The Last Princess Deokhye Of Korea Art Photography







 Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited Edition In CD-ROM





Emperor Gojong

Gojong and the Korean Empire

26th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Gojong,

moved into the palace in 1897,

where he proclaimed the Great Korean Empire in an effort to assert the nation’s independence from China, Japan, and Russia. However, rather than actually strengthening the nation’s military, Emperor Gojong (1852-1919) would instead spend much of his time and energy renovating and expanding this palace.

He resided here until abdication to his son, Emperor Sunjong, in 1907, when the palace was renamed Doeksugung. When the Japanese occupation began in 1910, Emperor Gojong was placed under house arrest in Doeksugung, where he eventually died in 1919.

Emperor Gwangmu

We go back four generations because the demise of Korea’s royal family arguably starts in 1907. While Korea officially disappeared in 1910, in practicality Korea lost is sovereignty in 1905, when the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 was entered into. Under the treaty, Korea became Japan’s “protectorate,” and lost the ability to conduct its own foreign affairs. A governor from Japan was sent to Korea to conduct Korea’s foreign affairs instead. It goes without saying that the treaty was not entered into in a fair manner — dozens of armed Japanese soldiers were staring down the emperor and the officials when the treaty was signed.

Emperor Gwangmu

Emperor Gwangmu (also known as Gojong) of Korea could plainly see where this was going. Although the 1905 Treaty stripped his ability to conduct foreign affairs, the emperor sent secret envoys to 17 major powers, including United Kingdom, France and Germany, to protest the forcible signing of the 1905 Treaty. The highlight of this effort was in 1907, when three Korean envoys were sent to the Second International Peace Convention at the Hague. Although Japan froze out the envoys from attending the convention, Yi Wi-Jong, one of the three envoys, managed to give a speech imploring for help in a separate conference. (The speech fell on deaf ears.)

The three secret envoys to the Hague: 
Yi Sang-Seol, Yi Joon, Yi Wi-Jong

Although the emperor’s efforts did not create any result, Imperial Japan did not take kindly to Emperor Gwangmu’s extracurricular activity, and demanded that he abdicate his throne. The emperor acquiesced, giving way to his son, Emperor Yunghui (also known as Soonjong) — who would become the last emperor of Korean Empire.  Former Emperor Gwangmu died in 1919. Although this is not certain, there are ample indications that he was poisoned.

More after the jump.

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Second Generation:  Emperor Yunghui, King Euichin, King Yeongchin, Princess Deokhye

Emperor Gwangmu had 13 children, but only four survived into adulthood — three sons and a daughter. And they were survivors in the truest sense. Even as the empire was in precipitous decline, the palace intrigue did not stop. Emperor Gwangmu’s oldest son, born from his third wife, is rumored to have been poisoned by Empress Myeongseong, the emperor’s main wife. The second son, born from Empress Myeongseong, died young. The Emperor’s father may have poisoned him. The crown prince — the third son who would become Emperor Yunghui– was also poisoned in his youth, but barely survived. It was rumored that because of the lingering effects of the poisoning, the crown prince did not have full mental capacity.

The last royal family. From the left: King Euichin, Emperor Yunghui, 
King Yeongchin, Emperor Gwangmu, with Princess Deokhye in front

In 1910, Emperor Yunghui signed over his empire to Imperial Japan, ending the 600-year dynasty headed by his family. Emperor Yunghui was demoted to a king, subordinate to the Japanese emperor. Korea’s royal family as a whole became Japanese nobility. The policy of Imperial Japan toward Korea’s royal family was clear: the royal family will be either assimilated or killed. The first to go was the Emperor Gwangmu, as described above. Emperor Yunghui did not last much longer — he died in 1926, at age 53.

