronounced Kim.

Jin is an ancient surname and is over 4000 years old. The surname was first mentioned during the period of the Yellow Emperor a legendary Chinese sovereign and cultural hero who is considered in Chinese mythology to be the ancestor of all Han Chinese. The legend behind the Jin surname is as follows.

When the Yellow Emperor's son Yi Zhi succeeded him, the day he was installed as leader, a golden phoenix flew down and perched on top of a house right opposite where he sat. His followers reckoned it was an auspicious beginning. They decided to use gold as the emblem of their tribe. Since he was their leader they titled him Jin Tian Shi and the name of their tribe was known as Jin Tian Tribe whose settlement was in Qufu . Yi Zhi died in 2515BCE. Some of his descendants adopted Jin as their surnames and left off the words Tian Shi .

The surname also appeared in an area called Pengcheng during the Han Dynasty . The present day location of Pengcheng prefecture is in Tong Shan Xian in Jiangsu province China.

Jin was among the surnames granted to the Kaifeng Jews by an unnamed emperor.

After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, many members of the imperial family changed their surname from the Manchu name Aisin Gioro to Jin. Aisin also means "gold" in the Manchu language.

In addition, Jin is a cognate of the , and is a common surname among ethnic Koreans in China.

Jin can also be other uncommon family names 靳 and 晉.

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