Links on our surname Chang and history with references.
Chen, Zheng are other forms.
See line 7:
The Zheng surname originated in Henan. In 806 BC King Xuan, the penultimate king of the Western Zhou Dynasty, enfeoffed his younger brother Prince You at Zheng (present-dayHua County, Shaanxi), who became posthumously known as Duke Huan of Zheng. Duke Huan was killed along with King You of Zhou when the Quanrong tribes sacked the Zhou capital Haojing in 771 BC. Duke Huan was succeeded by his son Duke Wu, who helped King Ping of Zhou establish the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in Luoyang, and his feudal state of Zheng was also moved east to present-day Henan. His descendants and many people of the state later adopted Zheng as their surname.
Zheng He Links:
Zheng He 郑和 had adopted his nephew as his son. This adopted son was called Zheng Enlai 郑恩来 and he was actually the eldest son of Zhenghe’s elder brother, Ma Wenming 马文铭. Effectively, they had direct ancestry lineage originating from the same family. Zheng He also had two grandsons called Zheng Wanxuan 郑万选 and Zheng Tingxuan 郑廷选. The adopted son Zheng Enlai lived in Nanjing’s Sansan street 三山街 (today’s Mafu street), which was also called the the Manor of Ma
Note that Zheng He’s real family name was called “Ma 马“, which was transliterated from his Arabic muslim surname “Mahmood“. You should know that Zheng He’s was a hui-chinese (muslim) with central asian roots. His ancestry could be traced to muslim aristoracy in central Asia. His 6-lineage ancester Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar came to China from central Asia during Yuan dynasty, and he was descendant of the king Mohammed of Bukhara in central Asia (part of Khwarzem Shah Empire). Sayyid Adjjal Shams Al-Din Omar was conferred the title “Prince Xianyang 咸阳王” in Yunnan during Yuan dynasty. However, since they had sinicized for quite a long time, Zheng He also adopted Chinese surname “Zheng”.
Zheng He’s descendants had today survived till the 21 generations (after Zhenghe). Some of the prominent descendents include Zheng Zhiqiang 郑自强 (19th generation descendants based in Nanjing today), Zheng Enliang 郑恩良 (based in Yunnan Jining 云南晋宁 who is already around 75 years old today), Zheng Qinying 郑琴英 (15th generation descendant based in Chiangmai, Thailand).
Zheng He’s descendant records were based on Zheng He’s family genealogy record 《郑和家谱》 found in Yunnan. It was recorded:
Translated as “Ma Wenming’s eldest son established lineage, moved to Nanjing”s Sansan shrine, called Manor of Ma”
According to Zheng Zhihai 郑自海, a researcher of Zhenghe Research Center in Jiangsu, the descendents of Zheng He are as follow:
1. The offspring of Yunnan was propagated by the eldest son of Zheng Enlai (Zheng He’s adopted son). However, during late Qing period, due to persecution from Qing court, one portion of the family escaped to Thailand. At that time, the 17th generation descendent Zheng Songlin 郑松林 migrated with his family to Chiangmai in northern Thailand. Over there, he married the daughter of mayor Chiangmai. As time passed by, the descendants of Zheng Songlin no longer speak any Chinese. Neither do they know their origin. It was estimated that this offspring descendants of Zhenghe in Thailand had around 100-200 people.
2. The offspring in Nanjing originated from the propagation by the 2nd son of Zheng Enlai (Zheng He’s adopted son). Since Zheng He had lived in Nanjing for a long time, he also adopted two nephews, one stayed in Yunnan, the other came to Nanjing. Their descendants could all be Zheng He’s descendants. According to Zheng Zhiqiang 郑自强 (descendant of Zhenghe), Nanjing had an estimated descendants of 242 people. In Jiangsu province, there were around 200 descendents of Zheng He.
3. The descendants of Zhenghe at Yunnan are distributed around Yuxi city 玉溪市. They numbered around hundreds.
These descendants of Zhenghe at Yunnan and Nanjing all had their own family genealogy records, as well as stone tablets with records of their ancestors. For instance, at the village of Longmen at Yuxi, there was a stone tablet called Jianlong Maqiao Muhua Ying 《建龙马桥募化引》, on it was inscribed the name “Zheng Pu 郑溥” (9th generation descendant of Zhenghe). Other stone tablets include Pimei Houxian《媲美后先》 in the Mosque of Dongyin in Yuxi city (玉溪市红塔区东营清真寺). It recorded descendants such as Zheng Juzheng 郑居正, Zheng Juguang 郑居广, Zheng Youfa 郑有法, Zheng Youcai 郑有才, 10th,11th generation descendants of Zheng He.
Today, the descendants of Zhenghe, Zheng Yunzhang 郑云章 and Zheng Yunliang 郑云良, still lived in Dongyin region of Yuxi city in Yunnan.
I found this post on asiawind.com by Chung Yoon-Ngan. I’d thought that I would repost it here.
A History of Chang
reprinted from Posted to Overseas Chinese Forum at asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
All rights reserved
The 21st most common Chinese surname Zheng 鄭 (021)
Zheng means: serious; solemn
The surname Zheng is about 2,300 years old
The surname Zheng originated in an area referred to during the Han Dynasty
(漢朝 206BC to 220AD) as the Yingyang prefecture (滎陽郡). The present day
location of Yingyang prefecture is in an area about 17 kilometers southwest
of Yingze county (滎澤縣) of Henan province (河南省). The location of Yingze
county is at 113.4 degree East and 34.8 degree North on the world map.
