Zhao (//; traditional Chinese: 趙; simplified Chinese: 赵; pinyin: Zhào) is a Chinese surname, ranking as the 7th most common surname in Mainland China and carried mainly by people of Mandarin-speaking regions. Zhao is the 1st surname in the famous Hundred Family Surnames – the traditional list of all Chinese surnames – because it was the emperor's surname of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) when the list was compiled.
|Meaning||Name of a feudal state during the Zhou Dynasty|
|Variant form(s)||Cho, Triệu|
"Zhao" in seal script (top), Traditional (middle), and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Zhao may be romanized as Chiu from the Cantonese pronunciation, and is romanized in Taiwan and Hong Kong as Chao as in the Wade–Giles system. It is cognate with the Vietnamese family name Triệu and with the Korean family name most commonly romanized as Cho (조).
The romanization is shared with the much rarer family name Zhào (兆).
Zhao is one of the most ancient of Chinese surnames, and its origins are partly shrouded in legend. During the reign of King Mu of Zhou (976/956 BC – 922/918 BC), an officer named Zaofu (Chinese: 造父) proved exceptionally adept at training horses and driving chariots and won the respect of King Mu. During a battle with the eastern state of Xu, an ethnically different state which was resisting Zhou rule, Zaofu drove a chariot into the battle and escorted King Mu back to the Zhou capital. In gratitude, King Mu enfeoffed Zaofu as the lord of Zhao, a town in what is now Hongdong County, Shanxi Province, to be held by his descendants in perpetuity. Zaofu's descendants took Zhao as a surname to mark their prestigious association with the city. Records such as Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian say that Zaofu was a descendant of legendary kings Zhuanxu, Shaohao, and the Yellow Emperor.
The town Zhao became part of the state of Jin during the Warring States period, when the Zhou Dynasty began to collapse. In 403 BC, Jin split into three smaller states, one of which was the state of Zhao.
As with all ancient Chinese surnames, the Zhao family was constantly added to by marriages, its bestowal upon commoners for meritorious deeds, and its adoption by non-Chinese peoples assimilated into Han Chinese culture. The Zhao name experienced a great revival after Zhao Kuangyin became the first emperor of the Song Dynasty in 960 AD, leading to 300 years of Zhao rule over China. Notably, it is during this dynasty that the famous Hundred Family Surnames – the traditional list of all Chinese surnames – was compiled, leading the surname Zhao, that of the royal house, to be the first name listed.
However, some cadet clans on the mainland have genealogy records preserved from the Cultural Revolution as well as some Hata clans of Japan, which could trace back to a significant amount of generations to verify the authenticity of the bloodline.
Evolution of the Zhao clan
In Lu Xun's novel The True Story of Ah Q, Ah Q said he belonged to the same clan as Mr. Zhao, who was an honored landlord of the village. Mr. Zhao was very angry. He slapped Ah Q's face and said, 'How could you be named Zhao!—Do you think you are worthy of the name Zhao?'
Since 2015 or earlier, in Chinese internet, Zhao became the intimation of Communist Party of China and 'State of Zhao' became the intimation of China. Similarly, 'The Zhao Family' refers to the dignitaries of China, and "The Zhao's Army" refers to People's Liberation Army. 'How could you be named Zhao!' is popular to satirize the people who are humble but pretend to be powerful.
In 2016, the blog writer Program Think set up a GitHub project named Zhao. The project collects the relationships among more than 700 people in over 130 families include Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and many other high level government officials of Communist Party of China. Cyber Security Association of China requested GitHub to remove the project. Error status code 451 would be reached if the connection request to the project is from China.
Prominent people with the family name
- Zhao Zheng (traditional Chinese: 趙政), the first emperor of China, most commonly known as Qin Shi Huang (traditional Chinese: 秦始皇)
- Zhao Chengjiao (趙成蟜), the first emperor's half brother, after the first emperor inherited the throne, he rebelled and was killed by the emperor.
