Han (Korean surname)

Han (Hangul 한, Hanja 韓) is the typical romanized spelling of the Korean family name. Other alternate spellings for 한 include Hahn and Haan. In Sino-Korean, it translates to "King”, “Kingdom”, “country" or/and “Korean people”. Han is the oldest name in Korea.

Revised RomanizationHan


As with all the Korean family names, the holders of the Han surname are divided into different patrilineal clans, or lineages, known in Korean as bon-gwan, based on their ancestral seat. Most such clans trace their lineage back to a specific founder. This system was at its height under the Joseon Dynasty, but it remains in use today. There are approximately 241 such clans claimed by South Koreans.

Cheongju clanEdit

Cheongju Han clan is considered one of the noble clans of Korea, with the Gyeongju Kim, Gimhae Kim, Miryang Park, Gyeongju Seok, Pyeongyang Ko, and Jeonju Yi clans. In the Silla Dynasty, all of the Cheongju Hans were part of the seonggol rank.

During the Joseon Dynasty, the Cheongju Han clan produced 16 queens and were considered the highest of the yangban class, next to the Jeonju Yi clan. Considered one of the most prominent clans since the Gija period of the ancient Gojoseon Kingdom, the clan provided the Joseon Dynasty with the biggest number of generals, including Han Myeong-hoe, who was one Joseon's greatest generals and the father of Queen Jangsun (first wife of Yejong) and Queen Gonghye (first wife of Seongjong).

The Cheongju Hans are descendants of Gija, who was the paternal uncle (or brother) of the last ruler of the Chinese Shang Dynasty.

Danju clanEdit

The Danju Han clan was founded by Han Chong-rye, in the 10th century AD.

Samhwa clanEdit

Its representative person is the calligrapher Han Ho.

Goksan clanEdit

Han Ye, the founder of the Goksan Han clan, came to Goryeo from the Song Dynasty, in 1206. His descendants include Han Yi-won (韓以原), who lived during the reign of Sukjong of Joseon, and excelled in poetry and epidemiology and Han Yeo-yu (韓汝愈), Han Si-yu (韓是愈), and Han Mun-gun (韓文健), who gained fame as scholars.

In 2015, there were 6,266 members of Goksan Han clan in South Korea.

Notable People With The Surname: 한Edit


  • Han Ji-sung (known as Han): singer and rapper; member of Stray Kids and of Hip-hop trio 3Racha
  • Han Eun-ji (known as Mia): singer and dancer; member of Everglow
  • Han Ji-hyo (known as Jihan): singer; member of Weeekly
  • Han Ji-hyun (Known as Tey): singer; member of MR.MR
  • Han Na-yeon: rapper and singer; former member of F-ve Dolls
  • Han Sang-hyuk (known as Hyuk): singer, dancer and actor; member of VIXX
  • Han Seung-yeon: singer and actress; former member of KARA
  • Han Sun-hwa: singer and actress; former member of Secret
  • Han Seung-woo: singer; member of Victon
  • Han Ye-jin: singer; former member of Brave Girls
  • Han Da-som (known as Terry): singer; former member of NeonPunch
  • Han Hye-ri: singer and actress; former member of I.B.I

Actresses and ActorsEdit


Fictional CharactersEdit


Related surnames with Cheongju HanEdit

There are two Korean surnames which are believed to be related and share common ancestry and origin with the Cheongju Han. The Taewon Seonwoo and the Hangju Gi clans are believed to have originated from the same root as the Cheongju Han clan.

According to genealogical records, Gijun, the last King of Gojoseon, is believed to have had three sons, U-Pyeong (우평), U-Seong (우성) and U-Ryang (우량). During Korea's Three Kingdoms period, U-Pyeong is said to have settled in Goguryeo, and his descendants later established the Taewon Seonwoo clan, U-Seong is said to have settled in Baekje, and his descendants later established the Hangju Gi clan and finally, U-Ryang is said to have settled in Silla and his descendants later established the Cheongju Han clan, with its bon-gwan in Cheongju.

Han and GojoseonEdit

See also: List of monarchs of Korea, Gija Joseon, Gojoseon, Samhan, Proto–Three Kingdoms of Korea

Many Korean historians believe that Gijun of Gojoseon was actually "Hanjun"(한준) and had the surname Han (韓), not Gi and that all of the Kings of Gija Joseon were of the surname Han (韓).

There is a controversy over Gija's origin. It is believed that he came from the Chinese Shang Dynasty and was a paternal uncle (or brother) of the last Shang ruler, King Zhou, however Gija likely came from the Eastern Yi. Gija and his descendants were also believed to have the surname Han (韓), as Jun, the last King of Gojoseon and a descendant of Gija, who, after fleeing from Wiman, claimed himself as the King of Han (한왕; 韓王), when he founded Mahan (part of the Samhan). With this it shows that the surname Han may have existed since the time of Gojoseon and establishes the Han clan (韓) as the oldest surname in Korea (dating back to around 5000 years ago) and as the rulers Gojoseon and Mahan.

However, many Korean historians deny any existence of Gija and Gija Joseon, accepting it as a legend.


See alsoEdit