Tomorrow, April 28th is also known as the Admiral Yi Sum-Shin’s birthday (충무공 탄신일) and it is more special than any other ones as it marks the 470th anniversary. The Government of the Republic of Korea officially declared April 28th as one of the anniversary, to celebrate his loyalty and to inculcate justice, patriotism and the love for the people.
Yi Sun-Shin was the Korean commander of the navy and was the Samdo Sugun Tongjesa (삼도수군통제사), which literally meant “Naval Commander of the Three Provinces” until 1596. He is also very famous for his victories during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592 (Imjin War) again in the Joseon Dynasty. Yi Sun-Shin invented ‘The Turtle Ship ‘ also known as Geobukseon (거북선). It was a type of large ironclad warship. He first used it in Battle of Dangpo (당포해전) and won many battles against the Japanese navies. Admiral Yi’s commanded as the head of an army in the Battle of Hansan Island (한산도대첩), which was one of the most important battles of the Imjin War. Korea won the battle and destroyed at least 47 Japanese ships. Furthermore, the battle of Hansan Island is considered to be the third largest naval battle in the world’s history along with the Battle of Salamis and the Battle of Grave lines. Yi Sun-Shin died at the Battle of Noryang (노량해전) on November 19th, 1598, he was wounded by a bullet while he was fighting against the Japanese who assembled at Noryang. His last words were” The battle is at its height … do not announce my death.” After, he was honoured as a Duke of Loyalty and Warfare (충무공), First class Military Order of Merit during the reign of Seonjo (선무일등공신), Prime Minister (영의정) and the Prince of the Court from Deokpung (덕풍부원군). Yi Sun-Shin is very respected not only by Koreans, but by Japanese admirals as well for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield, and he is still widely considered as a hero among Koreans today
( This paragraph was from my other article : https://korcan50years.com/2014/02/24/the-great-men-in-the-history-of-south-korea/ )
Koreans are celebrating Admiral’s birthday in many interesting ways, such as, playing traditional folk games (like gukgung (국궁) and tuho (투호)). They are also holding a little Yi Sun-Shin contest, as well as, competitions, races and parades. In addition to that, people will be performing an opera and re-create the scenes from the Battle of Hansan Island.
It is very important for all of us to realize what Yi Sun-Shin and others have done to save our country and to appreciate it. We should always be thankful and pay tribute to the spirit of those patriots who sacrificed their lives for their country and its people, like Admiral Yi Sun-Shin did.