In 1134BC, Ji Fa (姬發) became the leader of the Zhou People (周族) who
lived in the center of the Wei Valley (渭谷), west of the great bend of
the Yellow River. In 1122BC Ji Fa destroyed the Shang Dynasty (商朝 1783BC
to 1122BC) and established the Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC to 256BC). Ji Fa
was installed the Zhou King Wu (周武王), the first king of the Zhou Dynasty.
In 827BC, Ji Jing (姬靜), a descendant of Ji Fa became the 11th King of
the Zhou Dynasty. He was crowned Zhou King Xuan (周宣王), Ji You (姬友)
was a younger brother of Zhou King Xuan. When Ji You was thirty three years
old, in 806BC, Zhou King Xuan gave him the authority to rule a district
called Zheng (鄭 located in the northwest of the present day county of Hua
華縣 of Shaanxi province 陜西省). Zhou King Xuan also bestowed upon him the
hereditary title of Bo (伯) or Marquis. Ji You renamed his domain the State
of Zheng (鄭國) and he became the first ruler of Zheng.
Zhou King Xuan died in 782BC and was succeeded by his son Ji Gongnie (姬
宮涅), who ascended the throne as Zhou King You (周幽王). In 777BC Zhou
King You married a beautiful concubine, Bao Si (褒姒). A year later she
had a son who was named Bo Fu (伯服).
In 774BC Ji You was appointed by Zhou King You as a Situ (司套b) or an official
of ritual ceremonies in the Zhou Court. Although he was a ruler of Zheng
he lived in the capital, Hoa (鎬 present day Xian 西安 city in Shaanxi province
陜西省) to help Zhou King You to govern the country.
In 773BC Bao Si manipulated the old King into having his official wife,
the daughter of the ruler of the State of Shen (申國 present day Nanyang
county 南陽縣 in Henan province 河南省), imprisoned in a house behind the
palace. Zhou King You also banished his eldest son, Ji Yijiu (姬宜臼), the
crown prince, to the State of Shen. Zhou King You made Bao Si his official
queen and Bo Fu the new crown prince.
The ruler of Shen was very angry at the way that Zhou King You was treating
his daughter and grandson. There was nothing the ruler of Shen could do
as he was not military strong enough to take on the Zhou Court. So in 771BC
the ruler of Shen formed an alliance with the Quanrong (犬戎), a nomadic
tribe from the northwest, and attacked the Zhou capital which was very quickly
overran by the Quanrong who razed it to the ground. Ji You, Zhou King Xuan,
Bao Si and Bo Fu were killed in the turmoil.
Seeing that the Quanrong had destroyed the capital the ruler of Shen wanted
to break off the alliance with the Quanrong. The ruler of Shen secretly
sent words to his grandson, Ji Yijiu, to organize an army from several vassal
States, including troops from the State of Zheng, to rescue the capital.
Ji Yijiu attacked the Quanrong from outside and the Shen army attacked from
within the capital. The Quanrong were driven out of the capital to the northwest
where they belonged.
Ji Yijiu was crowned Zhou King Ping (周平王). Ji Juetu (姬掘突), the eldest
son of Ji You, became the new ruler of the State of Zheng. Hao was uninhabitable
as it was totally destroyed by the Quanrong. Zhou King Ping shifted his
capital to Chengzhou (成周 present day Luoyang 洛陽 city in Henan province).
Ji Juetu helped Zhou King Ping to relocate the citizens to the new capital.
Ji Juetu followed Zhou King Ping to live in Chengzhou and the State of Zheng,
in the west of the county of Hua in Shaanxi province, was left without a
ruler. Ying Kai (嬴開), the 6th ruler of the State of Qin (秦國 present
day Fengxiang county 鳳翔縣 in Shaanxi province) took the opportunity and
absorbed the State of Zheng.
In appreciation, Zhou King Ping rewarded Ji Juetu the authority to rule
the State of Guo (虢國 in the northeast of present day Yingyang county 滎
陽縣 of Henan province). Zhou King Ping forced Ji Xu (姬序), the incumbent
ruler of the State of Guo, to give up his domain in favour of Ji Juetu.
Guo was renamed by Ji Juetu as the new State of Zheng (新鄭國) and established
his capital in Xinzheng (新鄭 present day Xinzheng city in Henan province).
All the rulers of the vassal states were unhappy to see Ji Xu being deprived
of his domain by force. Mie Yi (羋儀) the 14th ruler of the State of Chu
(楚國 present day Jiangling county 江陵縣 in Hubei province 湖北省) was
so angry with Zhou King Ping that he threatened to attack the new capital.
In order to pacify the anger of the vassal states, Zhou King Ping allocated
Ji Xu, the former ruler of Guo, the authority to rule a district called Yangqu
(陽曲 present day north of Taiyuan 太原 city in Shanxi province 山西省)
which was named the State of Beiguo (北虢國).
Ji Juetu started to complain that his State was too small. He became restless
and wanted to expand his territory. Ji Juetu began absorbing settlements,
that bordered his new domain without the permission of the central authority,
the Zhou Court. Zhou King Ping was angry at Ji Juetu’s actions, but he
did nothing because the State of Zheng had become a very powerful State.
