Koihime Musou Girls and Related Korean Clans, Part X: Yoo (유/劉) - Remnants of the Royal House of Chinese Han Dynasty in Korean Soil
Yoo (유 in South Korean Format or 류 in North Korean Format/劉), sometimes romanized Yu, Ryu, Ryoo, Lhyu or Rhyu is a common Korean Surname which means 'overcome and conquer' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Liu. The genealogy of this clan traced from the Emperors of Han Dynasty in China. Yoo is one of the Korean Surnames which followed Korean Beginning Sound Rule System a.k.a Du-eum Beopchik (두음 법칙/頭音法則).
The number of Koreans who bear the surname of 劉 are three times lesser than the Koreans who bear the surname of 柳 (willow tree). Ironically, these two Hanja Characters are pronounced as Yu (유) in Hangul. Based on the 2015 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 302,511 who bear the surname of Yoo. Hence, this clan is placed at 30th place in Korean Surnames List. There are five designated clans (본관/本貫) for this clan which are:
- Gangneung Yoo Clan (강릉 유씨/江陵劉氏) = Originated from Gangneung City, Gangwon Province, ROK
- Geochang Yoo Clan (거창 유씨/居昌劉氏) = Originated from Geochang County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK
- Baecheon Yoo Clan (배천 유씨/白川劉氏) = Originated from Baecheon County, Southern Hwanghae Province, DPRK
- Yeonbaek Yoo Clan (연백 유씨/延白劉氏), also known as Yeonan Yoo Clan (연안 유씨/延安劉氏) = Originated from Yeonan County, Southern Hwanghae Province, DPRK
- Chungju Yoo Clan (충주 유씨/忠州劉氏) = Originated from Chungju City, Northern Chungcheong Province, ROK
The Gangneung Lineage is the largest among five, where this lineage consists of 245,625 people. Gangneung Yoo Clan was founded by Yoo Jeon/Liu Quan (유전/劉荃) a scholar who hailed from Chinese Song Dynasty during the reign of King Munjong Wang Hwi (1019-1083), 11th Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty. He was also the founder of Geochang Yoo Clan. The 12th Generation Descendant of Yoo Jeon, Yoo Chang/Liu Chang (유창/劉敞) - Internal Prince Okcheon (옥천부원군/玉川府院君/Okcheon Buwon-gun), was the Second Class Official who helped the foundation of Joseon Dynasty. He outlived first three Kings of Joseon: Taejo Yi Seong-gye, Jeongjong Yi Bang-gwa and Taejong Yi Bang-won. Yoo Chang died in the third Reigning Year of King Sejong the Great (1420).
On the other hand, Yoo Jeon's first son, Yoo Kyeon-kyu (유견규/劉堅規) bestowed the dukedom known as Lord of Geochang (거창군/居昌君), settled down in Geochang, Southern Gyeongsang Province and founded Geochang Yoo Clan (거창 유씨/居昌劉氏). Hence, there are 27,756 people who originated from Geochang Yoo Clan, based on 2015 Korean Republic Census.
Finally, the Chungju Lineage was founded by Yoo Geung-dal (유긍달/劉兢達), a military officer of HuGoguryeo-Taebong who lived during the Turbulent Latter Three Kingdoms Period. He was one of King Taejo Wang Geon's right-hand man and became one of the founders of Goryeo Dynasty. His daughter, Queen Sinmyeong-Sunseong of Chungju Yoo Clan (신명순성왕후/神明順成王后) married with King Taejo Wang Geon, the founder of Goryeo Dynasty. King Jeongjong Wang Yo and King Gwangjong Wang So are the sons of King Taejo Wang Geon and Queen Sinmyeong-Sunseong who ascended the throne as 3rd and 4th King of Goryeo Dynasty respectively. Chungju Yoo Clansmen constitute the smaller number, which consist only 2,544 people.