Yi Sun-sin (born 1554)

Yi Sun-sin (Korean이순신; Hanja李純信; January 30, 1554 – September 11, 1611) was a Korean military official of the mid-Joseon Period. He was a general under Admiral Yi Sun-sin during the Imjin war.

Yi Sun-sin
Native name
Born(1554-01-30)January 30, 1554
Siheung, Joseon Korea
DiedSeptember 11, 1611(1611-09-11) (aged 57)
Jeonju, Joseon Korea
AllegianceJoseon Korea
RankSecond junior rank (종2품)
Battles/warsImjin war

Jeongyu war

Yi Sun-sin

Revised RomanizationI Sunsin
McCune–ReischauerI Sunshin
Courtesy name
Revised RomanizationIpbu
Posthumous name
Revised RomanizationMuui


Yi Sun-sin was born on January 30, 1554, in Siheung, Gyeonggi Province. In September 1577, he passed the military examination (무과; 武科), winning the first place in archery.[1] After serving as a Herald (선전관; 宣傳官), he was appointed the magistrate of Gangjin in 1582.[2] However, he was dismissed in 1585 due to friction with the powerful gentry family (호족; 豪族) in Gangjin.[3] In 1586, he became an assistant magistrate of Onsong by the recommendation of his former teacher, Kim Seong-il.[1] In 1588, he was appointed as an assistant magistrate of Uiju and was in charge of the performance of envoys from the Ming dynasty. The envoy of the Ming dynasty demanded a bribe, but Yi refused, and when the envoy of the Ming dynasty tried to report him, he resigned his post.[3] He was appointed as Associate Commander of Hyesan (혜산첨사; 惠山僉使) due to the increased invasion of the Jurchens in the north but was unable to defeat them because of his disease.[4] In 1591, he was appointed as Associate Commander of Bangdap and prepared to fight against the Japanese by rearranging military officers, repairing their fortresses and weapons.[4]

Upon the outbreak of the Imjin war, Yi served as a Central Commandant (중위장; 中衛將) in the Admiral Yi’s first campaign.[4] Since then, he had always been at the vanguard as Front Commandant (전부장; 前部將).[5] He led the vanguard and lured the Japanese troops. After the Battle of Hansando Admiral Yi Sun-sin, who felt sorry that his contribution was not recognized, suggested to the government his promotion and he was eventually promoted to Jeolchung (절충; 折衝), third senior rank and appointed the Naval Commander of Chungcheong Province. However, he was dismissed due to the strict application of the penal code and demoted to the Associate Commander of Goryang. In 1597, when the Japanese second invasion broke out, he was appointed as the Naval Commander of Right Gyeongsang Province to replace Bae Seol who fled from the Battle of Chilcheollyang. Later, he served as a Central Commandant again under Admiral Yi Sun-sin. When Yi Sun-sin was killed by enemy bullets in the Battle of Noryang, he commanded Joseon's naval forces.

After the Japanese Invasion of Korea, Chen Lin, a general of the Ming dynasty, recommended Yi as the Naval Generalissimo of the Three Provinces (삼도수군통제사; 三道水軍統制使), and although the Border Defense Council (비변사; 備邊司) agreed, Censorate (대간; 臺諫) opposed it.[6] In January 1599, he resigned from his position as a Naval Commander and was appointed to the Police Chief (포도대장; 捕盜大將), but was dismissed for killing an innocent person.[5][7] Since then, he had repeatedly been promoted to various government posts and dismissed from his post. In 1604, he was appointed the Fifth Minister (of the Office of Ministers-without-Portfolio) (첨지중추부사; 僉知中樞府事) and listed as the third rank of Seonmu Merit Subjects (선무공신; 宣武功臣) in recognition of his contribution during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in and given the title of Wansangun (완산군; 完山君).[8][9][10] He was retitled as Wancheongun (완천군; 完川君) the following year after serving as the magistrate of Suwon in 1606.[11][12] In 1608, when King Seonjo died and Gwanghaegun was crowned, Yi was also questioned for his involvement in the death of Imhaegun. In 1610, He was appointed as Army Commander of Jeolla Province but died on September 11, 1611.

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b (in Korean) Yi Sun-sin at Grand Culture Encyclopedia of Gwangmyeong
  2. ^ (in Korean) Yi Sun-sin at Doosan Encyclopedia
  3. ^ a b (in Korean) Yi Sun-sin at Encyclopedia of Joseon Sillok
  4. ^ a b c Park, Jong-pyeong (August 17, 2015). "[박종평의 이순신 이야기-해설 난중일기⑦] 충무공vs무의공" [[Park Jong-pyeong's Nanjung Ilgi-⑦] Chungmu Yi Sun-sin vs Muui Yi Sun-sin]. Sunday Seoul (in Korean). Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  5. ^ a b (in Korean) Yi Sun-sin at Encyclopedia of Korean Culture
  6. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 31st November 25
  7. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 32nd October 4
  8. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 37th February 29
  9. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 37th June 25
  10. ^ (in Korean) Yi Sun-sin at Grand Culture Encyclopedia of Guro
  11. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 39th June 29
  12. ^ (in Korean and Chinese) Veritable Records of Seonjo 40th September 24