Why is the abbreviation of Fujian “ Close ”? What are the relevant folklores?

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Why Fujian is called “Min” for short? Next, China story net will take you to understand the historical truth in detail. Let’s have a look!

Each province in China has its own abbreviation, such as Sichuan, Hunan, Hubei, Shandong and Shanxi. Fujian Province, located in the southeast coast of China, is called “Min” for short.

The earliest written records of “Min” appeared in a wonderful book of myths and legends in China’s pre-Qin period – “the classic of mountains and seas” – Lu Xun once longed for a drawing version of the classic of mountains and seas when he was a child. Later, the female worker in his family found one and gave it to her. According to the book of mountains and seas, “Fujian is in the sea, and there are mountains in its northwest. First, Fujian Zhongshan is in the sea.” This means that Fujian is located in the sea, and there is a mountain in its northwest. According to one theory, the mountain in Fujian is located in the sea.


During the Warring States period, a vassal state was established in Fujian today, which was named “Min” and “Min Yue”.

Fujian and Vietnam were founded by a group of refugees. In 306 BC, the monarch of the state of Yue had no boundaries. In order to revive the former grandeur of the state of Yue, he united with the state of Qi to attack the state of Chu. Unexpectedly, the army of the state of Yue was too fragile. As soon as it came into contact with the army of the state of Chu, it was defeated. King Wei of Chu pursued the victory, killed Wujiang and destroyed the state of Yue. Some Vietnamese fled to the Fujian area adjacent to Zhejiang Province and formed a country with the local Baiyue aborigines – “Minyue country”.

After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, China entered the period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. In 909, Wang Shenzhi, a descendant of the famous general Wang Jian of the Qin Dynasty, led his brothers Wang Chao and Wang Shenying to enter Fujian, successively conquering Quanzhou, Fuzhou and other places, and was crowned king of Fujian by Zhu Wen, the founding emperor of the Later Liang Dynasty. After Wang Shenzhi’s death, his second son Wang Yanjun became emperor in 933, and his capital was changlefu (now Fuzhou City, Fujian Province), with the year of Long Qi. This is the “state of Fujian” of Five Dynasties and ten countries.

“Min Yue State” and “Min state” both take “Min” as the name of the country, so what does the word “Min” mean?


From the perspective of font, the word “Min” is an insect inside the outer door. In ancient times, insects had many meanings. Sometimes it refers to tigers. In the water margin, the big bug killed by Wu Song with bare hands is a tiger. However, there were few records of tigers in Fujian in ancient times. Insects sometimes refer to snakes. The word “insect” in Oracle Bone Inscriptions is very much like a snake.

Xu Shen, a famous Confucian scholar and philologist in the Eastern Han Dynasty, explained in Shuowen Jiezi: “Fujian, Southeast Vietnam, snake species, from insects, door sound.” The meaning of this sentence is that Fujian is mostly mountainous, and there are many snakes and insects, so the word “insect” is added under the door to show this characteristic of Fujian.


“Tai Ping Yu Lan”, compiled by scholars Li Fang, Li Mu, Xu Xuan and others in the Northern Song Dynasty, also records: “minzhou is a place of Yue, that is, ancient Dong’ou, and now Jianzhou is also a place, all of which are snakes.” Does this not mean that the people of Fujian are “descendants of snakes”?

Fujian and Vietnam people, the ancestors of Fujian and Fujian people, took snakes as their totem. Nowadays, a chest beating dance is popular in Quanzhou, Fujian Province. When dancers are dancing, they wear a straw hoop on their head, and the forehead of the straw hoop will stretch out a small section of the top like a snake’s head; A red silk strip is exposed at the end of the straw hoop, which is similar to a snake spitting a message. Researchers believe that this is one of the traces left by the ancient Fujian and Vietnam snake totem worship.

Fujian is located in the southeast coastal zone, with a long coastline, more mountains and less land, which is not conducive to the development of traditional agriculture. People here often go fishing for a living. In order to pray to the snake god for the safety of the boat, people in Fujian painted the shape of the snake on the boat. Moreover, in the boats of Fujian people, there is often a snake carved only with wood, called wooden dragon. Yu Yonghe, a geographer of the Qing Dynasty, recorded in “a brief account of the sea”: “in every Fujian ship, there must be a snake named ‘Mulong’.” The function of wooden dragon is also related to snake god.

Many places in China have built Dragon King temples to pray for the protection of the Dragon King and good weather. Many snake king palaces have been built all over Fujian. In Changting County, Fujian Province, known as the west gate of Fujian Province, there is a snake king palace in Luohan ridge outside the west gate of the county city. In ancient times, Changting County was under the jurisdiction of Tingzhou Prefecture, and the construction of snake king palace was earlier than Tingzhou Prefecture, so there was a saying that “without Tingzhou Prefecture, there was snake king palace first”.


In the snake king palace, the snake king is worshipped. In the eyes of Changting people, the snake king is a symbol of justice and can “listen carefully and preside over justice”. When there are contradictions and disputes between Changting people, they often both come to the snake king palace and ask the snake king to adjudicate on the merits. Therefore, the reasonable party often slaps the chest and asks the other party, “do you dare to swear in the snake king palace?”

Besides snake king, there is also snake god. The snake king is male, but the snake god is female.

At the junction of Changting County and Shanghang County in Fujian Province, there is a lingshe mountain, known as “the first mountain in Western Fujian”. At the foot of lingshe mountain, there is a sheteng temple. The snake god enshrined in sheteng temple is a beautiful image of the white snake goddess.

In the folk of Fujian, there is a story about brother snake Lang. In the 1960s, this story was adapted into a Fujian opera “the story of flowers and birds” by dramatists. After being staged by Fujian Xiapu Fujian Opera Troupe, it was deeply loved by Fujian opera lovers. Disclaimer: the above content originates from the network, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Please inform us if your original copyright is infringed, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.

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