Perhaps the most interesting figure in this drama is Yi Gang (also known as King Euichin,) second surviving son of Gwangmu. Yi Gang studied in Roanoke College in Virginia and was an officer of Korean imperial military when his older brother signed over the empire. Yi Gang silently assisted Korea’s independence movement, signing petitions and sending funds to support Korean independence fighters and schools. He attempted to flee Korea and join the provisional government in Shanghai, but was arrested in the process and lost his nobility status. Since then, he evaded Imperial Japan’s surveillance by engaging in profuse boozing and whoring while continuing to support the independence movement. During the course of his independence movement, he expressed that he would abdicate his royal status and submit to the rule of the democratic government. He led a quiet life after the independence, and died in 1955 at age 79.

Emperor Yunghui died without a son, and King Euichin was not favored by the Japanese because of his involvement in Korea’s independence movement. Therefore, Gwangmu’s youngest surviving son, King Yeongchin, succeeded the throne. Yi Eun, also known as King Yeongchin, was born in 1897. At age ten, he was taken to Japan to “study” under the patronage of the Japanese governor of Korea — essentially being held as a hostage. As the contemporary Japanese nobility did, Yi Eun was forced to attend the military academy. He became an officer of the Japanese military, and was forced to married Nashimotonomiya Masako, a member of the Japanese royal family. He became the king of Korea after his father died in 1926, but only visited Korea briefly to accept the crown. He became a general of the Japanese army in 1938. He would see the end of World War II in Japan.

Young Yi Eun with his Japanese “patron,”
Governor-General Ito Hirobumi
After the war, Yi Eun lost his nobility status, which pushed his family into dire poverty. He would scrape by with the financial help from the very few remaining Korean royalists. His wife also had to work, notwithstanding her royal family status. He attempted to return to Korea, but was rebuffed — that he served in the Japanese military and married a Japanese royal family did not play well with the newly established Korean government. He suffered a stroke in 1961 in Hawaii while visiting his son; he was allowed to return to Korea in 1963, and lived in the Changdeok Palace with his aunt. He passed away in 1970.
It is a cruel irony of history that the only person who came out of this drama with a shred of dignity was Yi Eun’s wife, Masako. After returning to Korea in 1963, she changed her name to a Korean-style name Yi Bang-Ja and focused her energy on charity work, establishing schools for children with disabilities despite living off the meager government pension. She received numerous medals and awards for her volunteer work. She passed away in 1989.

Princess Deokhye, Gwangmu’s youngest daughter who was born in 1912, is probably the most tragic figure. She was forcibly moved to Japan and attended a university, where she developed schizophrenia. In 1931, she married a Japanese nobleman in an arranged marriage, and had a daughter. She survived the war, but lost her only daughter in the process. She was abandoned by her husband in 1953 as her schizophrenia worsened. For the next nine years, she would go from mental hospital to mental hospital in Japan. Korean government heard about her in 1962. and President Park Chung-Hee passed the law providing for pension for the former royal family in response. Princess Deokhye returned to Korea, and lived in Changdeok Palace until 1989 when she passed away.

Third and Fourth Generations: Yi Gu and King Euichin’s 21 Children

Yi Eun and Masako had two sons, but the older son died at less than one year old. The last official crown prince of Korean royal family is Yi Gu, born in 1931. He had spent his entire life in Japan, and he worked as a clerk for a company in Tokyo after World War II. In 1953, he moved abroad to study in MIT, and met his future wife — a white American woman named Julia Murlock. Yi Gu married Murlock in 1959 in New York, and he worked for the architectural company of I.M. Pei.

He was also allowed to return to Korea in 1963, and lectured architecture in universities. But he could not adjust to the life in Korea. Although Korea was no longer a monarchy, the Jeonju Yi (Lee) lineage society took (and still takes) its royal family line very, very seriously. Yi Gu received pressure as a crown prince within his family, and that he married a white woman who could not get pregnant only intensified the pressure. Yi Gu separated from Murlock in 1977, and returned to Japan in 1979. He would visit Korea from time to time, but refused to settle down in Korea. He died alone in 2005 in a hotel in Tokyo; apparently Yi Gu favored the hotel because it overlooked his old birthplace. He was buried in a royal garb; his funeral was attended by the prime minister of Korea (equivalent to American vice president) and 1,000 people.