- Zhao Chou Warlord during the Late Tang Dynasty
- Zhao Dejun general of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Later Tang and Later Tang's predecessor state Jin
- Zhao Gao close advisor to emperors during the Qin Dynasty one of the most corrupt, villainous, violent and powerful eunuchs in Chinese history
- Zhao Guangyi Chancellor of Southern Han
- Zhao Jieyu a consort of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty
- Zhao Kuangyin (趙匡胤) or Emperor Taizu of Song (宋太祖), the founder of the Song Dynasty
- Zhao Deyin warlord late in the Tang Dynasty,
- Zhao Dezhao second son of Emperor Taizu
- Zhao Feiyan Empress of the Western Han Dynasty to Emperor Cheng
- Zhao Hede Imperial Consort to Emperor Cheng of Han sister to Empress Zhao Feiyan
- Zhao Kuangyi Brother of Zhao Kuangyin and Second Emperor of the Song Dynasty
- Zhao Heng Third Emperor of The Song Dynasty
- Zhao Zhen Fourth Emperor of The Song Dynasty
- Zhao Shu Fifth Emperor of The Song Dynasty
- Zhao Xu Sixth Emperor of The Song Dynasty
- Zhao Xu Seventh Emperor of the Song Dynasty
- Zhao Ji Eighth Emperor of The Song Dynasty famous for being a skilled poet, painter, calligrapher, and musician.
- Zhao Boju Painter during the Song Dynasty
- Zhao Yun General of Shu Han during the era of Three Kingdoms
- Zhao Mengfu calligrapher, descendant of Song Imperial Family
- Zhao Yong calligrapher, son of Zhao Mengfu, descendant of Song Imperial Family
- Zhao Yiguang , Literary figure and author during Ming dynasty, relative of Zhao Mengfu, descendant of Song Imperial Family
- Zhao Benshan (traditional Chinese: 趙本山), comedian/actor/director
- Chloé Zhao (born 1982), American film maker
- Zhao Dan (traditional Chinese: 趙丹), Chinese actor popular during the golden age of Chinese Cinema.
- Zhao Erfeng – warlord
- Zhao Erxun – governor of Sichuan
- Zhao Fuxin (1904-1999), physics professor
- Zhao Hongbo (traditional Chinese: 趙宏博), a pairs figure skater
- Jack Zhao, Chinese bridge player
- Zhao Jingmin UN Commander, Chinese Major General
- Zhao Jingshen (traditional Chinese: 趙景深), novelist.
- Zhao Jiping (traditional Chinese: 趙季平), composer
- Zhao Jiwei Chinese basketball player.
- Zhao Liying - Chinese actress
- Zhao Shuli (traditional Chinese: 趙樹理), novelist
- Qing Zhao – Electronics scientist
- Vincent Zhao (traditional Chinese: 趙文卓), martial artist and actor
- Zhao Wei (traditional Chinese: 趙薇, simplified Chinese: 赵薇), actress
- Zhao Yi (traditional Chinese:趙翼), poet, historian, and critic during the Qing Dynasty.
- Zhao Yiman (simplified Chinese: 赵一曼), Chinese freedom fighter
- Zhao Yongsheng – race walker
- Zhao Yun (traditional Chinese: 趙雲), Hong Kong lawyer.
- Zhao Zhiqian (traditional Chinese:趙之謙), Qing Dynasty calligrapher.
- Zhao Ziyang (traditional Chinese: 趙紫陽, simplified Chinese: 赵紫阳), former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Premier of China
- Zhao Zong-Yuan – Chinese-Australian chess grandmaster
- Elaine L. Chao (traditional Chinese: 趙小蘭), American politician, served as the 24th United States Secretary of Labor
- Rosalind Chao (traditional Chinese: 趙家玲), American actress
- Sam Chu Lin (traditional Chinese: 趙帝恩), American journalist
- Yuen Ren Chao (traditional Chinese: 趙元任), Chinese linguist
- Cecil Chao (traditional Chinese: 趙世曾), Hong Kong entrepreneur
- Chao Chuan (traditional Chinese: 趙傳), Taiwanese pop singer
- Mark Chao (traditional Chinese: 趙又廷), Taiwanese actor, singer and model
- Bondy Chiu (traditional Chinese: 趙學而), Hong Kong singer and actress
- Angie Chiu (traditional Chinese: 趙雅芝), Hong Kong actress, third runner up in the 1973 Miss Hong Kong pageant
- Bryan Chiu – retired Canadian professional football player; played Centre for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL from 1997 to 2010
- Baldwin Chiu (traditional Chinese:趙保榮) as Only Won, Hip Hop Artist, Actor, Producer, Martial Artist, National White House Engineering Spokesperson
- John Cho – Korean-born American comedian
- Margaret Cho – American comedian
- Judy Chu (traditional Chinese: 趙美心), American politician and educator
Meanings of Zhao (赵)
- "Zhao Ziyang". Collins English Dictionary.
