Korean History, Life & Culture

Yi Sun-sin Episode 4 : Turtle Ships to the Rescue!


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:

Korean Heroes – Yi Sun-sin Episode 4 – Turtle Ships to the Rescue

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!




AOE2 Turtleship1







  1. Krishna Katha

    Ha ha… I was just surfing around and took a look at these feedback. I can’t believe that there’s still this much interest. Thanks for posting about this.

  2. Yugal Sarkar

    It’s difficult to acquire knowledgeable individuals within this topic, however, you appear to be you know what you’re dealing with! Thanks

  3. Caleb Swofford

    Very good blog,thank so much for your time in writing the posts.

  4. Tricia Certain

    Really good site,thank so much for your effort in writing the posts.

  5. Nara Park

    Yi Sun-Sin, who is a Korean everybody knows! I sincerely admire him. When I was young, I read this story with a book. It is amazing that it created a great invention called Turtle Ship, which was not developed earlier than today.
    Through this podcast, I could think about Yi Sun-sin again. I read interestingly!

  6. Park Jin-mi

    Yi Sun-sin is the best well-know hero in Korea.
    Thanks to his effort to protect our nation, I can live my life in my country, now.
    But it’s true that many people often forget about his achievement. So I really appreciate you for reminding Yi Sun-sin. Although you are not Korean, you have more attention about our hero than we Korean. Your attention makes me study history ! haha!
    I hope I can see these posts frequently.
    Thank you!

  7. Na Jun Hyuk

    I am very pleased to know the things that I didn’t know. I was surprised that professor knew many facts about Korean history. This website has very useful informations. I respect your passion and commitment. Thank you for letting me know this website.

  8. Hyeok Jin Jeong

    Wow, after I see your homepage’s document, I was so amazed at your passion and interest at Korea’s best hero Yi Sun Sin. But, I heard when it was ImJin War, Joseon navy’s main boat was Pan Ok Sun and turtle ship was just for fearing enemy or guard other boats because of it’s structure. Did I heard wrong information? If you see this comment, give me a answer please!


    It is easy to understand because the words in sentences are not too difficult and your recording is very clear so that people can listen well. This material will be helpful for both Korean and foreigners who study Korean history. Also, it will be a good source of improving English listening and reading skills as well. Thank you for encouraging me to study the history of Korea, especially about Yi Sun-sin, and English language.

  10. Jung Yeon Lee

    I was so impressed at your great efforts to these articles and interested in Korea heroes. I saw more articles that you uploaded but this article is really interesting. Now, I can know the details about Yi Sun-Sin and Turtle Ship. Actually, I don’t know well about Yi Eok Gi or many other Korea heroes. Through this website I could know your loving of Korea history. Thank you to make this website and write good articles about Korea history!

  11. Chae lin, Kim

    I was so impressed that you record ‘turtle ships to the resque’ perfectly in spite of the long time .
    In your record the most interesting part that i thought was Yi-sun-shin’s diary. It was such a quite unique experience that I never heard about in english record version, and when you read it in your wonderful voice i was so touched.
    It was also interested to know about difference between korean ships and japan ships and also good to know about advantages of turtleship.
    Thank you for let all the people know about the korean history.

  12. Jooeun Kwon

    I think the turtle ships are so amazing and awesome! When I was 10 years old, my family went to 통영 and saw the model of turtle ship. It was like the second picture you attached. When I was study about the turtle ships, I was suprrised that the head of turtle ships was a cannon.I think the turle ships are very interesting weapon.

  13. 장몽주

    This is my first time to visit your website,and I think I will visit it more.Because the content of this website is meaningful. As a foreigner,I don’t know so much about the great korean hero Yi Sun- Sin. Because of these episodes,I get a chance to know him.I think he and his turtle ship are really amazing.And Yi Sun-Sin is a well-deserved strategist.Thank you for writing ,professor.You let me know a great korean heroe.

  14. SEO service Grantham

    There’s certainly a great deal to know about this subject.

    I like all the points you made.


    Thank you for informative and well-organized information about Korean hero, Yi Sun-sin , and I was amazed at your great efforts to keep posts updated. Your genuine interest of Korean History makes me so shamed, and it reminds me of the phrase “A nation that forgets its past has no future.” I will try to be more interested in studying Korean history. Thank you.

  16. Dohyeon

    I guess not many Koreans know many things about the turtle ship although they knew it was built by Yi Sun-sin. You must have spent so much time to get this information. I’m sure your Podcast will help other western people understand Korean History. By the way, I heard that in the U.S., there’s a comice book about Yi Sun-sin. So, if you have interest, you can find and read them in your free time. Thanks for your work!

  17. wangruonan

    where did my comment go!??

  18. wangruonan

    i think it is amazing! actually i don’t know well about korean history but by reading this i came to know more clearly about korean history. and also i think the essay and the website is organized well i have learned about one hero who is called 김정호 it is he who struggled for about 50 years to make the korean map come to form even today it is also proved to be accurate maybe you can write sth about him

  19. jy

    I realized that Yi sun sin is very smart general because he considered the flow of sea and made strategy based on this. In addition, he made a kind of the strategy ‘TURTLINHG’to conquer down and protect from the enemies. Thank to professor, i thought about him again.

  20. Ahn Su Bin

    I really like how you’re interested in Korean History, especially a great hero Yi Soon Shin. And I see you know about 거북선 well and also you really like it that you’ve built it on computer game. It’s awesome to have foreign people know about Korean history, and I think you should keep your work and spread more knowlege to other people, too! (I do wish people would know more about Korean and Japanese relationships and rising sun flag’s meanings..) Also great drawing from your brother!

  21. Park So Hyeon

    I could learn a lot of information about Turtle ship in detail thanks to your recording. Your explanation was very good to understand so I could pay attention to the recording and be interested to it. I am really appreciating your a lot of effort.

