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Why Kim became the most common family name of korean?

You may hear 'Kim' a lot, while studying korean. We can distinct japaneases by their family name, but it is hard in korea, Because A lot of people have same family name.

But why? here is the reasons.

There was a 조선 before the south 대한민국 and the north 조선 인민 민주주의 공화국.

In 조선 like other countries, There were the class system, hierarchy.

  • 노비, 종slaves. The property possessed by 양반nobles. They worked for 양반.
    • ​노비 can't have their own family name. Others can.
  • 평민 common people who were mostly farmers or Fisherpeople. Most were illiterate.
  • 중인 middle class people who were engineers or officeworkers, translators, etc. Some of them can read 한자.
  • 양반 nobles who know 한자 like politics or writing poets.

But at the end of 조선, Most of people want to become nobles. It must be expected. Some of them have money, but some of nobles need money.

So some nobles sold their 족보 to them. Exactly They forged it that the people were nobles of their family. Especially 김 dynasty had sold their 족보 to many people.

Then class system was abolished. There is no slaves, no nobles now. There is just a lot of 김金s from kim's sea, about 8.6% of korean.


Was my ancestor a slave or a real noble? I don't know the truth. It's not important. Because we just follow the father's family name, and ignore the mother's. So after 조선, the gene of us has been mixed very much. We can't say that "I have the pure blood of nobles."

I think that it is just a sad or funny history of hierarchy. It was unfair. We should remember. We need not to repeat the mistake. We made the truth, the human right by our hand. A human isn't a property of someone anymore


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