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The Eumi Incident

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Category: REGIONAL HISTORY
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Topic: The Eumi Incident
Posted By: Lao Tse
Subject: The Eumi Incident
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 04:05
I have recently done a large amount of research on Queen Min and her later years. The most shocking was her sudden assassination by Miura Goro (indirectly). The Eumi incident marked the end of independent Korea under the Joseon dynasty. In October 8th, 1895, her highness was at the palace as usual, but that night, the future of Asia was about to make an unforgettable turn. As the night pushed on, there was a massacre of the Imperial Guards throughout the palace. Her majesty's ladies were running further and further back into the palace while the Japanese soldiers were advancing towards the imperial throne rooms.
Supposedly, the emperor was forced to remain in his throne chamber and guarded by the assassins while others were reaching Min's throne room with the ladies thar had already entered her presence. One of them who could out run the assassins had disguised her as one of them. When the assassins reached her throne room, she was still obviously the queen because of her hair ornaments. The assassins chose her when one of the ladies stood up and was killed by a katana. finally, Min revealed herself and was killed. Upon the next morning, her body was burned by the assassins and Miura Goro, mocking her and insulting their customs.
Korea was annexed to Japanese imperialism and was eventually followed by a lare perntage of China. That night in the Korean palace was nly the beginning of the crumbling of Asia. In 1897, Queen Min was given a funerary procession of 5650, 4000 lanterns, and a giant wooden horse. She was given the posthumous title of Empress Myeongseong.


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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under



Replies:
Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 04:29
That seems rather nasty. Why kill the Queen but leave the King alive?
 
The disrespect shown to her corpse provides an entree to the sort of xenophobic behaviour the Japanese exhibited towards subject foreigners during the Japanese wars of conquest on the mainland.


Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 05:28
The reason why the king was left alive was because he had no idea how to run a country. And the reason why the queen was killed was because her plans were to modernize Korea, and they allied with China and Russia, so Japan wanted her to either surrender or die.

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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 06:00
Lao Tse, a good post, but it fails to mention the Daewongun's role in his daughter-in-law's murder. According to what I read, the Daewongun (Prince Regent) requested an audience with his son, and arrived early with a retinue that included both Japanese trained Korean troops and Japanese Ronin who were essentially hired assassins. When the guards opened the gate for the Prince Regent, who had a long standing feud with Queen Min, the assassins pushed past, made their way to the women's quarters, and began killing every woman whose age and appearance matched that of Queen Min. The first western account of the murder came from a U.S. military officer who was scheduled to meet with the King and his ministers that morning to discuss plans for modernizing the Korean Army. (The Japanese had already trained up a few battalions, one of whose commanders (LTC Woo Beon-seon) was later assassinated in Japan in revenge for Queen Min's murder.) Apparently Queen Min had convinced her husband to look beyond Japan for military training.

It was an important first step towards Korea's road to becoming a colony, but Korea did not become a Japanese protectorate until 1905, and after King Kojong's 1907 efforts to gain European support for pressuring Japan to end the protectorate, a full colony in 1910. 

A bit more background on king Kojong and Queen Min. Contrary to what many might think of Asian kings, the selection process to replace a deceased King who left no male heir was actually a process of consensus. The clans related to the Royal family met and dickered to select the next King. When Kojong's predecessor died and the clans met, his father convinced them that his son, due to their own clans very weakness, was the ideal candidate. Kojong was just a young boy at the time, but his father convinced the clans that this was a strength, since the boy would have to rule through himself as the regent, and he had no real powerful clan behind him, ergo he would have to work with all the major clan heads. Needless to say, once Kojong was crowned King, and his father named Prince Regent, things began to change mostly to the Regent's benefit. To make sure he wasn't challenged, he selected a girl from one of the poorest Royal clans, the future Queen Min. If memory serves, Kojong was about 8 and Min 12 when they were officially engaged. Min bided her time, and once Kojong reached the age of maturity she convinced him to remove his father from the Royal palace to a minor palace down the street near the British Embassy, and she and Kojong began calling the shots. As a result, the Prince Regent became Queen Min's mortal enemy, and hatched no small number of assassination plots against her. Given the Confucian nature of the dynasty, however, the Prince Regent was never punished for these attempts. The Japanese were well aware of this history, and were convinced that Min was a major obstacle to their plans for Korea, and acted accordingly.