  22. Hyojin Yoon

    I should say thank you to the way you are interested in and introduce our Korean general Yi Sun-Sin. Love these articles and want this website will be continued. Thanks again 🙂

  23. Choi Hajung

    Episode 4, I enjoyed the content the most, because I feel much more comfortable than your very first one. I’m not trying to say that it was bad, but you know, it was the first one and you also were kind of nervous. But now your voice was just like the one I’ve heard at my lectue! I felt very fine now, that your contents are getting better even I am not the one who made this. Maybe it is because I’ve heard it from the first. Anyway, to see the pictures and hear the explanation of turtle ship was quite wierd. In my history class at high school, I only have gotten the very simple informations like it is Yi Sun Shin’s, used as the main strategy. It was worthwhile to spend my time listening the podcast to know about the details of turtle ship at all. Thank you again.

  24. Jeong Da woon

    It is very familiar intro bgm to listen after last semester lollollol
    Especially, your detailed explanations about Japanese naval forces of situation or appearance and function of the turtle ship are interesting to me. I will keep expecting many posting about the history of Korea in the future.

  25. Seoyoung

    I am very surprised that you know lots about Korean, Japanese, and Chinese heroes. I don’t know well who are the Yi Eokgi, Ryu Seong-ryong, Won Gyun, even though I am a Korean. So I think you are very awesome. Episode about the turtle ship is very interesting too.

  26. Hong Gyeong su

    First of all, I was impressed that you recorded 50minutes of recording about ‘Turtle Ships ‘. The pronunciation and speed of your speaking are appropriate to understand. By listening this, I could get information that I know or even I didn’t know. I think it was good chance to learning history in english. But personally, I felt that just listening 50minutes of recording without any visual materials is hard to concentrate and to get interest. I know story of ‘Yi Sun-sin’ and ‘Turtle Ships ‘ so I can understand and get interest in your recording. But I think person who don’t know much about this topic, for example not Korean, can’t get interest easily. So I think if you add more visual materials about the topic, this blog will get better.

  27. Kim hye bin

    Your post is very impressed. 광복절 is very important day to korean. you remember 광복절 and post it before 광복절. It makes me study korean history hard. Thank you for writing this post

  28. You Min Ji

    After I read this article, I remembered about my experience that I’ve visited the Turtle ship’s hometown, Yeosu. If the Turtle ship isn’t exist , Korea was taken over by the Japanese a long time ago than 1910. I’m so glad that learn about Turtle ship in detail. Thank you for giving me lots of information about Korean history.

  29. INBUM

    It’s great to see new posts, I’m very impressed by your knowledge about Korean history. It might be better than mine. The website has seem to have changed a bit since last time. I think you should consider changing the layout a bit. I feel it kind of hard to find the posts on your website. Looking forward to new content!

  30. Lee hye jin

    Wow! when i visited this website last semester, i was surprised because i thought you were very interested in korea history. but after i saw more posts uploaded, i felt your loving of korea history again!! especailly, in Imjin War, knowing detailedly strategy of “Turtle Ships” is so amazing!! i hope you will upload many posts about korea history!

  31. June So Ryung

    I have to admit that it has improved better than before. Contents are organized in series and it is easier to find compared to the older version. I can tell you have put much effort in this website! It’s also interesting how you have more knowledge about Korean history than a Korean.

  32. Han Ju Yeon

    I could learn many things that I didn’t know before by your podcast, especially about other heroes instead of Yi Sun Sin. Thanks for making this podcast about Yi Sun Sin. It was great to know about him and Imjin war in detail.

  33. Baek Seungcheol

    First, Thank you to make this webstie. When I listen about Turtle Ship, I can know the details because of this website. I only know that turtle ship is very awesome and help Yi Sun-sin. Also, this website gives more knowledge not only Yi-Sun-sin but also Korea History. Again, Thank you to make this website.

  34. Hwi Gyu, Jeong

    Detailed shape of the turtleship is great. The exesistence of the turtleship make the war advantageous to Korea. It wouldn’t have been possible to win the war without general Lee and turtleship. Thanks for making me think about the war again.
    Website is very great.

  35. Eun sook

    I’m glad to listen to your Yi Sun shin story again.
    In spite of your neck problem you made this long and good episode again.I was moved by your effort and enjoyed the result. Thanks a lot.

  36. Ji Yoon, Choi

    Wow, do you know 광복절? I don’t know the historic days in USA. So, thank you for your interest to Korea, first.
    The image of the turtle ships is very detail. I always think embarking on the ship , seeing one of the greatest ship (the turtle ship) in the world.
    Yi Sun Shin is a real great general. He was so brave, wise, and smart. He is the right man of the war. I admire him again through this chance.

  37. Choi Taeho

    I can tell you put a lot of effort into this website. I think these episodes are very educational for both Koreans and foreigners. I wish more people visit here!!

  38. 조순임

    This morning I was so glad to be able to meet your reinforced work.
    Just Iistening for your representation I can imagine a lot of things which would have occured at that time.
    The description of the Turtle Ship was so detailed. It was far more than I had expected!!!

  39. Choi

    You are amazing!!!! Thankyou for uploading new things as Korean.

  40. You shin young

    50minutes of recording with a perfect flow might not that easy but you made it. Conglstulations!
    Thank you for this present for the 광복절. It made me think about our nation and heroes deeply once more.
    ” know thy enemy, know thyself and you will never lose”from Sun Tzu. This is exctly what General Yi did. He was a great leader and strategist.
    I learned a lot through this episode again for example about 판옥선 이 억기 박홍 토요토미 and japanes warships etc
    Thinking of you how much struggled to do this in this horrible hot weather,thanks again.

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