is the transcription
of the Chinese family name 楊
. It is the sixth most common surname in Mainland China.
The Yang Character and totem
The YANG character is a derivative from the word for "Sunlight." However, a search in any dictionary reveals it to be a type of tree such as a poplar or a willow tree. The character is composed of two parts, the left part means wood referring to a type of tree in ancient myth used to measure the height of the sun thereby establishing the calendar. The second part on the right hand side of the character is a graphic description of "the sun rising over Tanggu" (the place in ancient myth where the sun rose). In Tanggu there was a type of large lizard in the water, now known as a dragon, also called a thunder-beast. That is why Tanggu was represented by the character yi [second character in the ‘large lizard’ cited above], pronounced yang, and its master was Fu Xi (the founding ancestor of mankind in ancient myth, aka Xi He), and its heavenly almanac was called the Book of Changes (Yijing) (the yi character is the same as the right-hand component of the lizard character and the Yang family character)
Yang can also be the phonetic translation of a very rare Chinese family name 羊, which is the Chinese character for Goat or Sheep.
The Yang clan was founded by Yang Boqiao the second son of prince Jinwu in the Springs and Autumns Period (c. 8th to 5th Centuries BC) who was enfeoffed in the Yang kingdom.
Some branches of the Yang clan have adopted the "Four Wisdoms" (Si Zhi) as a family motto. This originates from a story from the dynasty of Hou Han (206 B.C. to A.D. 220). Yang Zhen served as Jing Zhou prefect. A village magistrate named Wang Mi requested audience with Yang Zhen after nightfall and offered Yang 6 kg of gold ingots with the hope of promotion. Yang rejected the gift. Wang Mi persevered mentioning that nobody would know. Yang retorted "Heaven knows, Earth knows, I know and you know." Descendents of Yang Zhen adopted "Si Zhi" (Four-knows or four wisdoms) as the title of their clan hall.
Other variations of the Yang surname (e.g. alternative regional pronunciations)
- Yeo (Hokkien, Singapore)
- Yeung (Cantonese, notably Hong Kong)
- Yio (Hokkien)
- Yong (Hakka)
- Yeoh (Hokkien, Malaysian, teochew, notably Penang)
- Ieong (Cantonese, notably Macau - Portuguese pronunciation)
- Dương (Vietnamese)
- Yaaj (in the Green Hmong dialect)
- Yaj (in the White Hmong dialect)
- Ngeo (Hokkien, Peranakan pronunciation)
- Yoo/Yu (from Philippines)
Notable people with family name Yang
- Yang Zhu, philosopher 440 – 360 BC associated with an ethical Egoism
- Yang Zhen, Minister of War in China circa 122 A.D, known as Confucius of Western China
- Yang Hu, general of the Three Kingdoms era
- Yang Jian, first emperor of the Sui Dynasty (581-618)
- Chen-Ning Yang, physicist and a Nobel medalist
- Yang Guifei, famous emperor's consort in Tang dynasty
- Yang Guozhong, politician and Yang Guifei's brother
- Howard Young, member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo!
- Yang Jiang, noted translator and playwright, widow of Qian Zhongshu
- Yang Kaihui, wife of Mao Zedong
- Xiangzhong Yang - world animal cloning leader, University of Connecticut
- Yeung Kai Yin, former official of the Hong Kong Government, and former chairman and CEO of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation
- Yáng Lìwěi, PRC astronaut
- Yang Lu-ch'an (楊露禪, 1799 – 1872), whose family became the most well-known exponents of the Chinese martial art known as T'ai Chi Ch'uan. The most famous member of this family is his grandson, Yang Ch'eng-fu (楊澄甫, 1883 – 1936)
- Miriam Yeung, singer and actress
- Yang Shangkun, PRC politician
- Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China 2007-(incumbent)
- Yeung Sum, member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Sir Ti Liang Yang, former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, the first ethnic-Chinese to the position
- Yong Pung How, former Chief Justice of Singapore
- Yang Xianyi, noted translator
- Yen-Yi Yang, victim of murder by Stanley Williams
- George Yeo, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Singapore
- Michelle Yeoh, famous international actress from Malaysia
- Yeoh Tiong Lay, business man, founder of YTL Corporation Berhad
- Francis Yeoh Chairman of YTL Corporation Berhad
- Chen Ning Yang, Chinese American physicist
- Yang Yang (painter), contemporary artist
- Yang Yang- badminton player(China)
- Yang Yang (A), speed skater
- Yang Yang (S), speed skater
- Shirley Yeung, winner of 2001 Miss Hong Kong, TVB actress.
- Rainie Yang, Taiwanese singer and actress
- Yeo Ning Hong, Former minister of Singapore
- Yang Erche Namu, ethnic Mosuo writer
- Yung-Hsien Yang, Chemical engineer Loyola Maramount Institute
- Tavia Yeung, TVB actress.
- Shirley Yeung, TVB actress.
- Francis Yeung, Tetris Master and all-round ninja
- Vivien Yeo, TVB actress.
- Yong Mun Sen,杨曼生((Yong Yen Lang) (1896-1962); (广东省大埔县百侯镇Daipu, Guangdong). Pioneer artist & the father of Malaysian painting, Malaysia.
- Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Yong Kuet Tze(杨国斯)(Daipu,Guangdong广东省大埔县百侯镇),former Minister of Science, Technology & Environment, Malaysia.
- Datuk Yong Teck Lee 杨德利 (1958-), Chief Minister of Sabah(1996-1998),Malaysia
- Yong Pung How 杨邦孝 (1926-); Dabu, Guangdong; born in Malaysia), Second Chief Justice, Singapore, 1990-2006