Walking south of the statue of the great King Sejong the Great brings you to the towering statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin, also known as Yi Sun-sin. The statue is officially named 12.23 Fountain in honor of the 23 battles he fought using 12 warships. Yi, born on April 28, 1545, is best known for his military achievements during the Imjin War.
The Imjin War took place during the Joseon Dynasty from 1592 to 1598. Until his death in 1598, Yi remained one of the only undefeated naval admirals and most well respected in military history. Astonishingly, he received no naval combat training prior to the war.
During the Battle of Myeongnyang, Yi’s fleet was outnumbered 333 ships to 13 against the Japanese navy. Remarkably, the Japanese were defeated elevating Yi to a naval genius.
Yi was killed by a single bullet on December 16, 1598 at the age of 53. He lost his life during the Battle of Noryang. At the time, the mighty Japanese army was all but defeated in the Korean Peninsula.