Beijing Hutong has a very dainty tradition in naming. After Emperor Yongle of Ming dynasty settled capital in Beijing, majority of his officials or officers also lived in Beijing, and many hutongs were named after these officials or officers’ names.
The Hutong lived by Xu Zhong serving as Yongkang Hou (marquis of permanent well-being) was named Yongkanghou Hutong, which currently is called Yongkang Hutong. The Hutong lived by Zheng Heng serving as Wuan Hou (marquis of military peace) was named Wuanhou Hutong.
Xu Da, the great general in the early period of Ming Dynasty, lived in Beijing for a long time. His eldest sister married Zhu Di, who was Emperor Yongle. When Zhu Di attacked Nanjing, which was the national capital of China in the early period of Ming dynasty, Xu Da’s fourth son named Xu Zengshou tried to send Zhu Di the message, but finally was killed by Emperor Jianwendi (the nephew of Zhu Di). Zhu Di sadly shed tears after he entered Nanjing, and after his enthronement, Xu Zengshou was officially declared to be Wuyang Hou, and latterly was declared to be Dingguogong, and the streets he once lived was named Dingfu Street, which currently called Dingfu Street in North part of Beijing.
Today, Sanbulao Hutong was the former residence of Zheng He, a eunuch who led seven-time world voyages. At the mid term of Ming Dynasty, the commerce and business were very blooming. At the time, the hutongs of some outstanding laborers were also named after their names. For example, a cloth and silk washman with family name of Tang was very famous for his job, and the place he lived was named Tangxibai Street, which currently called Tangxibai Street as well in Chongwen District.
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