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Yi joined the navy in [[1580]] and was appointed commander of the Left Jeolla-do Naval District. After being falsely accused of desertion, however, he was forced to leave the navy and returned to being an officer in the Military Training Center in [[1582]]. His father passed away the following year, and Yi left the military to enter into a three-year formal period of mourning.
 
Yi joined the navy in [[1580]] and was appointed commander of the Left Jeolla-do Naval District. After being falsely accused of desertion, however, he was forced to leave the navy and returned to being an officer in the Military Training Center in [[1582]]. His father passed away the following year, and Yi left the military to enter into a three-year formal period of mourning.
  
Yi returned to the military in [[1586]] as an officer in Hamgyeong-do, contributing to a campaign against the [[Jurchens]].
+
Yi returned to the military in [[1586]] as an officer in Hamgyeong-do, contributing to a campaign against the [[Jurchens]]. His political or personal opponents continued to plot against him, however, making accusations which led to Yi being stripped of his post and rank again in [[1587]]. Despite losing his position as commander, he continued to serve for several months as a rank-and-file soldier. He was then pardoned the following year following certain victories against the Jurchens, and quickly rose through the ranks again, being appointed to several different official posts in [[1589]]-[[1591]] (including serving as magistrate of Jindo)
  
 
==Imjin War==
 
==Imjin War==

Revision as of 09:11, 15 August 2019

Statue of Yi Sun-Shin at King Sejong Square, Seoul
  • Born: 1545/5/8, Seoul
  • Died: 1598/11/18
  • Korean: 舜臣 (Yi Sun-Shin)

Yi Sun-shin was admiral of the Joseon Korean navy in the 1590s, and is celebrated as one of Korea's greatest national heroes for his role in repelling Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea.

Early Career

Yi was born on 1545/5/8 in Seoul. He married the daughter of Bang Jin, the magistrate of Boseong, in 1565, and began his formal study of martial arts the following year, at the age of 22. The couple had their first son, Hoe, in 1567, and their second, Yeol, in 1571. Their third son, Myeon, was born in 1577.

Yi tried out for a position in the military in 1572 but fell off his horse and failed the exam. Trying again in 1576, however, he passed and was appointed as a chief in the Northern Frontier Army in Hamgyeong-do. Three years later, in 1579, he became an officer in the Military Training Center and then a staff captain to the Army Commander in Chungcheong.

Yi joined the navy in 1580 and was appointed commander of the Left Jeolla-do Naval District. After being falsely accused of desertion, however, he was forced to leave the navy and returned to being an officer in the Military Training Center in 1582. His father passed away the following year, and Yi left the military to enter into a three-year formal period of mourning.

Yi returned to the military in 1586 as an officer in Hamgyeong-do, contributing to a campaign against the Jurchens. His political or personal opponents continued to plot against him, however, making accusations which led to Yi being stripped of his post and rank again in 1587. Despite losing his position as commander, he continued to serve for several months as a rank-and-file soldier. He was then pardoned the following year following certain victories against the Jurchens, and quickly rose through the ranks again, being appointed to several different official posts in 1589-1591 (including serving as magistrate of Jindo)

Imjin War

Yi led the Korean navy in a number of decisive victories against the samurai forces. These began as early as 1592, as he defeated Japanese fleets at Okpo, and again at Hansando. Yi is celebrated in Korea for his strategic or tactical genius, but the technologies employed in these battles also feature prominently, and include highly-armored turtle ships, and various forms of cannon. In addition to merely winning victories, Yi succeeded in cutting off Japanese supply lines in the waters on the western side of the Korean peninsula, and simultaneously protecting the Ming Chinese/Korean supply lines.[1]

Throughout the war, for seven years, Yi kept a war diary, entitled Nanjung ilgi (亂中日記).

In the Battle of Myongyang, in 1597/9, he led some sixteen ships to victory against a fleet of 133 Japanese ships.

Yi was killed in battle at Noryang on 1598/11/18, struck by a gunshot from an enemy ship, but encouraged his men to not let news of his death spread; his death was kept secret for a time, thus keeping Korean morale high.

References

  • Gallery labels, "The Story of Yi Sun-Shin," King Sejong Square, Seoul.
  1. Morgan Pitelka, Spectacular Accumulation, University of Hawaii Press (2016), 76-78.
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