Ji Juetu died in 744BC and was succeeded by his eldest son Ji Wusheng (姬
寤生) who gave his younger brother Ji Duanshu (姬段叔) the authority to
rule a city called Jingcheng (京城 present day about 30 kilometers southeast
of Yingyang county in Henan province), at the insistence of his mother.
Ji Duanshu was very ambitious and wanted to be the ruler of Zheng. In 722BC
Ji Duanshu attacked the capital, Xinzheng, but he was defeated. Ji Duanshu
fled north to the State of Gong (共國 present day Huixian 輝縣 in Henan
province). When Ji Duanshu heard that his brother Ji Wusheng, wanted to
attack Gong, he was so frightened that he committed suicide. The fighting
between the two brothers was finally over, but at a great cost. The civil
war drained the state of men and resources. Additionally, the eventual death
of Ji Wusheng in 701BC resulted in twenty one years of internal strife between
the four sons of Ji Wusheng, Ji Hu (姬忽), Ji Tu (姬突), Ji Ziwei (姬子亹
) and Ji Ziying (姬子嬰). The State of Zheng was extremely weak by then,
and was incapable to defend itself.
During the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋時代722BC to 481BC), and the Warring
States Period (戰國時間 453BC to 221BC) the central authority, the Zhou
Court, was weak. Previously, all the vassal States had to pay homage to
the Zhou Court at least once in every three years. As the Zhou Court grew
weaker and weaker the vassal States came to regard the Zhou Court as a spent
force, and eventually the Zhou Court lost its power to mediate in the numerous
disputes among the vassal States. Large and powerful States began to conquer
and annex the small and feeble ones because they knew that the central authority
could do nothing to stop them. Eventually, in 376BC, Zheng was conquered
by the State of Han (韓國 present day Linfen county 臨汾縣 in Shanxi province
Since the inception of the State of Zheng in 806BC it had been ruled by
twenty three rulers; but now the last ruler was called Ji Yi (姬乙). In
remembrance of their beloved extinct State, Ji Yi and members of the Zheng
royal family changed their surname from Ji to ZHENG (鄭). [Please refer
to the chronology of the State of Zheng (鄭國 806BC to 375BC)].
Zheng Dangshi (鄭當時), the seventh generation descendant of Ji Lu (姬魯
), who was the son of Ji Yi (You Gong see 22), was an agricultural official
during the Han Dynasty (漢朝 296BC to 220AD). Zhen Ya (鄭雅), the sixth
generation offspring of Zheng Dangshi relocated himself to Yingyang Prefecture
just before the end of the Han Dynasty. It was recorded that surname Zheng
was originated from Ying Yang county.
The couplet for surname Zheng is:
北戰南征收寶島.—Bei3 zhan4 nan2 zheng shou bao3 dao3,
船來帆往下西洋.—Chuan2 lai2 fan wang3 xia4 xi yang2.
Fighting from the north to the south,
Eventually the treasure island of Taiwan was restored.
Busy sailing the wide sea, Zheng He set sail to the
West Sea (South and Southeast Asia) many times
The 1st line was by Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功)
The 2nd line by Zheng He (鄭和)
Prominent historical persons prduced by the Zheng clan
(1) Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功or Coxinga 1624AD to 1662AD)
Across the sea there is an island called Taiwan,
The Ming patriot Koxinga developed it about fourteen scores years ago.
The offspring of Guangdong and Fujian provinces are most of the islanders,
Clearing bush land and building roads they laboured.
Happily they live and cultivate this land.
A poem on Taiwan
Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功) was born in Hirato (平戶), an island in Kyushu,
(九州) Japan, in 1624AD, the 4th year reign of Emperor Xi Zong of Ming Dynasty
(明朝熹宗皇帝), the year of Jia Zi (甲子年) or the Year of the Rat. His
father, Zheng Zhilong (鄭芝龍 1600AD to 1661AD), was from Shi Jing village
(石井鄉) of Nan An county (南安縣) in the city of Quan Zhou (泉州) in Fujian
province (福建省). His mother was a Japanese woman by the name of Tamura
Zheng Zhilong was a maritime merchant and a part-time pirate. In 1622AD,
with his boss Yan Siqi (顏思齊) Zheng Zhilong came to Beigang (北港) in
Taiwan. Zheng Zhilong often went to Hirato to trade. While in business in
Hirato he married a Japanese girl who became the mother of Zheng Chenggong.
Tamura Matsu, Zheng Chenggong’s mother, raised him on her own until he was
seven. In 1631, Zheng Zhilong took Zheng Chenggong and his younger brother
home in Nanan (南安) of Jinjiang county (晉江縣) in Fujian province. During
those time Japanese women were forbidden from leaving Japan. Zheng Zhilong
engaged a tutor to teach his elder son the classics and hoped that his son
might be able to pass the Imperial Examination. Ten years later Zheng Chenggong’
s mother was allowed to leave Japan and arrived at Nanan to live with her
Zheng Zhilong surrendered to Shen Youlong (沈猶龍), the governor of Fujian
province (福建省). In 1633 the Dutch invaded Shamen (廈門) harbour the new
governor of Fujian province, Zou Weilian (鄒維璉), ordered the Ming Naval
Force to encounter the Dutch. Zheng Zhilong was ordered to be the vanguard
of the naval force. The Dutch naval force was repulsed. The naval force
under the command of Zheng Zhilong destroyed five Dutch ships and captured
one. Zheng Zhilong was promoted to the rank of admiral (福建水師提督) by
the Fujian Governor, Zou Weilian .
