Liang (Chinese: 梁) is a Chinese surname common in Taiwan and southern China. Meaning "a beam", "a bridge", or "an elevation", the surname is often transliterated as Leung or Leong (Cantonese), Neo / Nio / Niu (Hokkien, Teochew). It is also common in Korea, where it is pronounced Yang. In Vietnamese, it is known as Lương.
It ranks 20th of the top 100 in Wikipedia's List of common Chinese surnames as of 2006.
The Liang family name has been in existence for approximately 2600 years. The first Liang was Liang Kang Hou who was the ruler of the State of Liang
, in what is now Gansu Province
in the northwestern part of China. The State of Liang existed during the Zhou Dynasty of 1027 BC
to 221 BC
. The descendants of Liang Kang Hou
retained the name Liang as their surname in memory of the Liang state when it was annexed by the neighboring State of Qin
in 641 BC
During the Eastern Han period, a time when the Han Dynasty was in chaos and decline, a power struggle ensued between three rival groups, the powerful eunuchs, the cliques of officials and the consort families of which the Liang was one. This was largely due to the fact that starting in 88 AD, minors were placed on the throne and hence effective control of the Dynasty was in the hands of Regents. There were three successive empresses starting with Liang Na, Liang Ji and Liang Mengnu.
According to Witold Rodzinski's The Walled Kingdom (1984), "the Liang family, by providing three empresses, became the effective ruler of the country by the middle of the second century, and its members accumulated a vast number of key posts. However, its rivals, the eunuchs, were able, due to their influence on the new emperor, to bring about its downfall, and the whole Liang clan was reduced in 159AD."
In 159AD a eunuch gang in the service of Emperor Huan of Han slaughtered relatives of the Empress Dowager Liang, effectively bringing an end to the Imperial aspirations of the Liang family.
The Liang family has a star
bearing the surname. In the Chinese star-chart
, within the Eastern (Azure Dragon
) quadrant of the sky, on the "Youyuan (Right Wall)" constellation
of the "Heavenly Market Enclosure" group is a star called Liang. This star in the western star-chart corresponds to the star Yed Prior
of the Ophiuchus
(Serpent-bearer) constellation. Its coordinates are R.A. 16h15m Dec. -3.7 degrees, has a brightness
of Magnitude 2.76 and is 172 light years from Earth.
Notable people with the surname 梁
- Alan Leong, Senior Counsel and member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Antony Leung, banker and former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
- Beatrisa Liang, an American figure skater
- Connie Leung, Canadian soap actress
- Dana Leong, American musician, composer, producer
- David Liang, music producer
- Edward Liang, choreographer and former New York City Ballet soloist
- Elsie Leung, solicitor and Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong
- Gigi Leung, singer and actress
- Hossan Leong, entertainer
- Isabella Leong Lok-Sze, Hong Kong-based Macau born singer, actress and model
- Jack Neo, actor, host and film-maker
- Jasmine Leong, also known as Fish Leong, singer
- Jason Leung, Canadian TV news anchor
- Jennifer Leung, Canadian pianist
- John Liang Zhaohui, Chief Financial Officer of Lerner Heidenberg Properties in northern New Jersey, US.
- Joshua Leong, Head of Protocol, Ministry of Defence, Singapore
- Katie Leung, Scottish actress
- Ken Leung, actor
- Kevin Liang, famous skateboarder
- Leung Chun-ying, surveyor and member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
- Leung Kwok-hung, Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Liang Qichao, scholar, philosopher, journalist and reformist
- Liang Shih-Chiu (1903 – 1987), scholar and writer
- Liang Wenbo, Chinese snooker player
- Liang Youchang, Chinese journalist
- Martin Leung, The Video Game Pianist
- Mira Leung, a Canadian figure skater
- Tommy Leung, actor
- Tony Leung (Leung Chiu Wai), actor and singer
- Tony Leung (Leung Ka Fai), actor
- Wendy Leung, Canadian singer-songwriter
Historical people with the surname 梁
- Liang Hongyu was a female general and the wife of a mighty Song Dynasty general, Han Shizhong. Even today, it is said that, standing on Golden Mountain, one can still hear her beating the mighty war drum which stirred the hearts of her Song soldiers.
- Green Pearl (d. AD 300), whose surname was Liang, was a native of Bobai and the favourite concubine of a wealthy man, Shi Chong who lived during the Western Jin Dynasty (AD 265-316). Her tale is one of devotion and loyalty.
- Luong Dac Bang, a Vietnamese famous scholar, teacher of Nguyen Binh Khiem.
- Liang Ju-yuan (1527 – 1579AD) a 16th century scholar better known for his pseudonym Ho Hsin-yin, advocated and attempted to implement the conception of the ideal state, known as Clan Communism. In an essay, "Concerning the Theory: Fatherlessness and the Absence of Princes Are Not Identical with Parricide and Regicide" (Pien wu-fu wu-chun fei shih-fu shih-chun), he illustrated that Man has a consciousness of hierarchy and moral obligation. In 1553AD, he built the "Hall for Gathering in Harmony" (Chu-ho tang) in the Yang-feng district (Kiangsi province). He proposed that the powerful and far-flung Liang clan set up a kind of family commune with two principal areas of activity, a communal educational system, and the common cultivation of the fields.
- Liang Fa, also known as 'Ah Fa', was the first Chinese Pastor in a Protestant church. Born in Gao He of Guangdong in 1784, Liang traveled to Guangzhou to study the technology of block printing in 1804. He met Robert Morrison (1782 – 1834) in 1810 and began to print Bibles for Mr. Morrison, despite the ban by the Qing government. In 1815, Liang joined the British Missionary and was baptized the following year. Morrison made Liang the first Chinese pastor in Macao in 1824 and Liang later returned to preach in Guangzhou. Liang was also know for his work in editing and distributing Christian booklets (e.g., the Bible Homework, etc.) and flyers, and he turned his house into a meeting place for Christians. Liang died in Guangzhou in 1854. Liang's work had quite a bit of impact on Hong Xiu Quan who initiated the Taiping Rebellion (1851 A.D.).
