AskDefine | Define hunan

Dictionary Definition

Hunan n : a province in southeastern central China between the Nan Ling mountains and the Chang Jiang; noted for its timber and valuable mineral resources [syn: Hunan province]

Extensive Definition

Hunan () is a province of China, located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, meaning "south of the lake"). Hunan is sometimes called 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the province.
Hunan borders Hubei in the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong to the south, Guangxi to the southwest, Guizhou to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest. The capital is Changsha.


Hunan entered the written history of China around 350 BC, when under the kings of the Zhou dynasty it became part of the State of Chu. Until then Hunan was a land of primeval forests, occupied by the ancestors of the modern Miao, Tujia, Dong and Yao peoples, but starting at this time and for hundreds of years thereafter it was a magnet for migration of Han Chinese from the north, who cleared most of the forests and began farming rice in the valleys and plains. To this day, many of the small villages in Hunan are named after the Han families which originally settled there. Migration from the north was especially prevalent during the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the Southern and Northern Dynasties Periods, when nomadic invaders overran the north.
During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, Hunan was home to its own independent regime, Ma Chu.
Hunan, was, together with Hubei, a part of the province of Huguang (湖廣) till the Qing dynasty.
Hunan became an important communications center from its position on the Yangzi River (Changjiang) and on the Imperial Highway constructed between northern and southern China. Its land produced grain so abundantly that it fed many parts of China with its surpluses. The population continued to climb until, by the nineteenth century, Hunan was overcrowded and prone to peasant uprisings.
The Taiping Rebellion which began to the south in Guangxi Province in 1850 spread into Hunan and then further eastward along the Yangzi River valley, but ultimately it was a Hunanese army under Zeng Guofan which marched to Nanjing and put down the uprising in 1864. Hunan was relatively quiet until 1910 when there were uprisings against the crumbling Qing dynasty, which were followed by the Communist's Autumn Harvest Uprising of 1927 led by Hunanese native Mao Zedong, which established a short-lived Hunan soviet in 1927. The Communists maintained a guerilla army in the mountains along the Hunan-Jiangxi border until 1934, when under pressure from the Nationalist (Kuomintang, KMT) forces they began the famous Long March to bases in Shaanxi Province. After the departure of the Communists, the KMT army fought against the Japanese in the second Sino-Japanese war, defending the capital Changsha until it fell in 1944, when Japan launched Operation Ichigo to control the railroad from Wuchang to Guangzhou (Yuehan Railway). Hunan was relatively unscathed by the civil war that followed the defeat of the Japanese in 1945, and in 1949 the Communists returned once more as the Nationalists retreated southward.
Being Mao Zedong's home province, Hunan supported the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, and was slower than most provinces in adopting the reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in the years that followed Mao's death in 1976.
Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is also Hunanese.


Hunan Province is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River (Changjiang, 长江), about half way along its length. Shanghai lies 1000 km away, Beijing 1200 km away, and Guangzhou 500 km away.
Hunan is situated between 109°-114° east longitude and 20°-30° north latitude. The east, south and west sides of the province are surrounded by mountains and hills, such as the Wuling Mountains to the northwest, the Xuefeng Mountains to the west, the Nanling Mountains to the south, and the Luoxiao Mountains to the east. The mountains and hills occupy more than 80% of the area and the plain comprises less than 20% of the whole province.
The Xiangjiang, the Zijiang, the Yuanjiang and the Lishui Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting (Dongting Hu, 洞庭湖) in the north of Hunan. The center and northern parts are somewhat low and a U-shaped basin, open in the north and with Lake Dongting as its center. Most of Hunan Province lies in the basins of four major tributaries of the Yangtze River.
Lake Dongting is the largest lake in the province and the second largest freshwater lake of China. Due to the reclamation of land for agriculture, Lake Dongting has been subdivided into many smaller lakes, though there is now a trend to reverse some of the reclamation, which had damaged wetland habitats surrounding the lake.
Hunan's climate is subtropical, with mild winters and plenty of precipitation. January temperatures average 3 to 8 °C while July temperatures average around 27 to 30 °C. Average annual precipitation is 1200 to 1700 mm.

