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The 80th most common last name in China. There are two main origins of this last name. 1) Descendents of Can Ji. According to the legend, Can Ji was the historian of ancient king Huang Di. Can Ji had four eyes and was a very observative man. He noticed that people in the ancient society tied knots on a rope for recording purpose, so he invented characters for them. Since he was a historian, his descendents began to use Shi (meaning history) as their last name. 2) During the Zhou Dynasty, there was a judge called Yin Yi. He was an astronomer and a historian. Because of his historian title, people called him Tai Shi Yin Yi. He was a righteous and hard working man and many regarded him as a role model. After he passed away, his descendents began to adopt Shi as their last name to commemorate him.
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