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Crown Prince Yi Gu, the Prince Imperial Hoeun (29 December 1929 – 16 July 2005) was a Korean prince who was head of the Imperial House from 1970 until 2005. He was the grandson of Emperor Gojong I of the Joseon dynasty.

Yi Gu, Prince Imperial Hoeun
회은황태손 이구
懷隱皇太孫 李玖
Yi Gu.jpg
Gu as a child
Head of the House of Yi
Period1 May 1970 - 16 July 2005
PredecessorCrown Prince Yi Un
SuccessorPrince Yi Seok (cousin)[1]
Born(1929-12-29)29 December 1929
Kitashirakawa Palace (now Akasaka Prince Hotel), Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan
Died16 July 2005(2005-07-16) (aged 75)
Akasaka Prince Hotel, Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan
Julia Mullock
(m. 1959; div. 1982)
IssueEugenia Unsuk (adopted)
FatherCrown Prince Yi Un of Korea
MotherPrincess Masako of Nashimoto of Japan
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Yi Gu
Revised RomanizationI Gu
McCune–ReischauerYi Ku
Imperial title
Revised RomanizationHwangtaeson*
Posthumous title
Revised RomanizationHoeeun Hwangtaeson**
McCune–ReischauerHoeŭn Hwangt'aeson
  • *meaning "Prince Imperial"
    **meaning "Prince Imperial Hoeun"


Early lifeEdit

Gu was born in Kitashirakawa Palace (now, the Akasaka Prince Classic House, formerly part of the Akasaka Prince Hotel), Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan; his father was Crown Prince Yi Un of Korea and his mother was Crown Princess Yi Bangja

Gu attended the Gakushuin Peers' School in Tokyo. He later attended Centre College, Danville, Kentucky and studied architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology both in the U.S..

Adult lifeEdit

He was employed as an architect with I.M. Pei & Assocs, Manhattan, New York from 1959 to 1964. Made stateless by Japan in 1947, Gu acquired United States citizenship in 1959 and Korean citizenship in 1964. He married Julia Mullock (b. 1927) on 25 October 1959 at St George's Church in New York and they adopted a daughter, Eugenia Unsuk.

After the fall of Syngman Rhee, he returned to Korea in 1963 with the help of the new president Park Chung-hee, moving into the new building in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace with his mother and wife. He lectured on architecture at Seoul National University and Yonsei University and also managed his own airline, Shinhan. When that went bankrupt in 1979, he went to Japan to earn money. In 1982, his family forced him to divorce his wife because she was sterile; his mother died in 1989. He started living with a Japanese astrologer, Mrs. Arita.

In November 1996, he made what he hoped would be his permanent return to Korea but, showing signs of a nervous breakdown, he was unable to adjust to life in Korea.[citation needed] Restlessly going back and forth between Japan and Korea, he would die of a heart attack, at the age of seventy-five, on 16 July 2005 at the Akasaka Prince Hotel, the former residence of his parents in Tokyo, Japan. His funeral was held on 24 July 2005 and his posthumous title decided as "Prince Imperial Hoeun of Korea" by the Lee Family Council.


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