- Liang Hong who together with his wife, Meng Guang comes a story of love and respect. The Chinese phrase "holding the tray level with the eyebrows" pays tribute to the couple, and is used to this day, to characterize married couples who treat each other with love and respect.
- Liang Shanbo in the Butterfly Lovers. The most famous Chinese traditional love story is about 梁山伯 Liang Shanbo and 祝英台 Zhu Yingtai. A well known legend and tale of tragic love. This tale is a well told tale immortalized in song and dance, tribute to the "Romeo and Juliet" of the Ancient Chinese.
- Liang K'ai (1140? – 1210?) lived during the Song Dynasty in the 13th century. His works hail as some of the greatest works of Chinese classical art. Liang K'ai pioneered an expressive and simplified style of ink painting. After becoming a Zen monk, he turned from his earlier landscapes to concentrate mainly on figure paintings done in a new technique using a wide, soft brush with a few deft and seemingly spontaneous strokes. Among these works is The Poet Li T'ai Po (National Museum, Tokyo). Liang K'ai has been immortalised by having a crater on Mercury named after him!
- Luong Van Can (1854-1927), founder and schoolmaster of Tonkin Free School.
- Liang Ling-tsan, an 8th century, military engineer who together with learned Buddhist monk I-hsing, in trying to devise a more precise calendar, constructed a great astronomical clock on the grounds of the palace in Ch'ang-an. This ancestor of all modern clocks, completed in A.D. 721, was the first machine known to employ an escapement, the basic device that is still used to regulated clocks. It divided the power from a water-wheel into exactly similar unit impulses so that the apparent motions of stars and the less regular wanderings of the planets could be duplicated by the measurable movements of a bronze microcosm of rings and little spheres, while wooden figures struck out the sequence of the hours.
- Liang Shi Du(King) - a person from Xiazhou of Sui Dynasty who started an uprising against Sui and self-proclaimed as emperor. His national symbol was Liang and his year symbol was Yonglong. He was the ruler of a Turk Vassal state north of Chang-an on the border of the Ordos Desert in Northern Shensi from A.D. 617-628. He was the last rebel from the Sui Period to be destroyed by the Tang in A.D. 628.
- Liang Chung-i was a Rebel Governor in Hsiang Yang Province during the Ho Pei Rebellions from A.D. 781-786.
- Liang Shou-chien was a Eunuch who was the first Commissioner of Privy Affairs (Shu-mi Shih) in A.D. 810
- Liang Te-Kuei (A.D. 1259 – 1304) was a Chinese administrator in Temur's Court
- Hsiao Hsien from the Liang Imperial family declared himself "Emperor of Liang" in Southern China from A.D. 617-621.
- Liang I-Mai (Empress) to Liang Chi-Pu (Prime Minister) - The Liang clan held control of a Tangut state of Hsia during the Northern Sung, through a succession of Liang Empresses and Prime Ministers.
- Liang Chenyu (A.D. 1520 – 1593) Chinese playwright and author of the first play of the K'un school (k'un-ch'ï¿½) of dramatic singing. He was born in K'un-shan in Kiangsu Province. When his great actor-friend Wei Liang-fu developed a new, more subtle and quiet style of dramatic singing, he asked Liang Ch'en-yï¿½ to create a showcase for his new style, and Liang complied by writing the "Huan sha chi"
- Liang Menglung (A.D. 1527 – 1602) was the Governor of Shantung Province who, with Tu Tsemin the Governor of Fukien Province, petitioned and got the Ming Government to lift the ban on Maritime activity, resulting in the great age of travel, culminating in the journeys of Admiral Cheng Ho.
- Liang Desheng (A.D. 1771 – 1847) (Writer) - She completed the tanci Zai sheng yuan (The destiny of rebirth), left unfinished by Chen Duangshen.
- Liang Tingnan of the Qing Dynasty compiled the Tenghuating or Mirror Catalogue.
- Liang Shi Cheng (Judge) - Song Dynasty
- Liang Shang (??? – A.D. 141) was a Regent and the father of the consort during the Han.
- Liang Chi (??? – A.D. 159) (Regent) - Han Dynasty tyrant whose excesses led the to tragic downfall of the entire Liang Clan at the hands of the Han Court Eunuchs
- Liang Qing (General) - Song Dynasty
- Liang Guo Zhi (General) - Qing Dynasty
- Liang Si Cheng (Engineer, Architect) - a person of Guangdong Xinhui who participated in countless designing of important structures in China, Beijing.
- Liang Shiyi (Politician) - appointed Prime Minister in A.D. 1921 for the government of Beiyang.
- Liang Xiao (Empress) from a leading southern Liang family, Empress to Emperor Yangdi (A.D. 581-604) of the Sui Dynasty.
- Liang Yi & Liang Hong (Officials) - Spring-Autumn period in the Jin Kingdom.
- Liang Gonghong (Doctor) - Spring-Autumn period in the Chu Kingdom.
- Liang Zhang Ju passed the Imperial Examination during the reign of Emperor Jia Qing (A.D. 1796-1820) and became a Jin Shi. He was appointed an official and eventually became the Governor of the two provinces of Jiangsu and Jiangxi. He had written many books.
- Liang Xing (??? – A.D.219) was a rebel leader in the Chang'an area who was defeated and killed by Xiahou Yuan during the Three Kingdoms era. He was one of the few Liang of significance after the slaughter of the Liang Clan by the Han Court Eunuchs.