- Ah-Q, Lu Xun, Lu Hsun. "The True Story of Ah-Q". www.marxists.org. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
- "赵家人 - China Digital Space". chinadigitaltimes.net. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
- 编程随想 (2017-07-01), zhao: 【编程随想】整理的《太子党关系网络》，专门揭露赵国的权贵, retrieved 2017-07-01
- gov-takedowns: Text of government takedown notices as received. GitHub does not endorse or adopt any assertion contained in the following notices, GitHub, 2017-06-29, retrieved 2017-06-30
- Chen, Kangqi (1997). 郎潜纪闻初笔二笔三笔 (Langqian Notes 1st, 2nd and 3rd Edition). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 9787101017021.
- Du, Jiaji (2008). 八旗与清朝政治论稿 (The Political Papers of Eight Banners and Qing Dynasty). Renmin Publishing House. ISBN 9787010067537.
- Hu, Zengyi (1994). 新满汉大词典 (A Comprehensive Manchu-Chinese Dictionary). Xinjiang People's Publishing House. ISBN 9787228024049.
- Hungjeo (2002). 八旗满洲氏族通谱 (Eight Manchu Banners' Surname-Clans' Book). Liaohai Publishing House. ISBN 9787806691892.
- Jin, Guangping; Jin, Qicong; Ulhicun (1996). 爱新觉罗氏三代满学论集 (The Paper Collection of Three Generations of Aisin Gioro). Yuanfang Publishing House. ISBN 9787805951485.
- Jin, Qicong (2009). 金启孮谈北京的满族 (Jin Qicong Talks About Beijing Manchus). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 7101068561.
- Jooliyan (1980). 啸亭杂录 (Xiaoting Various Records). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 9787101017519.
- Xu, Ke (1986). 清稗类钞 (Classified Collection of Qing Notes). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 9787101010732.
- Yang, Tonggui (1933). 沈故 (Old Story of Shenyang). Liaohai Book Company.
- Zhao, Erxun (2009). 清史稿 (Draft History of Qing). Zhonghua Book Compary. ISBN 9787101007503.
- Zhao, Li (2012). 满族姓氏寻人辞典 (Dictionary and Origin of Manchu Family Names). Liaoning Nationality Publishing House. ISBN 9787549702862.
- Zhao, Yi; Yao, Yuanzhi (1997). 簷曝杂记 竹叶亭杂记 (Yanpu Various Notes & Zhuyeting Various Notes). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 9787101017489.
- Frederic, Louis (2002). "Japan Encyclopedia." Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- Rimer, J. Thomas and Yamazaki Masakazu trans. (1984). "On the Art of the Nō Drama: The Major Treatises of Zeami." Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
- Teshima, Ikuro (1973). The Ancient Refugees From Religious Persecution in Japan: The Tribe of Hada – Their Religious and Cultural Influence. 1.
- Shinsen Shōjiroku "出自秦始皇帝三世孫孝武王也"
- McCullough, William H. (1999). "The capital and its society". The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN 0-521-22353-9.
- McCullough, William H. (1999). "The capital and its society". The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge University Press. p. 97–98. ISBN 0-521-22353-9.
- Ben Ami-Shillony, The Jews and the Japanese: The Successful Outsiders, pp. 135–7 (Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1991)
- Dual origins of the Japanese: common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes. pdf