Yi Gu’s funeral

This means that the only surviving royal family in Korea are the descendants of King Euichin, the rebel prince. Remarkably, he had 12 sons and 9 daughters from 13 different women — as far as we know. Fate was not kind to them either. For example, Yi Geon, the oldest son of King Euichin, became a naturalized Japanese citizen in 1947 and severed his ties with Korea completely. Reportedly, before he naturalized, he brought all of his (step-)brothers and sisters together and asked them all to forget about the fact that they belong to the royal family. He died in 1991. Yi Wu, the second son, died in Hiroshima as the officer of the Japanese military when the city was hit by the nuclear bomb. The rest scattered into Korea and America, and led more or less unremarkable lives. Out of the 21 children of King Euichin, ten (four sons, six daughters) are still alive. They live in Korea, New York, Los Angeles and San Jose. After Yi Gu passed away, the Jeonju Yi lineage society established the son of King Euichin’s ninth son to be the crown prince — a man named Yi Sang-Hyup, 50 years old.

*                *               *
What do contemporary Koreans think about the royal family? Yi Gu’s death in 2005 served as a reminder to Korean people that Korea in fact had a royal family. This acted as a catalyst for the royal family fad in Korea. In a survey conducted in 2006, 54.4% was in favor of “restoring the royal family,” although no one in Korea is quite sure what that means. In a survey conducted in 2010, the number dropped significantly to 40.4% in favor, but still outpaced the 23.4% against. But it would be wise not to put too much stock in those numbers, because the restoration of the royal family is a pipe dream as of now. The numbers will likely change dramatically when people start thinking about the concrete details — for example, will the royal family have any kind of political power? Will they take back any part of their formerly vast property around the nation?

Junghwajeon, the throne hall of Deoksugung Palace. The building burned during the great fire of 1904, and was completely rebuilt in 1906.

  The royal throne inside Junghwajeon. Behind the throne is a screen painting that features five mountain peaks, the sun, and the moon. The painting reinforces the idea that the king is central to the connections between the heaven and the earth and creating a balanced universe. Gilt dragons in the roof above the throne in Junghwajeon. Screens on the windows of Junghwajeon. The back side of Junghwajeon. Junmyeongdang on the left and Jeukjodang on the right. Junmyeongdang was used as a kindergarten for Princess Deokhye (1912-1989). Both buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1904 and rebuilt by Emperor Gojong.
  Seogeodang was the only two story building in Doeksugung Palace until the construction of Seokjojeon. The original Seogeodang building was used as the residence of King Seonjo (1552-1608, reigned 1567-1608) for 16 years following the Japanese invasion of 1592. It is one of the least decorated building in any Korean royal palace, and was intentionally kept that way to remind the kings of the sacrifices suffered by King Seonjo. Deokhongjeon was used as a reception hall for guests of the royal household. Like many other buildings, it burned in 1904 and was only rebuilt in 1911. A gate in one of the interior walls inside Deoksugung Palace. Details on ceiling tiles and support beams above a gate inside the palace. A gnarled old tree.
  Chimneys that vent the underfloor ondol house heating systems in the palace buildings. Hamnyeongjeon, the building where Emperor Gojong lived until his death in 1919. Unlike most traditional Korean buildings, Hamnyeongjeon was L-shaped. Like most of the other palace buildings, it was burned in the 1904 fire and rebuilt soon after. Seokjojeon is a large, three-story stone building built in a western style by Emperor Gojong and used to receive foreign envoys. Construction on the building began in 1900 and was completed in 1909. Following liberation from the Japanese in 1945, Seokjojeon was used by the US-USSR Joint Commission before the country’s partition into two separate governments. The building was later was used to house both the National Museum and then the Royal Museum before they were moved to other locations. Today, it houses government records offices and is not open to the public.     These are the remnants of Borugak Jagyeongnu, one of the world’s oldest water clocks. Water flowed from basin to basin in such a precise way as to be able to strike a bell on the hour. It was built in 1434 during the reign of King Sejong (1397-1450, reigned 1418-1450), and was fine-tuned in 1536 during the reign of King Jungjong (1488-1544, reigned 1506-1544). The water clock was used at night, when sundials were not available.
  This large bell was originally in the Heungcheonsa Temple in Seoul, one of the temples favored by Joseon Dynasty royalty, and was used in Buddhist religious ceremonies. The bell was cast in 1462.
  The Singijeon carriage is the world’s oldest multi-rocket launcher for which original schematics remain intact. Each tube in the carriage could launch a rocket, and all the rockets were launched at the same time. The first Singijeon was made by Choe Museon in 1377, who independently invented gunpowder from indigenous materials after being frustrated by efforts of the Chinese to keep it a secret.
  At noon, the palace has a changing of the guards ceremony at Daehanmun Gate. Ceremonial palace guards just inside Daehanmun, the main gate into Doeksugung Palace. The weapons these guards are carrying are probably not very dangerous. A traditional martial band is marching across the wide sidewalk in front of the gate. Across the street is Seoul Plaza, and in the background are some of the modern office buildings of downtown Seoul.
  The band, marching by a Dunkin’ Donuts store.