Why leave the King alive? The Japanese did not intend to rule Korea directly. They firmly believed that the Koreans were racial (if less developed) cousins, and that Korea could made a partner in the Japanese Empire. To this end, they published some questionable histories linking the two imperial houses together, and had plans to marry off a Japanese princess to Kojong's son. The colonial policy to convert Koreans into Japanese dates from 1937, in the wake of a military coup in Japan that led to the hard-line military officers moving into government. Prior to that, the Japanese were more subtle.


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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 06:07
I did not include these details because although important, I was only mentioning the influence it had on the future of Asia and the end of Queen Min's life. But thank you for the details that help clear things up.Big smile

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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under


Posted By: Windemere
Date Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 21:33
Thanks for the above post, which relates the circumstances of the assassination of Queen Min of Korea. Here is some genealogical information (gleaned from Wikipedia) on the subsequent history of the Korean royal family.
 
Emperor Gojong  (1852-1919) was the 26th monarch of the Joseon (Yi) Dynasty of Korea. He inherited the throne in 1863. The Korean monarch's traditional title was 'King', but Gojong later took the new title of 'Emperor' for himself, in order to emphasize Korea's independence. However, in 1907, upset by Gojong's insistence upon independence, he was forced by the Japanese to abdicate.Gojong had several wives and concubines, and about 14 sons and daughters. His three surviving sons were Emperor Sunjong (who succeeded him), Yi Kang, and Crown Prince Yi Un.
 
Emperor Sunjong (1874-1926), whose mother was Queen Min, was the last Korean Emperor. He was deposed in 1910 by the Japanese when they annexed Korea. However, the Japanese did allow the Korean royal family to  remain as nobility, with the ceremonial title of 'King'. Sunjong had several consorts, but no children. At the time of Sunjong's accession, Gojong's second eldest son had been bypassed by the Japanese because of his independent political views, and his third  eldest son, Yi Un (1897-1970) was proclaimed Crown Prince. It was arranged for Yi Un to marry a Japanese noblewoman, related to the Japanese imperial family. Yi Un and his wife had a daughter and a son, Yi Gu (1935-2005). For many years, until his death in 2005, Yi Gu was the titular heir to the vacant Korean throne. Yi Gu married an American woman, but they had no children. His sister also had no children. Thus the lineage of Crown Prince Yi Un is now extinct.
 
The second eldest son of Gojong, who'd been bypassed for the succession because of his independent political views, was Yi Kang. Yi Kang had several wives and concubines, and fathered about 21 children. It is from Yi Kang that the present Korean royalty descends. There were evidently 4 sons (Yi Geon, Yi Wu, Yi Gap, Yi Seok) and at least one daughter (Yi Hae-won) who established lineages that persist today.
 
 The eldest son Yi Geon (1909-1990) was taken to Japan to be brought up. He was married into Japanese nobility, and following World War II, he became a Japanese citizen. He died in 1990. He apparently had one child, a son named Momoyama Kouya, who lived quietly in Japan his entire life, working as a schoolteacher. It appears that he's now passed away, with no children.
 
The second son, Yi Wu (1912-1945), was an officer in the Japanese Army. He was killed in 1945 in Hiroshima in the atomic bomb explosion. He had one son, Yi Chung (born 1936), who apparently leads a quiet, low-profile life in South Korea today. Yi Chung is therefore the senior agnatic (male-line) descendant of the Korean royal family.
 
The third son Yi Gap (born 1938) apparently had one son Yi Won (born 1962) who lives in South Korea, and who has apparently put forward a claim to the vacant Korean throne, and who periodically publicly conducts some traditional Korean royal ceremonies. Yi Won has two sons, who were born in the 1990s.
 
The fourth son Yi Seok (born 1941), who lives in South Korea, has also occasionally in the past put forward a claim to the vacant throne, and has given interviews to the media. He worked as a college professor of history. Yi Seok has one son, Yi Jung-hun, born 1980, and he also has about 3 daughters.
 
