Injong of Joseon

Injong of Joseon (10 March 1515 – 8 August 1545, r. 1544–1545), personal name Yi Ho (Hangul: 이호, Hanja: 李峼), was the 12th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. His father was King Jungjong, and his mother was Queen Janggyeong, whose brother was Yun Im. As the firstborn, he became Crown Prince in 1520 and succeeded his father to the throne following Jungjong's death in 1544.

Injong of Joseon
조선 인종
King of Joseon
PredecessorJungjong of Joseon
SuccessorMyeongjong of Joseon
Born10 March 1515
Died8 August 1545 (1545-08-09) (aged 30)
ConsortQueen Inseong
Posthumous name
King Yeongjeong Heonmun Uimu Jangsuk Heumhyo the Great
Temple name
  • Injong (인종, 仁宗)
ClanJeonju Yi clan
DynastyHouse of Yi
FatherJungjong of Joseon
MotherQueen Janggyeong
Korean name
Revised RomanizationInjong
Birth name
Revised RomanizationI Ho
McCune–ReischauerYi Ho



The young king was very ambitious, and tried to reform the government of the time that was rife with corruption, a legacy of the failed reforms during his father's reign. He rehabilitated Jo Gwang-jo and recruited Sarim scholars who turned away from politics after Third Literati Purge of 1519. His maternal uncle Yun Im exercised great power during this period. However, Injong was too often ill and died in 1545, just one year after coming to the throne. Following his death, Yun Im was executed by Yun Won-Hyung in the Fourth Purge of 1545 when King Myeongjong (son of the ambitious Queen Munjeong) succeeded the throne.


Some historians believe that Injong was poisoned by the Smaller Yun faction, led by Yun Won-hyeong, to enable Injong's half-brother to ascend the throne.[citation needed] According to unofficial chronicles, there is a tale of Munjeong finally showing love for her "adoptive" son King Injong, after decades of polite indifference (in reality behind-the-scenes hatred).[citation needed]

As Injong went to pay his morning respects, Munjeong's face started radiating with a smile only a mother could give to her child. Injong took it as a sign that the Queen Mother was finally acknowledging him as the king, and in particular as her own son. He ate the Tteok that his step-mother gave him, not knowing that it would be the beginning of the end. He fell ill slowly, not enough to create any suspicion, but quickly enough that historians would later pick up on the event. Three days passed before Injong mysteriously died (after only 9 months of rule).

Queen Munjeong's son became King Myeongjong, while Munjeong became Queen Regent. The chronicles also tell that Munjeong was frequently visited by spirits at night after Injong's death.[1] So disturbed was she that she moved her residence from Gyeongbok Palace to Changdeok Palace.


  1. Queen Inseong of the Bannam Park clan (7 October 1514 – 6 January 1578) (인성왕후 박씨) — No issue.
  2. Royal Noble Consort Suk of the Papyeong Yun clan (숙빈 윤씨) (? – 1595)[2] — No issue.
  3. Royal Noble Consort Hye of the Jeong clan (혜빈 정씨) (? – 1595)[3] — No issue.
  4. Royal Consort Gwi-in of the Yeongil Jeong clan (August 1520 – 25 March 1566) (귀인 정씨)[4][5] — No issue.
  5. Consort Yang-je of the Yun clan (양제 윤씨) — No issue.

Popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ According to the chronicles the spirit is supposedly Injong, screaming with grief at the woman who could never be a mother to him even in death.
  2. ^ She is a niece of Queen Munjeong through her older brother, Yun Won-ryang (1495 – 1569) (윤원량, 尹元亮) and his wife, Lady Jang of the Suncheon Jang clan (정부인 순천 장씨, 貞夫人 順天 張氏).
  3. ^ Daughter of Jeong Woon (정온, 鄭溫) and Lady Yang of the Namwon Yang clan (남원 양씨, 南原 梁氏).
  4. ^ Was known before as Consort Yang-je (양제), Royal Consort Suk-ui (숙의), Royal Consort So-ui (소의), and finally as Royal Consort Gwi-in (귀인).
  5. ^ Daughter of Jeong Yu-chim (정유침, 鄭惟沈) and his wife, Lady Ahn of the Juksan Ahn clan (죽산 안씨, 竹山 安氏). Older sister of Princess Consort Jeong (a wife of Prince Gyerim (계림군); the nephew of Queen Janggyeong), and Jeong Cheol.
Injong of Joseon
Born: 1515 Died: 1545
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Joseon
Succeeded by