Koihime Musou Girls and Related Korean Clans, Part XII: Hwang (황/黃)

  • Dark Lavender = Jangsu Hwang Clan (Jangsu County, Northern Jeolla)
  • Indigo = Pyeonghae Hwang Clan (Uljin County, Northern Gyeongsang)
  • Green = Changwon Hwang Clan (Unified City of Changwon, Southern Gyeongsang)
  • Dark Magenta = Uju Hwang Clan (Wanju County, Northern Jeolla)
  • Green striped with red = Je-an Hwang Clan (Hwangju County, Northern Hwanghae, DPRK)

Hwang (황/黃) is a common Korean surname which means 'yellow' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Huang. Huang is listed 96th in the famous Song Dynasty's Hundred Family Surnames. It is the 7th most common surname in China in 2006. The population of Huangs in China (including Taiwan) was estimated at more than 29 million in 2000; it was also the surname of more than 2 million overseas Chinese, 4.3 million Vietnamese (5.1%) and 697,171 South Koreans (ranked 16th in 2015 Korean Republic Census, provided by Statistics Korea [통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT]).

Huang is an ancient surname which origin could be traced back more than 4,200 years to the days of the legendary sage emperors preceding the Xia dynasty. During the reign of Emperor Yao (尧帝), Hui Lian (惠连), son of Lu Zhong (陆终), a descendant of the Yellow Emperor (黄帝/Huang Di) scored a merit in harnessing river floods, and Emperor Yao conferred on Hui Lian the state of Can'hu 参胡 (in present-day region of Fenyang, Shanxi province, China). It was in the 96th year of Emperor Yao (2220 BC). Emperor Yao renamed Can'hu "the State of Huang" , and bestowed on Hui Lian the surname "Huang" and the name "Yun". Hence, Hui Lian was also known as Huang Yun (黄云). Hui Lian became the Progenitor of the Huang Surname Clan. The descendants of Huang Yun (Hui Lian) ruled the Huang State of Shanxi until the early "Spring and Autumn Period" (722 BC-481 BC) when it was conquered by the State of Jin.

In 891 BC, King Xiao of Zhou conferred on a direct descendant of Hui Lian, Huang Xi (黄熙; also known as Huang Shi 黄石), the nobility title of "Hou" 侯 (Marquis) and a fiefdom in the region east of the Han river (in present-day region of Yicheng, Hubei province) called "Huang" (Not to be confused with the Huang State of Fenyang, Shanxi) with the four neighbouring states, Jiang , Huang (founded by Bo Yi's descendants and which was known as Huang tribe/barbarians during the Xia dynasty), Dao, and Bo in the Huang river valley as vassals. The Huang State of Yicheng, Hubei was known as the "Western Huang" (Xi Huang/西黄) in history. 

In 845 BC, Marquis Wen, 文侯 Huang Meng 黄孟 (aka Huang Zhang 黄璋) moved the capital of the State of Huang from Yicheng to Huangchuan (present-day Huangchuan, Henan) and founded a new Huang State. Huang Xi's descendants ruled State of Huang until 648 BC when it was destroyed by the State of Chu. The Marquis of Huang, Marquis Mu 穆侯 (Huang Qisheng /黄企生), narrowly escaped and fled to the State of Qi (in present-day Linzi, Shandong province). The people of Huang were forced to relocate to Chu, to the region of present-day Hubei province, known as the Jiangxia Prefecture during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). There are many places in this region today that were named after Huang e.g Huanggang, Huangpi, Huangmei, Huangshi etc. A large number of the people of Huang were also relocated to regions south of the Changjiang/Yangtze River, to the lands of the aboriginal Man tribes. Among them were descendants of the aristocratic Huang family, who later assimilated with the aboriginal tribes and became the Huangs of the ethnic minorities. For example, the famous Huang Dong Man tribe during the Tang dynasty. Those assimilated Huangs in the Yue tribe also moved with the tribe into present-day Vietnam. In 356 BCE, the Huang Clan also spread its branch to Korea.