Joseon’s Modernization

  • Korea’s First Electic Lamp

Korea’s first electric lamp was lighted in the Geoncheonggung, Gyeongbokgung palace in 1887[18].

Korea's first electric lamp by Edison Electric Light Company (Mar., 1887)
Korea’s first electric lamp by Edison Electric Light Company (Mar., 1887)
  • Newspapers
A newspaper advertisement for Rohan Bank (Mar., 15th, 1898. The Independent)
A newspaper advertisement for Rohan Bank (Mar., 15th, 1898. The Independent)

Joseon people

Last_Prince_of_Joseon.jpg Prince_Yi_Woo.jpg Last_Princess_of_Joseon.jpg
Prince Yi Woo (1912-1945) Princess Deokhye
guard.jpg official.jpg korean-noble-wife-1900.jpg
daejusin03.jpg n566326796_442336_8352.jpg lady-1900.jpg


Life of Joseon’s Last Princess Revisited This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea. Countless innocent victims and heroic fighters who suffered Japanese colonial atrocities are remembered on this occasion, and so is the ill-fated royal family of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).King Yeongchin (Crown Prince Uimin), the seventh son of King Gojong, was taken to Japan on the pretext of studying at the age of 11, and obligatorily married Princess Nashimotonomiya Masako. He was only able to return to Korea long after the liberation and only when he was in his later years.

Princess Deokhye (1912-1989), the last princess of the Joseon Kingdom, was also one of the fateful royal heirs but forgotten in the people’s memory.

Her tragic and untold life story comes into the spotlight in the new novel “Princess Deokhye” written by Kwon Bi-young.

The rising author was inspired to write about her sad fate after she visited Tsushima Island where the last princess married Count So Takeyuki, the heir to the So clan whose ancestors had ruled the island for a long time.

The story begins with a scene in which Bok-sun, the princess’ court lady, assisted by some Korean independent activists, helped Deokhye escape from a Japanese mental hospital to Korea.

Deokhye was born in 1912 in Changdeok Palace in Seoul as the youngest daughter of King Gojong and his concubine. She was particularly beloved by her father who was in his 60s when she was born.

He established the Deoksu Palace Kindergarten for her in Jeukjodang, Hamnyeong Hall in order to protect her from being sent to Japan like her brothers.