Administrative divisions

Hunan is divided into fourteen prefecture-level divisions, of which thirteen are prefecture-level cities and the remaining division an autonomous prefecture. The prefecture-level cities are:
The autonomous prefecture:
The fourteen prefecture-level divisions of Hunan are subdivided into 122 county-level divisions (34 districts, sixteen county-level cities, 65 counties, seven autonomous counties). Those are in turn divided into 2587 township-level divisions (1098 towns, 1158 townships, 98 ethnic townships, 225 subdistricts, and eight district public offices).


The Politics of Hunan is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.
The Governor of Hunan is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Hunan. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Hunan Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Huanan CPC Party Chief".


Hunan's traditional crop is rice. The Lake Dongting area is an important center of ramie production, and Hunan is also an important center of tea cultivation.
The Lengshuijiang area is noted for its stibnite mines, and is one of the major centers of antimony extraction in China.
Its nominal GDP for 2006 was 749.3 billion yuan (US$96.8 billion). In 2006, its per capita GDP was 11,830 yuan (US$1,530).


The Hunan Province is accredited with being filled with skilled craftsmen and women who create embroidered silks, carved jade and other skillfully hand made artistic goods of international quality.


As of the 2000 census, the population of Hunan is 64,400,700 consisting of forty-one ethnic groups. Its population grew 6.17% (3,742,700) from its 1990 levels. According to the census, 89.79% (57,825,400) identified themselves as Han people, 10.21% (6,575,300) as minority groups. The minority groups are Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, Hui, Bai, Zhuang, Uyghurs and so on.


Xiang is a subdivision of spoken Chinese that originates from Hunan.
Hunan cuisine is noted for its use of chili peppers.
Nü shu is a writing system that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County.
Hunan's culture industry generated 87 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion) in economic value in 2007, , a major contributor to the province's economic growth. The industry accounts for 7.5 percent of the region's GDP - 0.9 percentage points higher than the previous year.
In recent years, Hunan's cultural exports to the rest of China have been making a big impact. For instance, the Supergirl contest -- a Chinese version of American Idol -- was a significant and ground-breaking achievement for Chinese television. It included live broadcast, voting by mobile phones, and featured quirky and atypical characters. Another television export has been the television cartoon series Blue Cat.
The gross profit for the Supergirl contest in 2005, for example, was 17.79 million yuan (US$ 2.48 million). As a result of programs like Supergirl, Golden Eagle Broadcasting System's Hunan satellite television channel has become the most-watched regionally-produced channel in China, with over 5.6 billion viewers. According to Golden Eagle, its programming also airs in the US, Japan, and Europe.
The local government started developing its cultural industry earlier than other cities, which is the main reason why they are ahead. There is a mature entertainment chain and standardized management in Hunan`s cultural industry. A prime example of this is Golden Eagle Broadcasting System.



Professional sports teams in Hunan include:


External links

hunan in Min Nan: Ô͘-lâm
hunan in Bulgarian: Хунан
hunan in Catalan: Hunan
hunan in Czech: Chu-nan
hunan in Danish: Hunan
hunan in German: Hunan
hunan in Estonian: Hunan
hunan in Spanish: Hunan
hunan in Esperanto: Hunano
hunan in Basque: Hunan
hunan in French: Hunan
hunan in Gan Chinese: 湖南
hunan in Korean: 후난 성
hunan in Hindi: हूनान
hunan in Indonesian: Hunan
hunan in Hebrew: הונאן
hunan in Pampanga: Hunan
hunan in Swahili (macrolanguage): Hunan
hunan in Lithuanian: Hunanas
hunan in Hungarian: Hunan
hunan in Malay (macrolanguage): Hunan
hunan in Dutch: Hunan
hunan in Japanese: 湖南省
hunan in Norwegian: Húnán
hunan in Polish: Hunan
hunan in Portuguese: Hunan
hunan in Romanian: Hunan
hunan in Russian: Хунань
hunan in Finnish: Hu'nan
hunan in Swedish: Hunan
hunan in Tagalog: Hunan
hunan in Thai: มณฑลหูหนาน
hunan in Vietnamese: Hồ Nam
hunan in Turkish: Hunan
hunan in Walloon: Hunan
hunan in Chinese: 湖南省
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1