Koihime Musou Girls and Related Korean Clans, Part XX: Jin (진/陳)

Most Dominant: Yeoyang Jin Clan (Hongseong County, Southern Chungcheong)

Jin (진/陳) sometimes romanized Chin in Korean McCune Script and Japanese is a common Korean surname which means 'exhibit' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Chen. Chen, which is one of the most common Han Chinese and Korean family names is listed 10th in the famous Song Dynasty's Hundred Family Surnames. It ranks as the 5th most common surname in China - as of 2007, the most common surname in Singapore (2000) and Taiwan (2010) and 48th most common surname in Korean Republic (2000-2015).

Among numerous surnames, Chen is the fifth biggest surname on the Chinese mainland in terms of population. Initial surname Chen was from surname Yu, and the families were the descendants of Emperor Shun. When King Wu of Zhou established Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE), he got acquaintance with Hu Gongman, a descendant of Shun, and gave the Land of Chen to him to establish the state of Chen. When coming to Chen Mingong, Chen was defeated by the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BCE). The descendants of this state began to use Chen as their surname; so surname Chen came into being.

Apart from originating from a state's name, people with other surnames also changed their surnames to Chen. There was a branch of ethnic minority people that changed surname to Chen in history. According to historical records, Houmochen, a noble lord of Xianbei in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), moved to Luoyang together with Emperor Xiaowen of the dynasty who moved his capital there. The surname Houmochen was changed to Chen.

Through several thousand years, Chen families have scattered over the country, forming Chen families with the areas of Yingchuan, Runan, Xiapi, Guangling and Donghai as centers. The cradle of Chen families moved southward since Chen Bozhen, a senior official in West Jin Dynasty (265-316), who moved all of his families to the present Danyang County, Zhejiang Province (not to be confused with Danyang County in Northern Chungcheong Province, ROK). 

Later, his grandson Chen Shida became the magistrate of Changcheng County (now Changxing County of Zhejiang Province), and Chen families moved to Zhejiang. When Chen Baxian established Southern Dynasty (420-589), he made Chen families more outstanding, spreading over the broad areas between the Yangtze and Yuejiang (now Pearl River) rivers. During the reign of Emperor Gaozong in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Chen families moved to Fujian and Guangdong provinces. After the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-979), a great number of Chen families moved southward, or even overseas due to the long-term chaos caused by wars in the central plains, which further enlarged Chen families in the south of the Yangtze River. Now, surname Chen has become the fifth surname on the Chinese mainland and the first one in Taiwan Province.

The Chinese region of Fujian was the original home of a Chen clan before that migrated under "Tran Kinh" 陳京 (Chén Jīng) to Dai Viet and whose descendants established the Tran dynasty which ruled Vietnam (Dai Viet), and certain members of the clan could still speak Chinese like when a Mongol-Yuan dynasty envoy had a meeting with the Chinese speaking Tran Prince Tran Quoc Tuan in 1282.

Back in Korea, there are 157,599 people who bear the surname of Jin, based on the 2015 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT). There are seven designated clans (본관/本貫) for this clan which are:
  • Gangneung Jin Clan (강릉 진씨/江陵陳氏) = Originated from Gangneung City, Gangwon Province, ROK
  • Gwangdong Jin Clan (광동 진씨/廣東陳氏), also known as Guangdong Chen Clan = Originated from Guangdong Province, PROC 
  • Naju Jin Clan (나주 진씨/羅州陳氏) = Originated from Naju City, Southern Jeolla Province, ROK
  • Deokchang Jin Clan (덕창 진씨/德昌陳氏) = Originated from Bakcheon County, Northern Pyeongan Province, DPRK
  • Samcheok Jin Clan (삼척 진씨/三陟陳氏) = Originated from Samcheok City, Gangwon Province, ROK 
  • Yangsan Jin Clan (양산 진씨/梁山陳氏) = Originated from Yangsan City, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK
  • Yeoyang Jin Clan (여양 진씨/驪陽陳氏) = Originated from Janggok-myeon, Hongseong County, Southern Chungcheong Province, ROK

The Yeoyang Lineage is the largest among seven, where this lineage consists of 110,403 people. Yeoyang Jin Clan was founded by Field Marshal Jin Chong-hoo (진총후/陳寵厚), Goryeo Military Official and Lord of Yeoyang (여양군/驪陽君) during the reign of King Yejong Wang Woo (1079-1122), 16th Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty. Yeoyang Prefecture (여양현/驪陽縣) is an ancient administrative region of Goryeo Dynasty which is presently known as Janggok-myeon Commune, Hongseong County, Southern Chungcheong Province.

Another Jin Clan which is coming from Mainland China - the Gwangdong Jin Clan, only consists of 2,397 people, based on 2015 census. This clan is famous with a Chinese Ming Admiral, Chen Lin a.k.a Jin Yin in Korean (陳璘/진인) - Count of Guangdong (광동백/廣東伯), who gave military aid to Admiral Chungmugong Yi Sunshin of Joseon Dynasty in order to defend Joseon Dynasty against Invading Japanese Forces during Imjin Invasion (1592-1598). He wailed after received the news about Admiral Chungmugong Yi Sunshin's death from his nephew, Yi Wan during the Final Naval Battle of Noryang Point (December 16th 1598).


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