To save her from the Japanese scheme to sever the line of royal heirs, King Gojong had his daughter secretly engaged to Kim Jang-han, a nephew of Kim Hwang-jin, a court chamberlain.

But the powerless king suddenly and suspiciously died and she was taken to Japan with the excuse of continuing her studies.

In Japan, the young princess suffered ostracism from the Japanese nobility and even involuntarily married Count So Takeyuki who was by no means powerful or influential.

The marriage demonstrates that Korean royalty fell to the same level as the local Japanese aristocracy and the Japanization of the ex-royalty under close supervision, as the colonial government was afraid that the Joseon royal family could become a focus for the independent movement.

Takeyuki was nice and gentle to her but she didn’t open her heart as her mental health was seriously hurt by the solitude, and the homesickness for her homeland.

Takeyuki was an author of numerous poems dedicated to his Korean wife and their daughter and a gifted and popular teacher.

Despite his efforts to make a good marriage, she finally developed a mental illness and was diagnosed with “precocious dementia.” But amid this, she gave birth to a daughter who was named Masae, or Jeonghye in Korean, in 1932.

Deokhye dreamed of bringing her daughter back to Korea and raising her as Korean not Japanese. But as the daughter grew up, she suffered from an identity crisis ― being half Korean and half Japanese and harbored anger against her mother.

In 1945, finally the liberation came and Japan’s imperial ambitions were shattered. But Jeonghye’s agony and trauma gripped Deokhye whose obsession with her daughter grew stronger.

Her husband sent her to a “mental hospital” and her daughter went missing after leaving a note hinting she committed suicide. After an unhappy marriage, her grief exploded with the death of her only daughter. Then, her condition deteriorated, and she finally divorced her husband in 1953.

While trapped in the hospital for 15 years, Deokhye became a miserable, forgotten woman nobody cared about or recognized. But her childhood fiance, Jang-han, went to save her with help of her lady-in-waiting, Bok-sun.

At last, 37 years after leaving Korea, she returned home at the invitation of the Korean government in 1962. She cried when she arrived in her motherland, and despite her unstable mental condition, she accurately remembered court manners.

The princess lived in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace and died in Sugang Hall on April 21, 1989, also in the palace. 

the story about Deokhye once I knew her. I couldn’t stop thinking about the princess who was born to a royal clan but couldn’t live a noble life and was forgotten in history,” the author says in her book.

Kwon said that there is only one book about the princess that was translated from Japanese into Korean.

“Readers can find the princess who struggled not to lose her royal identity and her nation and endured all the repression and humiliation but didn’t lose her dignity as the last princess of Joseon. Deokhye’s last words, ‘I missed my motherland even while I was in my country,’ say everything,” the author said.

“She was too smart and harbored a forbidden longing for her motherland as the princess of the country. Now she is a forgotten woman and even her nation had neglected her while she suffered in the cold hospital room. Who remembers her name?” she said.

The writer adds dramatic elements to some characters around the princess while keeping a balance between fiction and historical facts.

The novel seems to be more tear-jerking because she actually lived such a miserable life longing for her country.

The book has topped the best-selling list for four consecutive weeks in major bookstores, pushing “1Q84”by Haruki Murakami, which had been on the top of the list for 19 consecutive weeks, to the third spot.

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Here is what Yi royal clan used to owned in Japan.
Look at the big house._________________
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Reliving Korea’s Last Royalty at Nakseonjae

Long off limits to the public, Changdeokgung Palace’s recently opened gem sheds light onto end of a dynastyPhotographs by Ryu SeunghooChangdeokgung, which was built in 1405 as a secondary palace to the east of Gyeongbokgung (Palace), is renowned for its attractive dissymmetrical architecture and Secret Garden, one of the most enchanting settings in Seoul. To add to its allure, the doors of Nakseonjae, a compound within the royal palace, were opened to the public for the first time just over a month ago.Nakseonjae (Mansion of Joy and Goodness) was first constructed in 1847 by order of King Heonjong, the 24th king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) for his fourteen-year-old concubine Kim Gyeongbin. At the time, King Heonjong, who died at twenty-two in 1849, was married to his second wife, Queen Hon. Apparently he was not infatuated with her, since Nakseonjae was built for the concubine Kim.

