Admiral Yi Sun-Shin

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Admiral Yi Sun-Shin

Seoul Special City, South Korea
Death 19 Nov 1598 (aged 53)
Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
Burial Asan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
Memorial ID 8169594 · View Source
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Korean admiral, military hero, and creator of the "Kobukson," or "Turtle Ship." Yi Sun-Shin was born on the eigth day of the third moon at one o'clock in the morning in Konch'on-dong (Inhyon-dong), Seoul. He began his studies on the military arts in 1566, during the winter. His first son, Hoe, was born in 1567. In 1583 he was appointed Staff Officer to Yi Yong, the Hangyong Army Commander. He was then appointed acting commandant of Konwon fortress. While Yi was at the fortress, the Jurchen forces, led by the Manchurian "barbarian" chief Mu Pai-Nai, invaded the border province. Yi lured Mu to the battlefield and captured him and his "bandits" (the Orank'ae). Near the end of the same year, his father died, and Yi resigned his post to fulfill his three-year long filial duties as a mourner. In 1592, the Japanese forces under Toteyomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea. Yi tried to rally all the southern naval forces to battle, and in one incident, was shot through the left shoulder. True to form, he did not show the wound until after the battle. In 1594, a Ming Chinese envoy arrived to negotiate peace, but Yi declared "I am a subject of Korea, and for justice's sake I cannot live with these robbers under the same heaven." In 1597, Yi's most deadly rival in the Korean navy, Won Kyun, was defeated by the Japanese, and beheaded. A year later, Yi moved his naval headquarters to Kogum-do, and later in the year organized the United Naval Forces with Chinese commander Chen Lien. Although the Chinese and Koreans were no friends of each other, they both feared the Japanese. On November 19, 1598, Yi was waging a final campaign against the retreating Japanese forces. During this battle, Yi's combined forces destroyed 200 out of 500 fleeing Japanese ships. Yi's nephew described his final moments: "On the nineteenth at dawn Yi Sun-Shin plunged his entire fleet into a final battle with the enemy, thundering "Charge!" Suddenly, a stray bullet from an enemy vessel struck him. His last words were: "The battle is at its height; do not announce my death!" With this, he died. Yi's eldest son, Hoe, and his nephew, Wan, moved the Admiral's body to his cabin and went back out to continue banging the war drum and waving the battle flags, thus ensuring none, friend or enemy, knew of Yi's death and ensuring a final victory.

Bio by: Mongoose


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mongoose
  • Added: 9 Dec 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8169594
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (28 Apr 1545–19 Nov 1598), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8169594, citing Mount Eorasan, Asan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea ; Maintained by Find A Grave .