In May 1644AD, Fu Wang (福王 or Prince Fu), Zhu Yousong (朱由崧), the first
cousin brother of Emperor Yi Zong, was installed as the new Emperor of the
Ming Dynasty in Nanjing (南京) in Jiangsu province (江蘇省). Zheng Chenggong
was 21-years-old and he went to Nanjing to study at a University. His father
and his uncle Zheng Hongkui (鄭鴻逵) were supporting Zhu Yousong. Zheng
Chenggong was told by his father and uncle to serve Zhu Yousong. Zheng Chenggong
was charmed by the charisma of Zhu Yousong and became a staunch supporter
of Zhu Yousong. Seeing him so loyal to him Zhu Yousong bestowed upon Zheng
Chenggong the title of the Loyal Viscount (忠孝伯).
In May 1645AD, one year after Fu Wang Zhu Yousong (福王朱由崧) was installed
the new Ming Emperor, the Qing Army captured Nanjing. In June, while fleeing
south the Ming Emperor Zhu Yousong was captured by the Qing troops at Wuhu
(蕪湖) in Anhui province (安徽省). He was sent to Beijing where he was executed
in a market place. In the same month, Huang Daozhou (黃道周), the Governor
of Fujian province and Zheng Zhilong (鄭芝龍), the military commander of
Fuzhou (福州), installed Zhu Yujian (朱聿鍵) as the new Ming Emperor in
Fuzhou in Fujian province. In August the Qing Government issued a decree
ordering all male persons in the whole country to wear pigtails symbolizing
sunmission to Manzhous (薙髮令).
Zheng Zhilong had no intention of becoming a loyal general to the extinct
Ming Dynasty. He was only using Zhu Yujian to raise his prestige. Zheng
Chenggong argued long and hard with his father not to surrender to the Manzhous
but of no avail. Zheng Zhilong told his son that the Ming Dynasty was a
spent force. Secretly he sent a messeger to the commander of the Qing troops
inviting him to come to Fuzhou. In August 1646AD the Qing Army entered Fujian
province without a fight. Tamura Matsu, Zheng Chenggong’s mother was raped
and killed by the Manzhou soldiers when they entered Nanan. Zheng Chenggong
was very sad and angry with the Manzhous. He hated his father for inviting
causing his mother’s death.
While trying to escape, Zhu Yujian, the newly installed Ming Emperor, was
captured by the Qing troops. He was brought back to Fuzhou and executed.
In November, Gui Wang (桂王 or Prince Gui), Zhu Youlang (朱由榔), the elder
cousin brother of Zhu Yousong, was installed as the third Emperor of the
Ming since the establishment of the Qing Dynasty, in Zhao Qing (肇慶 present
day Gao Yao county 高要縣) in Guangdong province (廣東省).
At the age of 23, Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功), went to a Confucius temple in
Fengchuan town (豐川鎮) of Quanzhou (泉¦
‘7b) in Fujian province. In the temple he burned his scholar attire and
Now I am a subject without a Lord and I should go and do my own business.”
He raised an army to fight against the Qing Authorities. He captured Haicheng
(海澄), Quanz hou (泉州), Tongan (同安), Zhaoan (詔安), Huilai (惠來), Chaoyang
(潮陽),Shamen (廈門), Jinmen (金門), Zhangpu (漳浦) and Zhangzhou (漳州).
It was a shocked to the Qing Authorities and the whole country thought that
Zheng Chenggong was going to revive the Ming Dynasty. On hearing the good
news, Zhu Youlang, the newly installed Ming Emperor in Guangdong province,
awarded Zheng Chenggong the title of Zhang Guo Gong (漳國公) or the Duke
of the State of Zhang. Wanting to blackmail Zheng Chenggong the Qing Authorities
forced Zheng Zhilong to write to his son telling him to surrender otherwise
his father would be killed. Zheng Shizhong (鄭世忠), the youngest son of
Zheng Zhilong went to Haicheng to deliver the letter to his elder brother.
But Zheng Chenggong refused to surrender and he replied his father,
How can I depart from the phoenix and go to live with the tiger and the
Zheng Chenggong broke off his relationship with his father and supported
the newly installed Ming Emperor. Zheng Chenggong formed an alliance with
Zhang Huangyan (張煌言), who had been leading an army fighting the Manzhous
trying to reconquer the north.