The elegantly stark buildings of Nakseonjae, Seokbokheon and Sugangjae are arranged from west to east, and long servants’ quarters acts as a wall, collectively forming the Nakseonjae area. Silent echoes and historical remains are the only remaining links between modern progressive Korea and the impressive Joseon Dynasty. Legend-laden, they introduce visitors to prominent royal personalities whose lives were filled with romance, tragedy and nostalgia.Seokbokhyeon was built as the residence for Kim Gyeongbin with the hope that she would bear offspring for King Heonjong. “Seokbok” conveys that if the queen rules her home upright, the heavens will bestow her with a crown prince filled with filial piety. The residence was therefore situated between King Heonjong’s bedchamber, Nakseonjae, and his grandmother’s bedchamber, Sugangjae, so that Kim could wait on the king with his mother at a close distance so as to fulfill her duty well.Seokbokhyeon’s wooden railings feature calabash carvings symbolizing offspring’s prosperity. Ironically, the only child King Heonjong had was by another concubine, Kim Suk-ui. This daughter died in her early years.

Nakseonjae continued to be used by the later queens of the Joseon Dynasty. Queen Yun, wife of Sunjong, the last king of the Joseon Dynasty, lived in Seokbokhyeon until her death in 1966. Edward B. Adams describes Queen Yun as “intellectual and poised” in Palaces of Seoul: Yi Dynasty Palaces in Korea’s Capital City. As future queen, she took only twenty days to learn about court protocol and the feminine art of how to woo a king. The story of the heroic hardships she bore during the Korean War and the lonely battle she fought with Korea’s 1947 government to keep Nakseonjae when the monarchy was abolished portrays her brave and courageous spirit.Unlike Nakseonjae and Seokbokhyeon, Sugangjae is adorned in various colors. “Sugang” means conferring bliss from longevity and welfare upon the people. The celebratory writing for the completion of the framework of Sugangjae is full of good wishes for Queen Sunwon, the grandmother of King Heonjeong, who administered state affairs from behind the curtain. The rear gate of this residence features a striking grape design depicting these longings for prosperousness.Princess Deokhye,

 the youngest daughter of King Gojang, the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty, also resided at Sugangjae.

 She was taken away to Japan in 1925 at the age of twelve, and forced to marry a Japanese aristocrat in 1928.

In 1962

Princess Deokhye was given permission to return to Korea. After suffering from depression, she found peace at Nakseonjae, where she spent her remaining years until 1989.

In her autobiography, “The World is One,” Princess Lee Bang-ja (Masako) relates how, as a Japanese princess, she woke up one morning to read in the papers that she was to marry the last crown prince of Korea, Prince Lee Eun, younger half-brother of King Sunjong. Prince Lee’s greatest desire was to return to his homeland and in 1963 he settled in at Nakseonjae with his family.

Tragically, Prince Lee’s return to Korea was too late. He was an invalid and spent the next seven years in hospital. A few hours before his death on May 1, 1970 the Crown Prince was taken to Nakseonjae. At the age of eighty-two, Princess Bang-ja was still promoting vocational education among the physically handicapped of her adopted country. She passed away in 1989 at Nakseonjae, the building last used in Chandeokgung.

In the garden to the rear of Nakseonjae, the pavilions Chwiunjeong and Sangnyangjeong, and the annex Hanjeongdang are arranged in harmony with the topography. Terraced flowerbeds stabilize the environment and the spaces between the terraces and buildings are filled with stone pots, oddly shaped stones and chimneys. Many books were discovered in 1969 at Nakseonjae’s northern quarters, behind Sangnyangjeong. This place is presumably where the residents were allowed to read books and draw paintings, which were kept here.

