Fuzhounese people
  • 福州人
  • 福州儂 (Hók-ciŭ-nè̤ng)
  • 福州十邑儂
Hockchew women in Bible Women's Training School during a women's class in Fuzhou, 1873.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Atheism, Chinese folk religions (including Taoism, Confucianism, ancestral worship and others), Chinese Buddhism, Christianity and non-religious
Related ethnic groups
Fuzhou Americans, Putian people, Hoklo people, other Han Chinese

Fuzhou people (Chinese: 福州人; Foochow Romanized: Hók-ciŭ-nè̤ng), also known as Foochowese, Hokchew, Hokchia, Hokchiu, Fuzhou Shiyi people (福州十邑人), Eastern Min or Mindong are residents of either Fuzhou and Mindong regions and the Gutian and Pingnan counties of Fujian province and Matsu Islands in Taiwan. Fuzhou people are a part of the Min Chinese-speaking group that speaks Eastern Min or specifically Fuzhou dialect. There is also a significant overseas Fuzhou population, particularly distributed in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, United States (Fuzhou Americans), Singapore and the United Kingdom.[1]

Native location of Fuzhounese people—includes Gutian County and Pingnan County which are unrepresented in this map.


Main article: Fuzhou dialect

Fuzhou dialect is a tonal language that has extensive sandhi rules in the initials, rimes, and tones. These complicated rules make Fuzhou dialect one of the most difficult Chinese varieties.[2]


List of dialects of the Fuzhou language (福州話的方言):

City history

Fuzhou throughout the 1800s had many missionaries from the West coming in and out of the city.[3] The lack of communication between government officials and local town people led to uproar among local residence regarding missionaries.[3] Although around 1850 five major ports were allowing foreigners to reside temporarily for missionary work, Fuzhounese people believed only their city was allowing this.[3] Fuzhou natives were against missionaries as well as confronting Europeans in regards to business arrangements. At the same time Fuzhou had missionaries present, other cities such as Guangzhou started rebelling against foreigners. While Daoist people as well as monks showed hospitality towards missionaries unlike most other residents. Following the lead of Guangzhou people, Fuzhounese natives soon also rebelled. Miscommunication was a large part of misunderstanding by Fuzhounese people. During the 1800s there were five port cities that were of interest of Europeans. Shanghai and Ningbo in addition of Fuzhou, were also allowing residency for missionaries during this time. The western powers felt similar resentment towards China as China did on the West.[4]

Education and technology

Throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties, local lineages were of high importance. The success rate regarding education throughout Fuzhou was often linked to the lineage members. As part of a lineage, it was the responsibility of a community to ensure successful education occurred. Education began as a private matter and not regulated throughout different lineages. The ability for a lineage to teach the fundamentals would determine people's later success with imperial examinations given throughout much of China. Shu-yuan were considered highly educated people who succeeded on given examinations. Many of these shu-yuan, around eighteen, were associated with Fuzhou fu throughout Ming and Qing dynasty. Some of the eighteen may have been from Song dynasty. However, there is less evidence to back up those claims.[5]

Although over time southeastern Fujian Province is more developed in terms of technology and resources, Fujian decided on the capital Fuzhou which is in North Fujian.[4] Fujian has had a lower rate of urbanization in comparison to China as a whole. As a result, in provinces such as Fuzhou, the locals tend to be behind on methods in regards to agriculture and technological advancements. Fujian is rich in their ability to fish due to their location along the coastline. Fuzhou can not only participate in fishing itself but also the transporting of goods along the sea. Due to the richness of resources, the desire for migration to Fuzhou is high. As a result, people desiring to move to Fuzhou must have high education levels as well as skills necessary to contribute to the society.[4]

Emigration and diaspora

A native Fuzhou detective in 1898


Fuzhou's history of emigration began since the Ming dynasty with Zheng He's voyages overseas. As the result of immigration of Fuzhounese to Southeast Asia, Fuzhou dialect is found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The city of Sibu of Malaysia is called "New Fuzhou" due to a large wave of Fuzhounese immigration in the early 1900s. They are referred to as "Hockchiu" or "Hokchew" in Singapore and Malaysia.[6]


Some Fuzhou people have moved to Japan. Conversely, many Japanese have historically been interested in Fuzhou language. During the Second World War, some Japanese scholars became passionate about studying Fuzhou dialect, believing that it could be beneficial to the rule of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. One of their most famous works was the Japanese-Chinese Translation: Fuzhou Dialect (日華對譯: 福州語) published in 1940 in Taipei, in which katakana was used to represent Fuzhou pronunciation.[citation needed]

Southeast Asia

The Hockchius and Hockchias migrated to Nanyang (South-East Asia) in much smaller numbers compared to the Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakkas and Hainanese peoples, but achieved remarkable success. Amongst others, Robert Kuok (Hockchiu) rose to become the "Sugar King" of Malaysia and is currently ranked the richest man in South-East Asia[7] whereas Liem Sioe Liong (Sudono Salim) who was of Hockchia origin, was once the richest man in Indonesia, controlling a vast empire in the industry of flour, cement and food manufacturing.[8]

United States

Main article: Fuzhounese Americans

Fuzhounese people first started immigrating to America during the late Qing dynasty. Some of these immigrants were students who, after completing their studies returned to back to their fatherland (Fuzhou).

However, after the USA passed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, immigration from China to the USA stopped for nearly a century. Only in 1980s with the China-USA détente and subsequent reform and opening, a wave of Fuzhounese settled in America. These new Fuzhounese immigrants set up their own separated communities such as "Little Fuzhou" in Manhattan.

Notable Fuzhou people

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Scientists, mathematicians and inventors

Politicians and revolutionaries

Writers and poets




  1. ^ 福州市志(第八册). 方志出版社. December 2000. ISBN 978-7-80122-605-1.
  2. ^ Khoon Choy Lee (2005). Pioneers of Modern China: Understanding the Inscrutable Chinese. World Scientific. p. 20. ISBN 978-98-127-0090-2.
  3. ^ a b c Chin-keong, Ng (2017). Boundaries and Beyond. Singapore: NUS Press. pp. 147–174.
  4. ^ a b c Chen, Aimin (January 2006). "Urbanization in China and the Case of Fujian Province". Modern China. 32: 99–130. doi:10.1177/0097700405283503. S2CID 145056213 – via JSTOR.
  5. ^ Zurndorfer, Harriet (1992). "Learning, Lineages, and Locality in Late Imperial China. A Comparative Study of Education in Huichow (Anhwei) and Foochow (Fukien) 1600-1800. Part II". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. 35 (3): 209–238. doi:10.2307/3632732. JSTOR 3632732.
  6. ^ Chinese Overseas: Comparative Cultural Issues. Hong Kong University Press. p. 92.
  7. ^ Leo Suryadinata (2006). Southeast Asia's Chinese Businesses in an Era of Globalization: Coping with the Rise of China. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 184. ISBN 978-98-123-0401-8.
  8. ^ Timothy Brook & Hy V. Luong (1999). Culture and Economy: The Shaping of Capitalism in Eastern Asia. University of Michigan Press. p. 163. ISBN 978-04-720-8598-9.
  9. ^ "林家翘纪念馆-林家翘-网上纪念". Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  10. ^ 邓叔群. dangan.njau.cn.
  11. ^ Roberts, Siobhan (2015-07-14). Genius At Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway. p. 62. ISBN 9781620405949.