Yi Song-Gye

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yi Song-Gye

 

(temple name, T’aejo). Born 1335; died 1408. King of the Korean state of Choson and founder of the Yi dynasty.

Yi Song-gye came from the provincial gentry. In the late 1380’s he led a grouping of middle and petty feudal lords who opposed the powerful landowning aristocracy. In 1388, during a conflict between Koryo and the Ming dynasty, Yi Song-gye overthrew the government. In 1391 his supporters promulgated a law on landholding (the Kwajong pop), then raised him to the throne (in 1392). Under Yi Song-gye, the state was renamed Choson and the capital became Seoul. The new ruler implemented reforms to strengthen central authority but was forced to acknowledge Korea’s vassalage to China.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.