Korean History, Life & Culture

Turtle Ships Part I

Episode Four – Turtle Ships

  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.

Espisode 4 – Yi Sun-sin – Turtle Ships to the Rescue Part I

*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.


  1. hackcr . com

    google bring me here. Thanks!

  2. Bae Hyo Geun

    First of all, I want to talk to you, Thanks for making such a good site. Althogh I am korean, It’s not easy to think about our history deeply. In school, ofcourse we learn history about Lee sun shin but I think your post is more detail and interesting. It is interesting for me to listen our history in english.

    I think all of korean know about turtle ship. And I also know about that from young.
    When I was young, I boarded replica turtle ship.
    Then I just thought “Wow, it’s cool!”. During reading your post, The memory came to mind. And I could think more deeply. It was very good time. If I can, I want check your site regularly.

    Again, Thanks for you and your site.

    • Bae Hyo Geun

      There’s a typo. Lee sun shin > Yi Sun Sin.!

  3. Ji Yeon Hwang

    When I think of Yi Sun Sin, I come to think of the turtle ship. I have heard the word of the turtle ship a lot but I didn’t know it in detail. This article impressed me. I proud of Yi Sun Sin who invented the turtle ship as Korean. Also, I feel fresh to know this content through English.

  4. KyuSeok-Lee

    I haven’t known how wide is turtle ship’s inside.
    When I studied in school about imjin war and Yi-Sun-sin, i couldn’t see any imformation of turtle ship. I think that likes this imformation can help to understand history so i want to be posted such as this theme in text

  5. Dong Hee, Kim

    I love history, especially war history, too. Even Koreans, the descendants of Yi Sun-sin, aren’t easy to have interests in 1592’s war. In this sense, I appreciate your attention to our history.

    I actually had an experince of boarding the turtle ship, located in the Korean Naval Academy, Jin-Hae. It was restored by the Korean Navy with professionals’ advices. Over time, a controversy has been flared up about the floor numbers of turtle ship, and it is not clearly concluded even now. Because there were some records that the turtle ship was used until nineteen’s century and could be inferred there were some different model of turtle ships throught the ages.

    It is unforutnate that the native people who should respect and cherish their history are not concerned with their own hero, Yi Sun-sin. Without him, the Republic of Korea wouldn’t be able to exist.

    Because I get interested in world’s war history and also Korea’s history, I’d like to develop academic research together if possible.

    Once more, I’d like to appreciate your concern about Korea’s heroes.

  6. hyang-mi pak

    Good article
    Admiral Yi made a turtlw ship. And he won the ‘Imijin war’.
    He is a patriot.

  7. Hyenonah Kim

    To my shame, I haven’t known this much about Turtle ships. As a korean, it was very interesting to learn about our own historical things in English though. In some way, it made me pay more attention to the contents.
    Thank you for your post and your podcast 🙂

  8. Young-ok Son

    What a surprise story about turtle ship frame! I was very impressed about your great job. I, as korean, already know it but there are much more new interesting things than I know it.
    It made me think about korean history again. I wish you keep going on this job.
    I cheer up your job.

  9. MH

    It’s much more specific than the text book I used in highschool! Can I ask where do you get these information? I like the new website by the way.

  10. You shin young

    Oh, your website looks tatally different, it looks much better in many ways , neat , tidy, ordered, and well organized.
    I listened to this episode just once and I’ll listen to it again later.
    Through this episode, I got to know two things about the tutle ship which I believe differently. The one is that I thought turtle ship’s design is Yi soon shin’s own idea.
    The other is that I truly believed that it is covered with iron cause we called it as 철갑선 that means exactly a ship covered with iron.
    Anyway you gave us many good reasons it wouldn’t be.
    Looking forward to next one.
    Good luck!

    • Malleusjl

      Thank you for your comment Shinyoung! I will have to “tidy” up the recording as well, but yes it seems very unlikely that iron was used to cover the ship, although there are a few sources that mention it. I’m glad you like the new look of the website, it took a bit of doing. Cheers.

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