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Born 1545; died 1598. Korean military figure; hero of the Imdin War. Of noble descent.
In 1591, Yi Sun-sin was appointed commander of the fleet of the left semiprovince of Chollado. Foreseeing that a war with Japan was inevitable, he reinforced the fleet by commissioning improved warships, the “turtle ships” (kobukson), which were distinguished by high combat qualities. In the course of the Imdin War the Korean Navy, commanded by Yi Sun-sin, defeated the Japanese Navy in four engagements and foiled the plan of a combined offensive of the Japanese land and naval forces. Soon after, court intrigues brought about Yi Sun-sin’s removal as commander of the navy, but he was recalled to the post during a new Japanese invasion of Korea in 1597. Commanded by Yi Sun-sin, the Korean Navy again brilliantly defeated the Japanese Navy in October 1597. Yi Sun-sin died in the last battle in Noryan Bay, which led to a complete defeat of the Japanese invaders. In July 1950 the Korean People’s Democratic Republic instituted the Order of Yi Sun-sin.
REFERENCESIstoriia Korei. vol. 1. Moscow, 1960. Chapter 12. (Translated from Korean.)
Khvan, I. I. “Li Sun Sin.” Kratkie soobshcheniia in-ta vostokovedeniia, issue 1. Moscow, 1951.
M. N. PAK