After three centuries in decline, the Huang Clan resurged when Huang Xie, a descendant of the aristocratic family of the vanquished Huang State was elevated as the Prime Minister of the State of Chu. Huang Xie was conferred the title "Lord of Chunshen" (314 BC-238 BC). During the Han dynasty, Huang Ba (130 BC- 51 BC) also became prime minister. It was during the Han dynasty that the Huang clan reached the zenith of preestige and power.

From Jiangxia, the Huang Clan later spread to other parts of China and later on to other parts of the world. Hence Jiangxia is regarded as the Cradle of the Huang Clan and the name "Jiangxia" was adopted as the clan's "Hall name". Today, the Huang surname Clan is known as the "Huang Clan of Jiangxia". The name "Jiangxia" has become a synonym of Huang Surname Clan.

During the Jin dynasty (AD 265-AD 420), northern China was invaded by the barbarian tribes, many northerners (especially the aristocratic clans) moved to south China with the Jin court. It was during this period that the Huang Clansmen migrated to Fujian. 

According to Min Shu (闽书; Book of Min, Quoted from Chung Yoon-Ngan), during the second year (of the reign) of Yong Jia (308AD) the Central Plain was in chaos and the eight (aristocratic) Clans:- Lin, Huang, Chen, Zheng, Zhan, Qiu, He and Hu, entered Min (present day Fujian province, China).

From the Tang dynasty (AD 618-AD 907) onwards, Huang Clansmen migrated from Fujian to Guangdong and to the other southern provinces. Huang Clan developed into a big Clan in south China and became the 3rd biggest surname clan in South China today. Migration to Taiwan began during the transition period from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to Qing dynasty (1644-1912), when many Huang Clansmen followed the Anti-Manchu Ming loyalist forces under Zheng Chenggong (郑成功), crossed the Taiwan straits to Taiwan island.

Huang migration overseas began as early as the 14th century during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to destinations in Southeast Asia. One notable early Huang emigrant was Huang Senping (黄森屏/better known as Ong Sum Ping), who went to Brunei in 1375. Migration to Americas began only in the mid-19th century following the forced opening of China's ports by the West. Today, the population of overseas Chinese Huangs is estimated at more than 2 million. 

The Korean Hwang Clan originates from Hwang Rak (황락/黃洛). Hwang Rak was the envoy of China during the Han Dynasty. He was traveling from China to Vietnam in 28 CE (Fifth Reigning Year of King Yuri-Isageum of Silla Kingdom). But the ship had struggled against the wind and waves in the sea. At the same time, Hwang Rak had drifted into the sea. 

Finally, He arrived at the shores of Pyeonghae-eup, Uljin County, Northern Gyeongsang Province, present-day Republic of Korea - the area which is controlled by Silla Kingdom. He became the naturalized Silla citizen and progenitor of Hwang Clan in Korea. His grave is located at Gulmi Peak, Wolsong-ri 423-8 beonji, Pyeonghae-eup, Uljin County, Northern Gyeongsang Province. However, only his altar remains in the present-day modern contemporary Korea.

Hwang Rak had three sons, Hwang Gab-go (황갑고/黃甲古), Hwang Eul-go (황을고/黃乙古) and Hwang Byung-go (황병고/黃丙古). Gab-go, Lord of Giseong (기성군/箕城君) was the eldest son and remains in Pyeonghae-eup. Eul-go, Lord of Jangsu (장수군/長水君) was the second son and settled in Jangsu County, Northern Jeolla Province. Byung-go, Count of Changwon (창원백/昌原伯) was the youngest son and settled in the Unified City of Changwon, Southern Gyeongsang Province. Therefore, three major Korea's Designated Clan of Hwang has been made which are the Pyeonghae Hwang Clan (평해황씨/平海黃氏), Jangsu Hwang Clan (장수황씨/張水黃氏) and Changwon Hwang Clan (창원황씨/昌原黃氏). Now, there are fifty-five Korea Hwang's Designated Clans were derived from the three major Hwang Clans: Pyeonghae, Jangsu and Changwon.

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