It really has been two years since I have posted on the main blog here! This is because the Yi Sun-sin project I started was halted halfway through and I was never able to get back to it. Since 2018 many things have changed and sections of this website have been added, removed and altered. The main addition has been sections dedicated to my university courses in South Korea, which were initially meant to be temporary, but have now become major components of a contact-less (untact if you want to use the new Konglish expression) teaching environment. Thus, going forward, the site will be re-designed as I split it into three sections: 1. The original Korean Heroes content; 2. Content related to University courses for the 2020 Fall semester; 3. A blog containing videos, pictures, links and discussion on gardening in Korea. I have always had multiple interests and so I will attempt to organize all three of these spaces within in this website. Thank you to all of you who have supported the website in the past and present.
It’s been awhile, but it is high time we got back into the story of the immortal Yi Sun-sin. The main narrative, including his first naval encounter is set to begin. He has been preparing for this moment since the moment his was promoted. He has now been presented with what many historians and politicians refer to as “a crisis of opportunity.” He is in complete control of the last organized military resistance in Korea. No one is expecting any sort of offensive maneuver, not even the Joseon ministers themselves. However, armed with the confidence born of extreme dedication and purpose, and burning with the desire to avenge and punish, Yi Sun-sin somehow maintains his composure as he advances through the island chains and jagged coastlines of southern Korea toward the Japanese menace.
Presenting episode 5, where Yi Sun-sin’s true genius is put on display. Prepare yourself for the real debut of the Korean god of war, the greatest hero in Korean history: 충무공 (The Duke of Loyalty and Warfare) Admiral Yi Sun-sin.
First of all, Happy National Liberation Day! In Korea, August 15th commemorates the Allied victory over Japan, which led to Korea’s independence from the Japanese Empire and the end of colonial rule. The name of the day in Korean (한글) is: 광복절. That literally means “Light Return Day.” In other words, the day the light returned. A cool name for a holiday! Enjoy yourselves, whatever you do, and celebrate freedom!
The holiday is actually tomorrow, but the 4th episode is ready today, so here it is:
In this episode I discuss the Korean and Japanese navies and I generally describe the first days of the Imjin War. Yi Sun-sin takes up his new position as Commander of the Jeolla Left Navy. This episode is about 50 minutes in length and took a lot of effort on my part. I hope to set up the RSS feed for the Korean Heroes Podcast tomorrow (August 15th), but no promises! I’m pretty happy with the way the recording went, keeping it rough and raw for the most part suits my style, my ability and my equipment. I’m going to set up an SNS link for this site too, if everything goes well. Feedback is welcome, you can comment on this blog or contact me by email (just click on the contact information at the top of the page). Here are some screenshots of turtle ships (not my own I lost them…). I’ll have to start a new game when I have the time, but in the meantime have a look at the ones I pilfered!
It’s been forever since I’ve managed to get anything uploaded so, I’m taking a new approach: Record and publish and to hell with perfectionism! Just kidding, I am still going to polish each episode before I subject it to the scrutiny of the internet, not only for my own sake, but for Yi Sun-sin’s! You will notice that this upload needs some serious work still; for example, around the 10 minute mark I start rambling about diving in turtle ships, and this will have to be edited out or replaced, but I’ve decided to go ahead put it up anyway as I promised an episode about A MONTH AGO! This episode will no doubt be the longest one to date and it will the first to be tested on my podcast feed. However, I’m still going to upload it in chunks, as I have done so far, so that older listeners can preview it as I get it ready. This blog needs some love!
I’m not sure if it’ll be three or four chunks when it is finally done, but here is the first one. The idea is to get them all done and then add them all to the RSS feed as a whole. I’ve decided to keep all of the old stuff as is, and use this blog as sort of a record of the somewhat frustrating, but ultimately satisfying learning process. I will replace this upload with a better version as soon as I can. Feedback is always welcome.
*Editing and additional effects to follow. Thanks for listening!
