1897 – 1970
Who was Yi Un?
Lieutenant General Prince Imperial Yeong, the Crown Prince Uimin, also known as Yi Un, Yi Eun, Lee Eun, and Un Yi, was the 28th Head of the Korean Imperial House, an Imperial Japanese Army general and the last crown prince of Korea.
The prince was born on 20 October 1897 at Deoksu Palace in Seoul as the seventh son of Gojong, the Gwangmu Emperor. His mother was the Honorable Princess Consort Eom Seon-yeong, a palace attendant, who was posthumously awarded the title of Princess Sunheon. He was also the younger half-brother of Emperor Sunjong and Prince Imperial Ui. He was titled Prince Imperial Yeong in 1900, and became the crown prince in 1907, despite being younger than Prince Ui. Prince Ui's support base at court was not strong because his own mother, Lady Jang, had already died.
In December 1907, he was taken to Japan on the pretext of receiving a modern education. He was enrolled at Gakushūin and the Imperial Army Academy, both in Tokyo. Graduating from the academy on 25 May 1917, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry on 25 December, and steadily rose up the ranks, receiving promotions to lieutenant, captain and to major.
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