The eldest surviving member of the royal family is the daughter Yi Hae-won, (b. 1919). Yi Hae-won has also put forward a claim to the throne, and several years ago went through a symbolic traditional  coronation ceremony, being proclaimed as Empress. She has 3 sons and a daughter.
 
Naturally, all of these claims are purely symbolic and  ceremonial, and have no standing with the South Korean government. They do represent a link with Korea's past history. Some of them have Wikipedia biographies, and further information can be found in the Wikipedia articles 'Joseon Dynasty' and 'House of Yi'.


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Dis Aliter Visum
"Beware of martyrs and those who would die for their beliefs; for they frequently make many others die with them, often before them, sometimes instead of them."


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2012 at 06:39
Windmere, I think you are confusing Kojong (or gojong) with Sunjong where you write: "He inherited the throne in 1907."  As you point out, Sunjong "inherited' the throne from Kojong. So, the 1907 sentence, as written, is in error. Kojong was king long before 1907.

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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2012 at 07:11
The same thing is with China, the imperialist party has no power, but is a great symbol. THe only difference is that there are alot more members and several clans such as the Yehe Nara (the houser of which Cixi taihou was born in), and the Aisin Gioro (the main imperial family).

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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under


Posted By: Windemere
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2012 at 18:05
Lirelou,
Thanks for your post. You are correct, 1907 was the year of Gojong's abdication and Sunjong's accession. The year that Gojong became king, as a young child, was 1863. I've edited my original post to correct it.
 
Lao Tse,
It's good that the Chinese people are appreciating their history, and the symbols associated with it. The Qing Dynasty was of Manchu descent. Just guessing, but I wonder if the modern Chinese people maintain a distinction between the Han and the Manchu, or if the two ethnicities have blended into each other over the years.
 
 


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Dis Aliter Visum
"Beware of martyrs and those who would die for their beliefs; for they frequently make many others die with them, often before them, sometimes instead of them."


Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2012 at 22:08
Actually, the Manchu ethnicity is the fastest growing minority in China. The reason why is that people were before affraid to be marked as manchu foreigners,  but now, many people call them selves manchu after the Revolution.

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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 09 Jul 2012 at 19:10
Yes, but that has rather symbolical meaning. The modern Manchu are complitely sinicized and Manchu language itself is almost dead.

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Σαρμάτ



Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 09 Jul 2012 at 19:40
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Yes, but that has rather symbolical meaning. The modern Manchu are comlitely sinicized and Manchu language itself is almost dead.
I thought the manchu language was a lot easier than many other languages for me to learn. Although chinese is my main language, I still use manchu in several pieces of carving. Since the Da Qing, everything written in chinese had to be written in manchu next to it. When I was a child, even many of the villages followed those customs. But I still carve manchu to the left of Chinese, then again, that may be why some people get confused when they read some of my pieces.LOL


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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 09 Jul 2012 at 20:15
A little out of topic, but I liked that recent Korean movie. 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDyIjb272kU" rel="nofollow - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDyIjb272kU
Cool visuals of 17th century Manchu warriors...

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Σαρμάτ



Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 00:39
That is what a manchu is famous for, being a soldier. Have you seen any of the movies about Queen Min? They're pretty good.

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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under


Posted By: Lao Tse
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2012 at 04:59
Originally posted by Windemere Windemere wrote:

Lirelou,
Thanks for your post. You are correct, 1907 was the year of Gojong's abdication and Sunjong's accession. The year that Gojong became king, as a young child, was 1863. I've edited my original post to correct it.
 
Lao Tse,
It's good that the Chinese people are appreciating their history, and the symbols associated with it. The Qing Dynasty was of Manchu descent. Just guessing, but I wonder if the modern Chinese people maintain a distinction between the Han and the Manchu, or if the two ethnicities have blended into each other over the years.
 
 
 
They have somewhat blended, a few of my ancestors were of Hanren, and Xianbeiren. But the Manchu are considerred outsiders, and do not follow all of the customs of Hanren China. when it comes to bone structure and genetics, it is very easy to see a difference. Manchus are often big-boned, and have a rounded square head, while Hanren has a smaller bone structure, and their heads are more rounded.


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在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under



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