P.S. If I can’t find that screenshot from AOE2, I’ll have to start a new game and take another. I formatted my computer and it has gone missing. In the mean-time, here is another illustration of Korean turtle ship, schematics included.
Let’s wrap up Yi Sun-sin’s northern campaign with the shocking destruction of a tribe of invading Jurchen and a dramatic rescue of captive soldiers!
The picture above is a scene from Onrie Kompan’s Yi Soon Shin Warrior and Defender
Unfortunately, in the midst of these moments of triumph; Yi Sun-sin’s father will pass away and his military career will be put on hold while he spends the customary three years in his hometown mourning his loss. While he is absent, his political enemies will look for ways to taint his reputation and set traps for him as soon as he returns, but the incorruptible Yi Sun-sin will persevere through it all. Tune in to:
Time to talk about Yi Sun-sin’s army career in a little more detail. What did he accomplish up in the hinterlands of Hamgyeong-do? Well pretty much everything. In less than a decade he travels the entire length of the peninsula, gets thrown in jail, promoted, demoted, re-promoted, scatters raiders, saves captives and captures a barbarian chieftain. Tune in to hear about this little known, but very compelling part of the roller coaster that is Yi Sun-sin’s military career.
Also, great news! I have two more primary sources in the mail, the collection of Yi Sun-sin’s letters to the court and a biography written by his nephew. This should make for some great story-telling. Thank you for visiting the site and for supporting the show.
Episode 3 has been divided and sub-divided into smaller parts as Google sets their maximum streaming file size at 25MB. So just click on Part 1 A and then move on to Part 1 B! Enjoy!
I have completed recording and editing episode 3 and it has turned out to be long enough to split into two parts, as I am trying to keep each episode under 25 minutes and under 25 Megabytes so that you can choose to stream it rather than download it. I have been searching desperately for more sources that will give me more insight into Yi Sun-sin’s early military career in the army, but I came up empty-handed. Of course as soon as I finished my recording I discovered this possible treasure of information: An English translation of “Imjin Changch’o, Admiral Yi Sun Shin’s Memorials to the Court” which includes “The Biography of Yi Sun Shin by Yi Pun,” Admiral Yi’s nephew. My heart lept and broke at the same time. I was very pleased with the recording as I thought it was an improvement in almost every way from the first two episodes, so I think I am going to release them anyways. Hopefully in 5-10 business weeks my primary sources will arrive and I will be able to edit, fill-in, verify or disprove my speculations with the words of the Admiral or his nephew. Until then, enjoy the story-telling and take the battlefield scenario for what it is, a reconstruction based on general details. I’ll be uploading episode 3 Part I tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 12th 2016 after going over it one more time. Thank you for dropping by, supporting the show and for continuing to listen to the podcast as it evolves and improves.
Imjin Changch’o, Admiral Yi Sun Shin’s Memorials to the Court: Korean National Treasure No. 74
Yi Sun-sin was born the fourth son of a little known nobleman in Hanyang (Seoul), Joseon (Korea) in 1545. When he was a child in the mid 16th century it was relatively calm on the peninsula, but it did not begin or end that way. Soon the future of Korea would be hanging by a thread and it would be desperate for heroes. Little did he know that his determination to pursue a life in the military would put him in position to alter the course of history for his people and for Asia. This first episode in the Yi Sun-sin series of the Korean Heroes podcast is the story of this great man’s humble beginnings as we set the stage for the Japanese invasion of 1592: The Imjin War.
The file is available to stream or download through the link below and the podcast feed will be available soon! Thank you for your patience and support.
This is the website for a new podcast called Korean Heroes. It is a work in progress and a project I’ve been looking forward to launching for several years now. The first podcast descriptions and website content will be uploaded by March 1st, 2016 and the feeds should start rolling out shortly after that. The site will be up and running just in time for the National Holiday (Bank Holiday for those of you who call it that), in South Korea that celebrates the Korean Independence movement during the Japanes occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910-1945. More on that in a future podcast series! Happy 삼일절 (sam-il-jeol: literally 3-1 Day translated directly fromÂ Korean).