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AdmiralSonWon-Il'sNavyBuildingandSuccession ActivitiesofNavalTradition -focused on succession centered on Choongmugong Yi Sun-sin-

Shin, Seongjae 1

1해군사관학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This main objective of this study is to focus on the fact that admiral Son Won-il, who has been called as 'father of the modern Korean navy' has succeeded the naval legitimacy of legendary admiral Yi Soon-shin in the process of founding the navy and to understand such procedures, as well as to extract its historical significance. Currently, the study on admiral Son has the wide ranges from his biography to philosophy on military foundation, his leadership, and continues to expand. However, although the modern Korean navy has been known as it is the direct recipient of admiral Yi's marine legacy, there has hardly found any organized and detailed research on how such orthodoxy has been established over the years. This question became the main motive for my study. Admiral Son Won-il organized Haesadae, which was the mother body of Korean naval forces in 1946, so as to claim to stand for Korean navy forces are indeed the descendants of admiral Yi. Since admiral Son established Haebangbaengdan, which was also the mother body of Korean Navy, he proclaimed clearly 'Choongmugong spirit' as the ultimate ideology and doctrine of the Korean navy, so that it can surely claim that Yi is the benefactor of the tradition. This spirit was firmly established as one of the indicators to execute Sohn's navy-foundation motto : 'to sacrifice myself for the sake of the nation and the people' in 1948. The reason for Son's admiral Yi’s spirit-succeeding policy was his vision that naval power will play a dominant role in guaranteeing homeland's independence as well as to determine the future of this nation. Yi soon-shin was naturally chosen as the perfect model for the construction of the modern Korean navy since Yi literally saved the Joseon dynasty from the Japanese invasion led by Hideyoshi in 1594 and thereby preserved the independent status of the country, not to mention the fact that Yi's powerful navy actually secured the maritime superiority of the southwest. Son has conducted various activities for his mission to succeed Yi's heritage. Son's most inspiring achievement was naming a post-liberation new ship as 'Choongmugongjeong'. He also made an effort to include Choongmugong-oriented spirit in the formation of school song and motto of Korean navy academy. One such example is that a phrase 'fulfilling the great teachings of Choongmugong', which implies that cadets are the virtual military descendants of admiral Yi, is reflected in the words of the school song. In one of the Naval Academy's motto 'sacrifice', ‘Choongmugong spirit and defending the homeland’ is also included to reflect the same purpose. Admiral Son published the book 'History of Korean Maritime Operations' in 1951, and named the operations of the Korean maritime war as respectively Choongmu, Hansan, and Noryang, of which the latter is in accordance of the aforementioned motives. Admiral Son's devotion to emphasize Choongmugong to be the ultimate symbol of naval legitimacy is indeed attributed to series of endeavors made by some Korean patriots during the early modern period. Especially, nationalist historians, independence fighters, and Son's own father have left an enduring mark on his view of history and nation. Admiral Son's post-liberation career to place Choongmugong as the core of naval legitimacy and orthodoxy is rooted in these historical backgrounds.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.