In January 1647AD, the Qing Army attacked Zhu Youlang in Zhaoqing. Zhu Youlang
fled to Guilin ( 桂林) in Guangxi province (廣西省). Again in November the
Qing Army attacked Zhu Youlang and he fled to Wugang (武岡) in Hunan province
In the same month, 1647AD, Zheng Chenggong established an Administration
in the present day of Shamen which he renamed Simingzhou (思明州) or the
State to Remember the Ming. In 1657AD, Zhu Youlang, the fugitive Ming Emperor,
bestowed upon him another title Yan Ping Wang (延平王) or the Prince of
In 1658AD, starting from Chongming island (崇明島), at the mouth of Changjiang
(長江 or the Yangtze River), Zheng Chenggong captured Guazhou (瓜州 in the
south of present day Jiangdu county 江都縣 in Jiangsu province 江蘇省) and
defeated the Qing’s reinforcement at Yangpeng Mountain (楊篷山). He attacked
and overran Zhenjiang (鎮江 in present day Zhejiang province 浙江省) and
occupied all the counties in the vicinity. The objective of Zheng Chenggong
was the city of Nanjing (南京 in present day Jiangsu province 江蘇省). Zhang
Huangyan leading his army started from Wuhu (蕪湖 in present day Anhui province
安徽省) and overran Ninghui (寧徽). They continued to march north and captured
four Prefectures (郡) and twenty four counties (縣).
The whole Qing Empire was shaken. Emperor Shun Zhi (順治皇帝), the first
Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, was so frightened that he wanted to return
to his ancestors’ land in the Northeast. After a big scolding from his mother
the Emperor settled down quietly in Beijing. When he arrived near the city
of Nanjing, Zheng Chenggong did not attack Nanjing at once due to the shortage
of food for his troops. He waited for one month for the supplies to arrive.
By that time the Qing’s reinforcement had arrived from the north. In the
decisive battle that followed at the north gate of Nanjing city Zheng Chenggong
was defeated. He lost more than 500 battleships and thousands of men. Zheng
Chenggong retreated back to Shamen. Zhang Huangyan returned to his home
base. In 1660AD, the Qing Army attacked Shamen with a large force. Zheng
Chenggong repulsed the attack.
Having granted the rights to establish posts in Taiwan, the Dutch East India
Company Head Office in Batavia (present day Jakarta in Indonesia) appointed
a Governor to administer their new colony. The first Dutch Govenor in Taiwan
was Maarten Snock (1624AD to 1625AD)*. The Dutch discovered that Taiwan
was a fertile land that grew many products. Throughout their rule of Taiwan
for 38 years the Dutch population had never been more than two thousand
including the soldiers. The Dutch employed the Chinese immigrants in helping
them to build Fort Zeelandia (庶蘭奢城 present day ‘Old Fort” in Anping 安
平古堡). It took them eight years to complete. Canons were set up to defend
the fort from the attacks by the Portuguese, Spanish, English as well as
the local residents.
The Dutch in Taiwan made great profits out of trading with Batavia, China,
Japan and their motherland, Holland. The Dutch imported spices, tin, cotton,
opium etc from Batavia; silver from Japan; silk, fine china, gold, herbal
medicines from China. They exported sugar and deer skins to China and Japan.
Silk, fine chinas and gold were exported from Taiwan to their motherland.
The Dutch ruled Taiwan as a colonial enterprise. They regarded the whole
of Taiwan belonged to the Dutch monarch. The Dutch leased farm land to the
Chinese and introduced oxen to till the rice fields to replace human labour,
but the Chinese farmers had to pay rent because the Dutch considered the
farm land as “King’s Field”. Therefore the farmers had to pay tax.
Sugar was produced in southern Taiwan and exported before the Dutch took
over Taiwan. The Dutch East India Company wanted to establish sugar cane
plantations as the climate in the south of the island was suitable for growing
them. They were promoting sugar as the major export industry and made more
profit. In order to increase the production of sugar and developed Taiwan
a large labour force was required. So the Dutch imported a great number
of Chinese from China. The Dutch enslaved them and taxed them heavily. Those
newly arrived Chinese immigrants who were not sponsored by the Dutch had
to pay head taxes.
The Chinese regarded Taiwan as their own territory. The Dutch not only imposed
heavy taxes on local Chinese farmers but also placed limitations of trade
on the Chinese merchants. The Chinese were angry and hated the Dutch. Eventually,
in 1652, the Chinese rebelled against the Dutch Colonial Authorities. The
rebellion was headed by a farmer named Guo Huaiyi (郭懷一). On September,
7 1652 he assembled his men and planned to start the uprising on the night
of the Chinese Moon Festival (中秋節). Somehow the secret was leaked to
the Dutch. Knowing that the date of the uprising had been leaked, immediatey
Guo Huaiyi led his men of 16,000 strong to attack the Dutch Administration
Centers. Guo Huaiyi’s men used hoes, bamboo spears and clubs against the
Dutch soldiers using modern weapons. It was no match. The rebellion was
crushed with great force with the help of 2,000 aborigines who were treated
far better than the Chinese. 4,000 of Guo Huaiyi’s men were killed in the
uprising and more than a thousand Chinese immigrants were later executed.
After the Chinese unsuccessful rebellion, the Dutch built Fort Provintia
(赤嵌城) in the present day city of Tainan. The Dutch employed the aborigines
to build the fort as the Chinese refused to help. The non-cooperation of
the Chinese, later, led to the downfall of the Dutch in Taiwan
In January 1661AD, Emperor Shun Zhi (順治皇帝), the first Emperor of the
Qing Dynasty, died and was succeeded by his eldest son who was crowned Emperor
Kang Xi (康熙皇帝 1662AD to 1722AD).
