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The 51st most common last name in China. Yu is a last name after one of the forefathers. You Yu of the Jin kingdom was a descendent of Zhou Wu Wang, who in turn was a descendent of the ancient king Huang Di. Escaping from a rebellion, You moved to Xirong (a foreign tribe in the west), and became a judge there. He was sent by Xirong as an ambassador to the Qin kingdom, and was touched by the kindness of the duke of Qin. You became Qins judge and helped Qin to destroy Xirong and 12 kingdoms in becoming the ultimate power in the west. To commemorate You, his descendents began to use his middle name Yu, as their last name. There is another source. A descendent of Xia Yu, Wu Yu, was made duke of Yue, during Xia Xiao Kangs reign. His descendents also have the last name Yu.
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