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"Guo", written in Chinese: , is one of the most common Chinese surnames and means "the wall that surrounds a city" in Chinese. It can also be transliterated into English as Cok, Gou, Quo, Quach, Quek, Que, Keh, Kuo, Kwo, Kuoch, Kok, Koc, Kwee, Kwek, Kwik, Kwok, Kuok, Kuek, Gock, Koay, or Ker. The Korean equivalent is spelled Kwak; the Vietnamese equivalent is Quach. The different ways of spelling this surname indicate the origin of the family. For example, the Cantonese "Kwok" originated in Hong Kong and the surrounding area. It is the 18th most common family name in China and can be traced as far back as the Xia Dynasty. There are eight legendary origins of the Guo surname, which include a Persian (Hui) origin, a Korean origin, and a Mongolian origin, as a result of sinicization. However, the majority of people bearing the surname Guo are descended from the Han Chinese.

郭姓 - 楷體.svg
Guo surname in regular script
PronunciationGuō (Pinyin)
Kueh, Kok (Pe̍h-ōe-jī), kaku
Language(s)Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese
Language(s)Old Chinese (/*kʷraːɡ/)
DerivationState of Western Guo
Meaning"outer city wall"
Other names
Variant form(s)Kwok, Guok (Cantonese)
Guo, Kuo (Mandarin)
Kue, Koay, Lwek, Quek, Kwik(Hokkien)
Kue, Koay, Quek(Teochew)
Kuoch (Khmer - Cambodian)
Quách (Vietnamese)
Kwak (Korean) Kaku (Japanese)
Derivative(s)Quach, Kwak

In 2019 Guo was the 16th common surname in Mainland China.[1]


Royal AncestorsEdit

Legend has it that the Guo family is descended from Yellow Emperor (黃帝), who is traditionally said to have ruled China around 2697–2597 or 2698–2598 BC. Yellow Emperor had 25 sons, 14 of which were offered by Yellow Emperor with 12 names. The first son of Yellow Emperor was Shaohao, bearing the surname (姬) . Shaohao begot Qiaoji (蟜極). Qiaoji begot Emperor Ku. Emperor Ku begot Hou Ji. Hou Ji was the founder of Zhou kingdom in northwestern China. Hou Ji begot Buzhu. Buzhu begot Ji Ju. Ji Ju begot Gong Liu. Gong Liu begot Qingjie. After nine generations following Qingjie, their descendant King Ji of Zhou became the king of Zhou.


The surname of Guō descended from Prince Guo Shu (虢叔), the 3rd son of King Ji of Zhou. The character guó (, /*kʷraːɡ/) is rare in Chinese, and means "to hunt and flay a tiger", indicating that Guo Shu was a brave warrior. During the war unifying China, King Wen of Zhou always consulted his two younger brothers Guo Zhong (half brother) and Guo Shu (full brother).

After establishing Zhou dynasty, King Wu of Zhou feoffed his uncle and mentor Guo Shu to the Western Guo (西虢) around 1054 b.c. Guo Shu was named the Duke of Guo (虢公) or with same pronunciation the Duke of Guo (郭公) since after.

Guo Shu is regarded by Guo's clan as their primogenitor.

In 658 B.C., Western Guo was extinguished and annexed by State of Jin. The descendants of the Guo's clan were exiled and populated to Jinyang (nowadays Taiyuan) and formally adopted the name Guo.

Guo TingEdit

Guo Ting (郭亭), died 178 B.C., a local usher (連敖), took part in the Great Insurrection against the Qin dynasty and joined the army of Emperor Liu Bang. He was feoffed at Renqiu and conferred Marquess of A Ling (阿陵侯) in July 201 B.C. after the establishment of Han Dynasty. Guo's clan lost their noble title since 7th century B.C. After almost five centuries, Guo Ting was the first one to acquire a noble title again. Since then, talented Guos began to be active in Chinese history continuously towards the climax of the glory of Guo Ziyi some 800 years later.

Guo Ting begot Guo Ke. Guo Ke begot Guo Ou. Guo Ou begot Guo Guangyi. Guo Guangyi begot Guo Yan (courtesy name: Mengru). Mengru moved his family from Taiyuan to the Huazhou District.

Guo ZiyiEdit

About 700 years after Mengru moved to Huazhou District, Guo Ziyi stepped up to the stage of history. Guo Ziyi (Sep.5, 698 AD - Jul.9, 781 AD). Prince Zhōngwǔ of Fényáng (汾陽忠武王), was the Tang dynasty general who wiped out the An Lushan Rebellion and participated in expeditions against the Uyghur Khaganate and Tibetan Empire. He was regarded as one of the most powerful Tang generals before and after the Anshi Rebellion. After his death he was immortalized in Chinese mythology as the God of Wealth and Happiness (Lu Star of Fu Lu Shou). Guo Ziyi was the most successful and satisfactory official in China history. His achievements went far beyond Guo Shu and Guo Ting. He had eight brothers and eight sons and eight son-in-laws. Four of his sons conferred dukes and five of his sons and grandsons became Fuma(damat). All his son-in-laws were top brass of the country. one of his granddaughter became the Empress Dowager Guo (Tang dynasty). His descendants spread all over Northern China. Most of genealogy book of Guo's family over China record him as their first ancestor.

Hui surnameEdit

One of the Guo family is from Hui clans around Quanzhou in Fujian.