While he and his forces were languishing in Shamen (廈門) in Fujian province
Zheng Chenggong suddenly thought of the island of Taiwan which lay across
the Taiwan Strait. But he did not know much about Taiwan although his family
had traded with the Dutch in Taiwan.
An opportunity arrived when a man named He Bin (何斌) who had worked as
an interpreter for the Dutch East India Company in Taiwan, was taking shelter
in Shamen. He fled to Shamen to avoid debt collectors. He had lived through
the 1652AD uprising led by Guo Huaiyi. He Bin presented a sea chart to Zheng
Chenggong, asking him to take Taiwan. He was not only telling Zheng Chenggong
about the resentment of the Chinese towards the Dutch and the military situation
of the Dutch in Tainan but also information about the geographical topography.
Zheng Chenggong also accepted the advice by his military adviser Chen Yonghua
(陳永華) who suggested that Zheng Chenggong should mobilize his army to
In April, 1661, appointing He Bin as guide and with an armada of more than
900 ships and an amphibious force of 25,000 strong Zheng Chenggong sailed
from the bay of Liaoluo in Jinmen (金門島料羅灣) for the island of Taiwan.
They crossed the Taiwan Strait via Penghu Islands and on April 30, 1661,
arrived at Luermen (鹿耳門 the Gate of the Deer’s Ears, present day Tainan
台南). Legend has it that by that time Zheng Chenggong’s army had run out
of food. The sandbanks were making it difficult for the soldiers to come
ashore. Standing on the bow of his ship Zheng Chenggong burned incense to
Matzu, the Goddess of Navigation 媽祖航海女神]. Not long after the tide
swelled and Zheng Chenggong’s amphibious force landed ashore smoothly. Later,
Zheng Chenggong built a temple dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of Navigation.
After Zheng Chenggong’s troops had landed they attacked Fort Zeelandia where
the Dutch were defending. The next day the Dutch Military commander was
killed in battle. On the 4th day, the Dutch sued for peace and were willing
to surrender. However, the next day the Dutch changed their mind and said
that they were willing to give Zheng Chenggong all the silver they had but
they did not want to leave Taiwan. Zheng Chenggong sent a messenger called
Li Chong (李沖) to tell the Dutch:
“台灣者, 中國土地也” “地當歸我”
“Taiwan is Chinese land and it should return to the Chinese”
But the Dutch would not budge. Actually, the Dutch were marking time and
waiting for the reinforcement from Batavia (present day Jakarta, Indonesia)
to arrival. So fighting started again. Eventually, the Dutch reinforcement
arrived. Severe battles followed. Zheng Chenggong laid siege to Fort Zeelandia
and gave the Dutch 8 conditions why they should give up fighting.
Meanwhile, in October 1661AD, Zheng Zhilong, the father of Zheng Chenggong,
in captivity was sent to Beijing where he was executed. Zhu Youlong, the
Ming Emperor was hiding in Burma. In December, Wu Sangui (吳三桂), the Ming
quisling General, led the Qing troops into Burma with the intention of capturing
the Ming Emperor. The Burmese had no means to stop the incursion by the
Qing troops. Without alternative the Burmese Authorities captured the Ming
Emperor and presented him to Wu Sangui who then left Burma. Wu Sangui personally
presented the Ming Emperor as a gift to Emperor Kang Xi’s coronation. A
happy Wu Sangui was greatly rewarded. That was the end of the Ming Dynasty
after 294 years in existence.
After the Guo Huaiyi’s uprising was crushed in 1652AD the Chinese hated
the Dutch and they welcomed Zheng Chenggong’s army who had occupied Fort
Providentia (赤嵌樓 Chiqianlou) and lay a siege to Fort Zeelandia (安平城
Anpingcheng). The siege lasted 9 months. During this period more than 1,600
Dutch were killed or wounded. The Dutch were without food and water. In
the end the Dutch had no choice but to accept the 8 conditions demanded
by Zheng Chenggong. The Dutch surrendered.
On February 1, 1662AD, the Dutch signed the surrendered document ending
their 38 years rule in Taiwan. After signing the surrendered document, Frederik
Coyett, the last Dutch Governor in Taiwan, led all the Dutch personnels
and sailed back to Batavia from where they came. Following the victory over
the Dutch, Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功), at Fort Providentia (赤嵌城), proclaimed
that Taiwan was a territory of the Ming Dynasty. It was the first time that
Taiwan was ruled by Han Chinese (漢族). He established a Kingdom called “The
Yan Ping Kingdom (延平郡王府)”, after his title that Gui Wang Zhu Youlang
(桂王朱由榔), the last Ming Emperor bestowed upon him. He renamed Taiwan
“Dongdu 東都 or Eastern Capital” and the area around Fort Zeelandia to “Anping
安平 or Tranquilly Peaceful”. The capital Fort Providentia was renamed “Cheng
Tian Fu” (承天府 present day the city of Tainan).
Zheng Chenggong made Taiwan his base to restore the Ming Dynasty and anti-Qing
(反清復明). The administration system of his government was to follow that
of the Ming Dynasty. He established Ming judiciary systems and built schools.
His urged his subjects to follow the Ming customs. He divided the island
of Taiwan into two Prefectures, one in the north and in the south and established
a garrison command on Penghu Islands. He encouraged Chinese from the Mainland
to come and settle in Taiwan. He told the Chinese in the coastal regions
that Taiwan was a fertile place and land was plentiful. The estimated Han
Chinese population was about 100,000 not including the aborigines. The population
was increased by Zheng Chenggong’s 30,000 army and their dependents.
