Korea: The Achievements Of Admiral Yi Sun sin
By Benita Margaronis
Elsie Allen High School, Santa Rosa Ca
Yi Sun-sin was one of the most successful admirals in history and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese invasion of Korea. He was born April 28th, 1545. He was a Korean naval commander who was famous because of all the battles he fought, he never lost one. He fought in at least 23 battles. He always had fewer men and less vessels than his opponent but still won. Yi died at the battle of Noryang on December 16th 1598.
Yi won the battle of Myeongnyang which was his greatest achievement. He only had 13 ships while the Japanese had 333 ships. This was one of the greatest victories in naval history.
Yi also became famous because he brought back the turtle ship to fight the Japanese. This was a great battle ship because it was fast and had spikes all around it and a roof so it was very hard for enemies to board the ship. Each Turtle Ship held 11 cannons on each side of the ship, two on the bow and two on the stern. The figure head, which was a dragon, held four. These ships were very effective in helping Admiral Yi defeat the Japanese.
A conspiracy was attempted to get rid of Yi. A spy sent by the Japanese became good friends with Yi’s superiors and gave them false information. Yi knew that the place he was being sent to was dangerous. He refused to sail his ship there. Yi’s enemies accused him of insubordination. He was taken to prison and tortured till he was almost dead. Many people were jealous of Yi’s victories at sea. At the king’s court they got together to try and get rid of him but in the end they failed. Yi was brought back after a Japanese victory at sea created demands for his return.
His victory at Myeongnyang turned the tide against the Japanese.
When he was young Yi played war games with the other boys and he showed good leadership at a young age. He even made his own bow and arrows as a young teen. Yi became proficient at reading and writing Chinese. In 1576 Yi signed up with the army and passed with flying colors. It is said that the judges were impressed with his swordsmanship and archery. He failed the cavalry part because he broke his leg but after it healed tried again and passed that part. When Yi was sent out to his regiment, he quickly became known for his strategy skills and leadership. He took three years off after his dad died but came back. He never received naval training before the war with the Japanese.
Today Admiral Yi is thought of as one of the greatest heroes and admirals of all Korean history. He is regarded as a great man because of his courage, intellect, loyalty and strength. There have been movies about him and books. In Busan, South Korea there is statue of Yi. There are even video games where you can play as Admiral Yi.
That’s how highly people STILL think of him.