Early in the 14th century, a Persian Al-Qudsan Al-Dhaghan Nam (伊本·庫斯·德廣貢·納姆) was sent to Quanzhou by Külüg Khan for assisting grain transportation by sea. He failed to return to Khanbaliq due to war, then got married and settled at Quanzhou. Because his Persian surname Dhaghan pronounces similar to Chinese Guo, Al-Qudsan Al-Dhaghan Nam's grandsons began to change their surname to Guo in order to assimilate with local Han Chinese. It was politically expedient to claim they were descendants of Guo Ziyi in order to be better accommodated by Local people and later Ming Dynasty government. After Haijin policy applied and the Portuguese began to dominate the China-Middle East maritime trade, they were more localized and recognized as descendants as Guo Ziyi by themselves and by local people.

Due to more people of these clans identifying as Hui the population of Hui as grown.[2][3] All these clans needed was evidence of ancestry from Arab, Persian, or other Muslim ancestors to be recognized as Hui, and they did not need to practice Islam.[4] The Communist party and its policies encouraged the definition of Hui as a nationality or ethnicity.[5][6] The Chinese government's Historic Artifacts Bureau preserved tombs of Arabs and Persians whom Hui are descended from around Quanzhou.[7] Many of these Hui worship village gods and do not have Islam as their religion; they include Buddhists, Daoists, followers of Chinese Folk Religions, secularists, and Christians.[8] Many clans with thousands of members in numerous villages across Fujian recorded their genealogies and had Muslim ancestry.[9] Hui clans originating in Fujian have a strong sense of unity among their members, despite being scattered across a wide area in Asia, such as Fujian, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Philippines.[10][11]

In Taiwan there are also descendants of Hui who came with Koxinga who no longer observe Islam, the Taiwan branch of the Guo (romanized as Kuo in Taiwan) family is not Muslim, but still does not offer pork at ancestral shrines. The Chinese Muslim Association counts these people as Muslims.[12] The Taiwan Guo now view their Hui identity as irrelevant and don't assert that they are Hui.[13]

Various different accounts are given as to whom the Hui Guo clan is descended from. Several of the Guo claimed descent from Han chinese General Guo Ziyi.[14] They were then distressed and disturbed at the fact that their claim of descent from Guo Ziyi contradicted their being Hui, which required foreign ancestry.[15] While the Encyclopædia Iranica claims the ancestor of the Guo clan in Baiqi was the Persian Ebn Tur (Daqqaq).[16]

Notable peopleEdit


  • Guo Chongtao, General of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Later Tang (and Later Tang's predecessor state Jin).
  • Guo Chun, painter during the Early Ming Dynasty
  • Guo Chuwang, patriot at the end of the Song Dynasty
  • Guo Daiju, Official and Chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
  • Guo Huai, Military General of Cao Wei
  • Guo Jia, Official and Adviser under Warlord Cao Cao
  • Guo Kan, a famed Chinese general that served under the Mongols
  • Guo Nuwang, First Empress of Cao Wei
  • Guo Pu, writer and scholar of the Eastern Jin
  • Guo Rong, Second Emperor of Later Zhou also known as Chai Rong
  • Guo Shengtong, First Empress of Emperor Guangwu
  • Guo Shoujing, astronomer, engineer, and mathematician who lived during the Yuan Dynasty
  • Guo Si, General who serve under Warlord Dong Zhuo during the Late Han Dynasty
  • Guo Tu, adviser under Warlord Yuan Shao
  • Guo Wei, Founding Emperor of Later Zhou
  • Guo Xi, Chinese Painter of the Song Dynasty
  • Guo Xiang Taoist of the Early Jin Dynasty
  • Guo Xun, General of The Han Dynasty
  • Guo Yuanzhen, General Official and Chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
  • Guo Zhengyi, Official and Chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
  • Guo Zhongshu, painter and scholar during the Song Dynasty
  • Guo Ziyi, (697 – 781), general of Tang China who ended the Anshi Rebellion


Fictional peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (2004). Dislocating China: reflections on Muslims, minorities and other subaltern subjects. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 294. ISBN 1-85065-324-0.
  3. ^ Robert W. Hefner (1998). Market cultures: society and morality in the new Asian capitalisms. Westview Press. p. 113. ISBN 0-8133-3360-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1996). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 286. ISBN 0-674-59497-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  5. ^ Michael Dillon (1999). China's Muslim Hui community: migration, settlement and sects. Richmond: Curzon Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-7007-1026-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  6. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1996). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 272. ISBN 0-674-59497-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1996). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 266. ISBN 0-674-59497-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  8. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1998). Making majorities: constituting the nation in Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Fiji, Turkey, and the United States. Stanford University Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-8047-3048-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  9. ^ Chibli Mallat, Jane Frances Connors, University of London. Centre of Middle Eastern Studies (1990). Islamic family law. BRILL. p. 364. ISBN 1-85333-301-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Jean C. Oi; Andrew George Walder (1999). Property rights and economic reform in China. Stanford University Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-8047-3788-6. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  11. ^ Jean C. Oi; Andrew George Walder (1999). Property rights and economic reform in China. Stanford University Press. p. 63. ISBN 0-8047-3788-6. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  12. ^ Peter G. Gowing (July–August 1970). "Islam in Taiwan". SAUDI ARAMCO World. Archived from the original on 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  13. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1991). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic (2, illustrated, reprint ed.). Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University. p. 279. ISBN 0-674-59495-9. Retrieved 2010-06-28.[1]
  14. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1991). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic (2, illustrated, reprint ed.). Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University. p. 279. ISBN 0-674-59495-9. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  15. ^ Bettina Gransow; Pál Nyíri; Shiaw-Chian Fong (2005). China: new faces of ethnography (illustrated ed.). Lit Verlag. p. 126. ISBN 3-8258-8806-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  16. ^ [2]