Saturday, April 10, 2010

Readathon: Hour 8

Pages read: 40

Snacks: 0

Blogs visited: 1

Switching around again, I began reading a short (88 page) history/biography of the great Korean naval war hero Yi Sun-Shin. Admiral Yi (1545-1598) saved Korea at least twice from total Japanese invasion. He was a master strategist and brilliant innovator. He helped to design Kobukson, or "Turtle Ship", the first ironclad warship in the world.
Yi is often compared with Nelson and Togo, but his record is actually even more successful than theirs. He was also a staunch patriot. Because he didn't work overtime to curry favor with royalty and politicians, he was often out of favor. One king actually demoted him all the way down from his top position to a common foot soldier. When the king realized his mistake (nearly losing Chosun Korea to Japan in the process) he hurriedly reinstated Yi Sun-Shin, who returned, not bitter, only happy to serve again.
Yi died nobly in battle but he kicked some serious ass for Korea. According to this book, my university took a nationwide poll back in 2005, asking Koreans who they considered the greatest figure in Korean history. Yi Sun-Shin won with more than 43% of the vote.


Beth F said...

Books, books
They're everywhere
How you read them
We don't care!

Rachel said...

Way to go!