Eo Yeong-dam

Eo Yeongdam (Korean어영담; Hanja魚泳潭; 1532 – April 9, 1594) was a Korean military official of the mid-Joseon Period who served as a magistrate of Gwangyang, Jeolla Province. He was a general under Admiral Yi Sun-sin during the Imjin war. He was known for his knowledge of waterways and built great achievements in Geoje, Okpo, and Danghangpo naval battles.

Eo Yeong-dam
Native name
DiedApril 9, 1594(1594-04-09) (aged 61–62)
Hansando, Gyeongsang, Joseon Korea
AllegianceJoseon Korea
Years of service1580 –1594
RankThird senior rank (정3품)
Battles/warsImjin War
Eo Yeong-dam

Revised RomanizationEo Youngdam
McCune–ReischauerŎ Yŏngdam
Courtesy name
Revised RomanizationGyeongyu


Eo Yeong-dam was born in 1532. His hometown is unknown, but he is said to have lived in Haman County, Gyeongsang Province.[1] He excelled in martial arts and resourcefulness and was specially recruited as a subarea commander of Yeodo (여도만호; 呂島萬戶) at an early age.[2] In 1564, he passed a military examination (무과; 武科) as a third person among third-tier passers.[1]

He started his career on 1 December 1580, as a magistrate of Sacheon. Later, he was assigned as a magistrate in Goryeong, Mujang, and Eonyang, focusing on the coasts of Gyeongsang province and Jeolla province.[3] He examined sea routes in detail, allowing the entry and exit of ships. In May 1592, he led Yi Sun-sin's waterway as a magistrate of Gwangyang.[1] From the Battle of Okpo to the Battle of Angolpo, as the Central Commandant (중부장; 中部將), he played a big role in victory by defeating a total of 8 ships (4 large ships, 2 medium vessels and 2 small boats). In recognition of this contribution, he was promoted to Tongjeong (통정; 通政; Thoroughly Administrative), the third senior rank.[4] When preparing for the provisions, He stored separately seeds of crops and crops for people’s first aid. In February 1593, while he was participating in the Battle of Ungcheon and thus was not in Gwangyang, Im Bal-yeong, the secret royal inspector of transportation (독운어사; 督運御史), misunderstood the food stored separately and asked for his dismissal. Yi Sun-sin and the people of Gwangyang launched a campaign to publicize his innocence but were eventually dismissed.[5] Later, Yi Sun-shin raised his ambition to appoint him as an Assistant Defense Commandant (조방장; 助防將) again and received permission from the court.[6][2] In the Second Battle of Danghangpo, he smashed two large ships as the Assistant Defense Commandant.[7]

On April 9, 1594, he died of an infectious disease in Hansando.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c (in Korean) Eo Yeong-dam at Doosan Encyclopedia
  2. ^ a b (in Korean) Eo Yeong-dam at Encyclopedia of Korean Culture
  3. ^ Park, Jong-pyeong (October 12, 2015). "[박종평의 이순신이야기 해설 난중일기- ⑮] 어영담" [[Park Jong-pyeong's Nanjung ilgi-⑮] Eo Yeong-dam]. Sunday Seoul (in Korean). Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  4. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 25th August 16
  5. ^ Lee, Ji-sung (November 21, 2012). "어영담 광양현감 역사재조명 '꿈틀'" [Eo Yeong-dam, magistrate of Gwangyang, Historical Re-lighting]. Gwangyang Economy (in Korean). Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Park, Jae-il (August 19, 2014). "'명량' 마지막 격전지 광양만 일원 관광자원 활용" [Utilization of Tourism Resources in Gwangyang Bay, the Last Battleground of Myeongnyang]. Weekly Today (in Korean). Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  7. ^ Lee, Nam-seok (September 21, 2015). "충신, 유언비어에 시달리다" [A loyal subject suffered from false rumors]. The Scoop (in Korean). Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Im, Myeong-jin (April 29, 2020). "선혈처럼 담아낸 난중일기의 처절한 투병 기록" [Blood-like record of the desperate struggle of Nanjung ilgi]. Gyeongnam Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved June 27, 2020.