Yi Gu biography

Yi Gu

Noble person

1931 – 2005


Who was Yi Gu?

Prince Yi Ku was a claimant to the throne of Korea, contested twenty-ninth head of the Korean Imperial family, and the grandson of Gojong of the Korean Joseon Dynasty.

Gu was born in Kitashirakawa Palace, Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan; his father was Crown Prince Eun of Korea, and his mother was Princess Bangja, born Masako Nashimoto, a Japanese princess. If his claim had been accepted, and Korea were still a monarchy, his title would have been "His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Korea".

Gu attended the Gakushuin Peers' School in Tokyo. He later attended Centre College, Danville, Kentucky and studied architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology both in the U.S.. He was employed as an architect with I.M. Pei & Assocs, Manhattan, New York from 1960 to 1964. Made stateless by Japan in 1947, Gu acquired United States citizenship in 1959, and Korean citizenship in 1964. He married Julia Mullock on 25 October 1959 at St George's Church in New York, and they adopted a daughter, Eugenia Unsuk.

After the fall of Syngman Rhee, he returned to Korea in 1963 with the help of the new president Park Chung-hee, moving into the new building in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace with his mother and wife. He lectured on architecture at Seoul National University and Yonsei University and also managed his own airline, Shinhan. When that went bankrupt in 1979, he went to Japan to earn money. In 1982, his family forced him to divorce his wife because she was sterile; his mother died in 1989. He started living with a Japanese astrologer, Mrs. Arita.


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"Yi Gu." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Mar. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/gu_prince_imperial_hoeun>.

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Dec 29, 1931
  • Catholicism
  • United States of America
  • Centre College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jul 16, 2005
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka

on July 23, 2013

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