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Coin Portrait of the Week #2


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SOUTH KOREA 100 WON 1974

 

kor02.jpg

 

KM 9 Modern Korean 100 Won Depicting Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (1545-1598) - Copper - Nickel

 

 

 

This coin depicts admiral Yi Sun-Shin, one of the most important military leaders in Korean History. Born in 1545 Yi Sun-Shin is remembered most for his numerous victories fighting the Japanese during Hideyoshi's Invasions of Korea In 1592 where his innovation, preparation, and brilliance as a strategist allowed him to repel the Japanese attacks and save Korea from either destruction or colonization. Admiral Yi is also remembered for his use, and improvements to, the Turtle Ship a type of heavily armed war ship.

 

In one of his most impressive battles Yi, Despite being poorly equipped in 1597, defeated a Japanese fleet of 333 battleships with a crew of 100,000 within the Myongryang Straits with only 13 battleships. Admiral Yi's victory at the Battle of Myeongnyang showcased his effectiveness as a strategic commander. Yi won every one of at least 23 naval battles that he fought while suffering very minimal losses and destroying over a thousand Japanese ships.

 

Admiral Yi was killed by a stray bullet in the Battle of Noryang Point in November 1598

 

 

http://www.cachecoins.org/korean01.htm

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I like the older one better, a bit nicer reverse...

 

Turtle Boats:

 

060408-turtle-boat.jpg

 

Yi came up with the idea of a flat-bottomed boat, covered by a curved dome. These boats resembled nothing so much as the turtle for which they were named. The boat was constructed of four-inch thick timber that was too strong to be effectively damaged by arrow or musket balls. Hundreds of slots were cut into the wood, allowing the sailors to fire in any direction. Metal plates covered the top of the ship, protecting the men onboard. During sea battles, the sails were lowered and 20 oars were used to maneuver. Twenty-two gunports along each side carried cannons named "Black", "Earth", and "Heaven", and each ship carried another forty 3-inch cannons that shot steel-tipped darts and arrows.

 

In addition to its armor, the boat was equipped with a massive dragon's head at the prow. This seemingly decorative item actually served two practical purposes. First, it was a massive battering ram. And second, the dragon head was designed to spew forth flaming arrows, sulphurous fumes, and clouds of smoke, which provided the Koreans with cover for their tactical maneuvers. The fear this fire-breathing dragon would have struck in the superstitious Japanese sailors must have been awesome.

 

But Admiral Yi wasn't content to leave the safety of his ships to the enemy's fear alone. He knew that at least some of the Japanese would attempt the age-old tactic of boarding the ship in an effort to overwhelm his sailors with sheer numbers. So, he devised a special surprise for these foolhardy souls. The top of the ship appeared to be covered with thatch. Naturally, this presented the Japanese with a tempting target for burning arrows. Just beneath the thatch, however, was a layer of spiked metal. The arrows would set the thatch on fire, but this would simply roll off the curved top into the water. Those enemy sailors that tried to board the turtle boats would find themselves impaled on the metal spikes that had been hidden by the thatch.

 

"You may wish to compare me with Lord Nelson but do not compare me with Korea's Admiral Yi Sun-Sin . . . he is too remarkable for anyone." --statement by the Japanese admiral who defeated the Russian navy in 1905

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I like the older one better, a bit nicer reverse...

 

Turtle Boats:

 

060408-turtle-boat.jpg

 

Yi came up with the idea of a flat-bottomed boat, covered by a curved dome. These boats resembled nothing so much as the turtle for which they were named. The boat was constructed of four-inch thick timber that was too strong to be effectively damaged by arrow or musket balls. Hundreds of slots were cut into the wood, allowing the sailors to fire in any direction. Metal plates covered the top of the ship, protecting the men onboard. During sea battles, the sails were lowered and 20 oars were used to maneuver. Twenty-two gunports along each side carried cannons named "Black", "Earth", and "Heaven", and each ship carried another forty 3-inch cannons that shot steel-tipped darts and arrows.

 

 

This thing looks like it would beat out anything that Europe was then sending out for naval battle, it appears to have had superior armament. Kind of a 16th century USS Monitor.

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