Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Yang (Korean surname)

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Revised Romanization  Yang
Hanja  梁, 楊, 樑, 襄
McCune–Reischauer  Yang

Yang is a Korean surname. According to the 2000 South Korean Census, 486,645 people in South Korea had the surname Yang.



The family name Yang can be written with four different hanja, indicating different lineages. The 2000 South Korean Census found a total of 486,645 people in 151,315 households with these family names.

Hanja meaning "bridge" (梁 or 樑)

Deulbo Yang (들보 양, 梁), meaning "bridge", is by far the most common of the four surname hanja read Yang, used by 389,152 people in 120,534 households. This made it the 25th-most common surname among the 288 surnames distinguished by the 2000 Census. Additionally, another 3,254 people in 960 households used the variant form (樑, with a "tree" radical added on the left); that variant alone was the 144th-most common surname. They identified with 32 different bon-gwan (hometown of a clan lineage, not necessarily the actual residence of clan members):

  • Namwon, North Jeolla: 218,546 people in 67,691 households. They claim descent from Yang U-ryang (梁友諒), a descendant of the Jeju Yang clan's ancestor Yang Eul-na who came to Namwon during the reign of Gyeongdeok of Silla.
  • Jeju: 133,355 people in 41,169 households. They claim descent from Yang Eul-na (梁乙那) of the Tamna kingdom in modern-day Jeju, whose surname was originally another character (良). Yang Sun (梁洵), a descendant of Yang Eul-na, then came to Silla in the mainland of Korea during the reign of King Sinmun, and the Namwon and Cheongju clans later branched off from the Jeju clan.
  • Namyang (today Hwaseong, Gyeonggi): 7,280 people in 2,173 households. Additionally, this was the bon-gwan reported by nearly all (3,211 people in 957 households) of the people who used the variant form 樑; two others reported a different bon-gwan, while the other 41 did not report a bon-gwan at all.
  • Cheongju, North Chungcheong: 8,499 people in 2,649 households.
  • Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang: 6,274 people in 1,990 households.
  • Other or unreported bon-gwan: 15,171 people in 4,862 households.
  • Hanja meaning "willow" (楊)

    Beodeul Yang (버들 양, 楊), meaning "willow", is the second-most common of the four surname hanja read Yang, used by 93,416 people in 29,558 households. This made it the 55th-most common surname in the 2000 Census.

    Hanja meaning "assist" (襄)

    Doul Yang (도울 양, 襄), meaning "assist", is the least common of the four surname hanja read Yang, used by 823 people in 263 households. This made it the 182nd-most common surname in the 2000 Census. The census did not report the bon-gwan for this surname.

    Notable people with the surname

    The list below enumerates famous people with the surname Yang, which includes Yang Hyun-suk, the CEO and founder of YG Entertainment, wrestler Yang Jung-mo who was the first South Korean to win an Olympic gold medal, and gymnast Yang Hak-seon who was the first South Korean to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.


  • Yang Ji-won (1949): South Korean professor of chemical and bio-molecular engineering, KAIST
  • Business

  • Michael Yang (1961): South Korean-born American entrepreneur
  • Entertainment/film

  • Yang Dong-geun (1979): South Korean actor and hip-hop artist
  • Yang Hee-kyung (1954): South Korean actress
  • Yang Hyun-suk (1969): founder and CEO of YG Entertainment
  • Yang Ik-june (1975): South actor and director
  • Yang Jiwon (1988): South Korean idol singer, member of Spica, former member of Five Girls and T-ara
  • Yang Jin-sung (1988): South Korean actress who played the role of Shin Eun-Ah in the drama City Hunter
  • Yang Jung-a (1971): South Korean actress
  • Yang Mi-kyung (1961): South Korean actress who played the role of Lady Han in the drama Dae Jang Geum
  • Shin Min-a (1984): her real last name is Yang; actress and model
  • Yang Seung-ho (1987): South Korean singer, leader of boy group MBLAQ
  • Yang Yong-hi (1964): Zainichi Korean filmmaker
  • Yang Yena (2000): lead dancer of the South Korean girl group April (band)
  • Yang Yun-ho (1966): South Korean film director and screenwriter
  • Yang Yo-seob (1990): main vocalist for Korean boy group Beast
  • Yang Hongseok (1994): member of South Korean boy group Pentagon and former YG Entertainment Trainee
  • Literature

  • Yang Gui-ja (1955): South Korean writer
  • Military

  • Yang Kyoungjong: (1920–1992) Korean soldier who fought for the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and the German Wehrmacht during World War II
  • Music

  • Yang In-mo (1995): South Korean violinist, first Korean to receive the top prize in the Paganini Competition
  • Yang Bang-ean (1960): Korean name Yang Bang-ean. Tokyo-born Korean pianist and composer
  • Sung-Won Yang: South Korean cellist, professor of cello at the Yonsei University School of Music
  • Politics

  • Yang Gi-tak (1871-1938): Korean independence activist, 9th president of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (1933–1935)
  • Yang Sung-chul (1939): South Korean diplomat who served as Seoul's ambassador to the U.S. from 2000–2003
  • Sports

  • Yang Dong-geun (basketball) (1981): South Korean basketball player, national team member
  • Yang Dongi (1984): South Korean mixed martial artist who competes in the middleweight division
  • Yang Hak-seon (1992): South Korean gymnast, country's first Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics
  • Yang Hee-jong (1984): South Korean basketball player, national team member
  • Yang Joon-hyuk (1969): South Korean professional baseball outfielder for the Samsung Lions
  • Yang Hyeon-jong (1988): South Korean professional baseball outfielder for the Kia Tigers
  • Yang Jung-mo (1953): South Korean freestyle wrestler and the country's first Olympic gold medalist
  • Yang Shin-young (1990): South Korean short-track and long-track speed skater
  • Yang Tae-hwa (1982): South Korean ice dancer, national champion from 1999-2002
  • Yang Tae-young (1980): South Korean 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the individual all-around event in artistic gymnastics
  • Yang Yong-eun (1972): South Korean professional golf player and a two-time winner of the PGA Tour
  • Yang Young-ja (1964): South Korean professional table tennis player who won gold at the 1988 Olympics
  • Visual arts/fashion

  • Niki Yang: South Korean animator based in the United States
  • Fictional characters

  • Cristina Yang: fictional character on Grey's Anatomy played by Sandra Oh. When the creator of Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes asked Oh what she wanted her character's last name to be, Oh chose Yang.
  • References

    Yang (Korean surname) Wikipedia

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