According to some records , Zheng Chenggong sent agents to Zhangzhou (漳
州) and Quanzhou (泉州) in Fujian province as well as Huizhou (惠州) and
Chaozhou (潮州) in Guangdong province to recruit new settlers. During the
period of the Zheng family regime from 1662AD to 1683AD there were about
100,000 people had moved to settle in Taiwan. Due to the influx of so many
new settlers to Taiwan from China that there was an urgent need for food
supplies. He confiscated all the lands owned by the Dutch East India Company
and making them into Government lands. Officials were allocated with Government
lands. Soldiers were allowed to claim lands, that were not belonging to the
aborigines, to produce food. As a result of this agricultural expansion
the production of food was greatly increased.
People living in the coastal regions in mainland China were greatly influenced
by the agricultural policy in Taiwan. In order to stop the Chinese from
migrating to Taiwan the Qing Government evacuated the coastal regions opposite
Taiwan. It was a counter-reaction. People had been living in these regions
for generations and they were not willing to move inland. Thus the Qing
Government was indirectly forcing more people to flee to Taiwan.
Zheng Chenggong composed a poem called
“The Restoration of Taiwan 復台”
開闢荊榛逐荷夷,—Kai pi jing zhen zhu He Yi,
十年始克復先基.—Shi nian shi ke fu xian ji.
田橫尚有三千客,—Tian heng shang you san qian ke,
茹苦間關不忍離.—Ru ku jian guan bu ren li
The English translation
Having defeated the Dutch we cleared the brambles and developed the land,
It required a decade of hard work to build up the foundation.
Despite the hardship, we, the force of three thousand Ming royalists,
Determined to stay and develope this land.
Meanwhile in mainland China, in the same year the Qing Authorities executed
Gui Wang Zhu Youlang (桂王朱由榔), the last Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
The last link to the Royal family of the Ming Dynasty had been exterminted.
There was a folk song about the fall of the Ming Dynasty
朱家麵, 李家磨,—-Zhu jia mian, Li jia mo,
做成一個大饃饃,–Zuo cheng yi ge mo mo,
送給對巷趙大哥.–Song gei dui xiang Zhao da ge.
Zhu family’s flour, Li family kneads it into a dough,
And make it into a big steamed bun,
To give it to the Elder brother Zhao who lives opposite.
 Zhu meant the Ming Royal family.
 Li meant Li Zicheng who ransacked Beijing
 Zhao meant the Manzhou.
On June 16, 1662, Zheng Chenggong got a cold and he was ill. Yet every day
he continued to climb up the tower and looked into the distance of Penghu
Islands and his motherland. On the 23rd of June he returned home after having
a look at the distance in the sea he went to his study. Looking at the portray
of Emperor Tai Zu Zhu Yuanzhang (太祖皇帝朱元璋) he sighed,
I have no face to see the anecestor!”.
He put his two hands on his face. He collapsed and died, aged 38 years.
He did not realize his dream of restoring the Ming Dynasty.
Although Zheng Chenggong had lived in Taiwan for just a few months, from
April to June in 1662AD, before he died yet he was regarded by the people
of Taiwan as as a hero. After his death many temples were built dedicated
to him all over Taiwan for his heroic tasks of expelling the Dutch from
Taiwan. If it were not of him Taiwan would have become a part of Indonesia.
The Dutch had ruled Taiwan for 38 years and they wanted to incorporate Taiwan
into their East Indies Empire (present day Indonesia). But they failed because
the period they ruled Taiwan was too short. They had ruled Indonesia for
more than 350 years before they were being expelled by the Japanese in 1942AD.
The other name of Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功 1624-1662) was Koxinga (國姓爺
Guo Xingye in Hanyu Pinyin), meaning “The lord of the imperial surname”),
which was romanized by the Dutch.
This is a brief account of how he obtained this name, Koxinga. In 1644AD,
the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty (明朝 1368AD to 1644AD), Emperor Yi
Zong Zhu Youjian (毅宗皇帝朱由檢 1628AD to 1644AD), committed suicide. It
was the end of the Ming Dynasty. The Manzhou (滿洲), from the Northeast
established the Qing Dynasty (清朝 1644AD to 1911AD). However, in the coastal
areas of the southeast, there were four Ming Princes who continued to resist
the fledgling Qing Dynasty prolonging the Ming Dynasty. They were Prince
Fu Zhu Yousong (福王朱由崧) in Jiangsu province, Prince Tang Zhu Yujian (唐
王朱聿鍵) in Fujian province, Prince Lu Zhu Yihai (魯王 朱以海) in Zhejiang
province and Prince Gui Zhu Youlang (桂王朱由榔) in Guangdong province.
On hearing that Emperor Yi Zong had died, Prince Fu, the first cousin brother
of Emperor Yi Zong, was installed by Ma Shiying (馬士英), the governor of
Fengyang (鳳陽) and Shi Kefa (史可法) in Nanjing (南京) in Jiangsu province
(江蘇省). In May 1645AD the Qing army occupied Nanjing. In June, Prince
Fu, while fleeing south, was captured by the Qing soldiers at Wuhu (蕪湖
) in Anhui province (安徽省). Prince Fu was sent to Beijing (北京) where
he was executed.
