7. and swordsmanship. This was a somewhat
7. On March 8, 1545 the 1st
year of King Injong’s reign, Yi Sun-Shin was born into the Duksu Yi clan, a fairly
poor middle-class family. Despite their fairly poor and non-aristocratic
status, Yi Sun-Shin was born into a well-educated family clan that emphasized
and valued learning and philosophic thought processes. Yi Sun-Shin’s
forefathers had served in fairly high-ranking in government position. Yi
Sun-Shin’s grandfather were a member of the reformist faction headed by
statesman Jo Kwang-Jo, which was heavily repressed by the ruler at that time,
King Myungjong. Because of this connection, that grandfather’s line of the Duksu
Yi clan fell out of favor from the government and Yi Sun-Shin’s father, Yi
Jung, could not obtain any favorable official position within the government.
Thus, his family suffered in poverty.
8. Due to ease the living cost. Yi Sun-Shin
and his family moved down to Ahsan, his mother’s hometown which is out from the
capital. During the teenager time, Yi Sun-Shin was a very active with
outstanding intelligence. Early on in his life he prone towards on military
maneuvering and he enjoyed playing war games and always took as commanding
role. At the age of 21 in the year 1564, Yi Sun-Shin married Miss Bang, who was
the only daughter of Bang Jin, a renowned master archer who used to be a local
governor. The following year, Yi Sun-Shin
began the study of traditional Korean military arts in archery, horseback
riding, and swordsmanship. This was a somewhat unusual interest for a son of
the Korean elite, who at the time shared the Chinese Confucian view of military
service as an inferior occupation.
9. At the age of 28 Yi Sun-Shin applied
to take the Kwago National Military Exam, the highest military exam in the
country. He failed the exam when he fell off of his horse while being tested
for his ability to shoot arrows while riding on horseback. Even though he broke
his leg when he fell off of his horse, Yi Sun-Shin himself got up on one leg,
gathered some willow tree branches from nearby and tied up his own broken leg.
Yi Sun-Shin took the exam once again at the age of 32. He passed.
10. After passing his examinations, he served
in various staff and command from lower position to the highest. The 1st
unit that he had been deployed was at Dongkubibo Fortress
allocated for defending the northern side from the barbarian tribe of Yeojin.
Yi Sun-Shin worked hard and bravely by defeating there enemy with a successful glory.
Unfortunately, instead of being praised and rewarded for his dedication and
success, Yi Sun-Shin, adversely, was demoted and punished to Baekuijongkun due
to his uncompromising integrity and honesty that often put him in conflict with
his direct supervising officers. This demotion was quite a severe punishment as
it meant that Yi Sun-Shin had to serve with no rank in plain white clothing
alongside common soldiers. Yi Sun-Shin repeatedly suffered many discharges and
objections to his promotions throughout his carrier. However time after time,
he manage to pursuit and hasten up his carrier and had attempt several of war
during the Imjin War since 1592 to 1598 with a splendid victory.
Sun-Shin died during the final battle at Noryang Strait where the Korean join
force with Chinese to attack the Japanese fleet of 500 ships that was en route
to the Chosun town of Soonchon. Towards the end, after almost destroying about
200 enemy ships, Yi Sun-Shin was shot in the chest under his left arm.
Concerned about his soldiers’ morale, Yi Sun-Shin told his son and his nephew,
“Cover my body with shields. The battle is in full swing. Do not reveal my
death.” Soon after uttering those words, Yi Sun-Shin died.