Ji (surname 嵇)

is the Mandarin pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname written in Chinese characters. It is romanized as Chi in Wade–Giles and Kai or Gai in Cantonese. Ji is listed 194th in the Song dynasty classic Hundred Family Surnames.[1] Relatively uncommon, it is not among the top 300 surnames in China.[2]

Ji (嵇)
PronunciationJī (Mandarin)
Gai (Cantonese)
Language(s)Old Chinese
Word/nameKuaiji, Mount Ji
Other names
Variant form(s)Chi, Kai, Gai


According to the Yuanhe Xing Zuan, a Tang-era text on Chinese genealogy, the Ji surname originated from Kuaiji (present-day Shaoxing) on the southern shore of Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang. King Shao Kang of the Xia was said to have enfeoffed one of his sons in the place and his descendants adopted Kuaiji or Ji (written ) as their surname. Then, during the early Han dynasty, a branch of this clan was said to have migrated to Mount Ji (嵇山) in Qiao Commandery (谯郡, within modern Bozhou in Anhui). They then altered the character of their surname to match their new home.[3][4]

Later adoptionEdit

During the Xianbei Northern Wei dynasty, Emperor Xiaowen (r. AD 467–499) implemented a drastic policy of sinicization, ordering his own people to adopt Chinese surnames. The Tongji (统嵇) tribe of the Xianbei adopted Ji as their surname.[4]

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "百家姓" [Hundred Family Surnames] (in Chinese). Guoxue. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  2. ^ 中国最新300大姓排名(2008) [300 most common surnames in China (2008)] (in Chinese). Taiwan.cn. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  3. ^ 嵇姓起源,名人及家谱 [Origin and famous people of the Ji surname] (in Chinese). Shangdu. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  4. ^ a b 嵇: 姓氏起源 详细解读 [Origin of the Ji surname] (in Chinese). China Education. 2011-04-11. Retrieved 2014-03-05.