In the same month, Huang Daozhu (黃道周), the Governor of Fujian province
(福建省) and Zheng Zhilong (鄭芝龍 the father of Zheng Chenggong), the Admiral
of Fujian installed Prince Tang Zhu Yujian (唐王朱聿鍵) as the new Ming
Emperor in Fuzhou in Fujian province. Since Prince Tang had no sons Zheng
Zhilong arranged his eldest son, Zheng Chenggong, to serve the newly installed
Ming Emperor. The Emperor bestowed upon Zheng Chenggong the surname Zhu
(朱) which was the surname of all the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty, with
the title of Guoxingye (國姓爺) meaning ” The lord of the royal surname”.
People began to call Zheng Chenggong by his title Guoxingye. Later, the Dutch
romanized it as Koxinga.
Folk legend tells that when Koxinga leading his amphibious army arrived
at Luermen (鹿耳門 present day Tainan 台南) his forces had run out of food
and the sandbanks were making it difficult to go ashore. Koxinga stood on
the bow of his ship and burned incense to Matzu, the Goddess of Navigation
(媽祖航海女神). After some time, the tide swelled and Koxinga’s army were
able to land ashore smoothly. To show that he was grateful to the Goddess
of Navigation for answering his prayer Koxinga built a temple dedicated
to her on the place where he and his troops had landed.
After his death on June 23, 1662 Koxinga was sanctified by people as “Kaitai
Shengwang 開台聖王” or “The sage king who opened up Taiwan”. There is a
kind of fish called Guoxingyu 國姓魚 Koxing fish, and a kind of snail called
Guoxingluo 國姓螺 Koxing snails. Legend has it that Koxinga loved to eat
this kind of fish and snails in Taiwan. People called them Koxing-fish and
Koxing-snails. There is a village called Guoxing-xiang 國姓鄉 Koxing-village
in Nantou (南投). It is believed that this village, where he and his troops
rested after a long march, was named after Konxinga. There is a well called
Jianjing 劍井 or Sword Well in a town called Dajia (大甲) in Taizhong (台
中). Legend has it that Koxinga and his army had run out of water when they
arrived at Dajia. They were very thirsty and there were no wells to be found
in the vicinity. In desperation, Koxinga used his sword and dug a well to
obtain water. There is a place called Caoxiedun (草鞋墩) or Straw Shoe Mound,
in the town of Caotun (草屯鎮) in Taizhong county (台中縣). It is believed
that Koxinga’s army rested there after a long march. It was raining and
the soldiers’ straw shoes were full of mud. They took off their straw shoes
and shook off the mud. The mud piled up and it became a mound. People called
it “Straw Shoes Mound). In Keelung there is a Xiandong 仙洞 or Fairy Cave.
People believe that rice flowed out of the cave to feed Koxinga’s army.
Since they could obtain rice withou having to plant them Zheng Chenggong’s
soldiers became lazy. They dug deeper into the cave, and the rice was depleted
and stopped flowing out.
(2) 鄭和 (Zheng He 1371AD to 1433AD)
Zheng He was born in a Muslim family in Kun Yang county (昆陽縣) of Yunnan
province (雲南省). His father and grandfather had gone on pilgrimages to
Mecca. Zheng He was greatly influenced by the stories his father told him
about his sailing to Mecca for his pilgrimage and he always wanted to be
like his father and grandfather and travel to Mecca by sea.
Years before in 1368AD, Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋 1328AD to 1398AD) founded
the Ming Dynasty (1368AD to 1644AD). In the intercalary second moon of 1382AD
Zhu Yuan Chang dispatched a large army under the command of General Mu Ying
(沐英) and Lan Yu (藍玉) to pacify the present day province of Yunnan. Zheng
He’s father died of disease during the turmoil and Zheng He was captured
by the Ming troops. Zheng He was only 12 years old. He was assigned to be
the young butler of Zhu Di (朱棣), the fourth son of Zhu Yuanzhang.
In 1403AD, Zhu Di became the third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Zhu Di was
crowned Cheng Zu (成祖 1403AD to 1424AD). In the sixth moon of 1405AD, Emperor
Cheng Zu sent Zheng He to Nanyang (南洋 or the South Sea). A large fleet
of sixty two large ships and more than one hundred medium-sized ones, altogether
more than two hundred ships, with over twenty seven thousand
sailors, navigators, and tradesmen, were under the command Zheng He. They
sailed to Charapa (古城 present day Vietnam), Java (爪哇), Polembang (舊
港), and Sumatra (present day Indonesia) and Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka).
Zheng He returned to Beijing in the ninth moon of 1407AD. He had a second
trip in 1408AD, the third trip in 1412AD, the fourth trip in 1416AD, the
fifth trip in 1421AD, the sixth trip in 1424AD and the last trip in 1430AD.
(3) 鄭樵 (Zheng Qiao 1103AD to 1162AD)
Zheng Qiao was born in the present day county of Putian (莆田縣) in Fujian
province (福建省) during the period of Song Dynasty (宋朝 960AD to 1279AD).
He was an author who had written more than 200 books. His books were about
the ancient classics, herbal medicine, music, towns and cities of his time,
genealogy and many others subjects.