According to Kim Jin-suk, guide and English interpreter, “Nakseonjae evokes unique feelings that can’t be compared to the rest of Changdeokgung.” The plainness and delicateness of the wood-and-paper rooms and the numerous patterns on the wall tiles and door frames speak of an era when goodness was the moral code. “I love the royal history,” Kim adds. “It’s fascinating, yet sad at the same time.”

The drama behind the walls of Nakseonjae has not come to a halt. We are now able to breathe and relive it again

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Photo of Yi Hong, one of last imperial family member that lives in Seoul as actress & model.Source:

현재 생존해 계시는 우리나라의 마지막 공주로 알려진
“이홍 공주님”
1.공주마마의 존함: 이홍 공주마마. (마지막황태자 이석전하의 따님이자 공주)2. 생년월일: 1980년 5월 14일 출생. 올해 28살, 스물여덟 소녀.3. 한국황실의 지위: 대한민국의 공주.4. 결혼유무: 미혼

5. 직업: 영화배우, CF모델

6. 학력: 정신여고 – 한성대 산업디자인과 – 이화여대 국어국문학과 2005년 졸업.

7. 가족관계: 14남 1녀중 장녀.

8. 공주마마의 부친: 마지막 황태자 이석전하(정실부인1명 첩 5명)

9. 공주마마의 모후: 마지막 황태자비 독고정희님(1940년생 68세)

10. 공주마마의 출생지: 대한민국 서울

11. 태어나신 곳: 창덕궁 낙선재에서 출생(2004년 25살때까지 창덕궁 낙선재에서 기거하심)

12. 공주마마의 본적: 서울특별시 경복궁.

13. 공주마마의 증조할아버지: 고종황제 (1852~1919)

14. 공주마마의 증조할머니: 명성황후 (1851~1895)

15. 공주마마의 큰할아버지: 순종황제 (1874~1926)

16. 공주마마의 큰할머니: 순정효황후 (1894~1994)

17. 공주마마의 작은할아버지: 영친왕 전하 (1897~1980)

18. 공주마마의 작은할머니: 이방자 여사 (1901~1989)

19. 공주마마의 친할아버지: 의친왕 전하 (1877~1995)

*공주마마의 첫째남동생: 마지막황태손 이종훈 (1981년생 27세)
*공주마마의 둘째남동생: 이지민왕자 (1983년생 25세)
*공주마마의 셋째남동생: 이민우왕자 (1984년생 24세)
*공주마마의 넷째남동생: 이용훈왕자 (1986년생 22세)
*공주마마의 다섯째남동생: 이영훈왕자 (1987년생 21세)
*공주마마의 여섯째남동생: 이장훈왕자 (1989년생 19세)
*공주마마의 일곱째남동생: 이 민왕자 (1991년생 17세)
*공주마마의 여덟째남동생: 이 희왕자 (1993년생 15세)
*공주마마의 아홉째남동생: 이 용왕자 (1994년생 14세)
*공주마마의 열번째남동생: 이 영왕자 (1995년생 13세)
*공주마마의 열한번째남동생: 이 정왕자 (1996년생 12세)
*공주마마의 열두번째 남동생: 이 기왕자 (1998년생 10세)
*공주마마의 열세번째 남동생: 이 준왕자 (1999년생 9세)
*공주마마의 열네번째 남동생: 이 진왕자 (2000년생 8세)

With her father Yi Seok


KS Admin
“Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone”

Korea under Japanese rule (1910-1945)


Seoul 1938 (in Color), and Korea 1899
korean-nobleman.jpg daughter-min.jpg korean-boy-birthday-dress.jpg
korean-children.jpg gossip.jpg new-years.jpg
wedding-guest.jpg country-wedding.jpg
Pictures by Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956)

! These works by Elizabeth Keith are under public domain in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) because its term of copyright has expired there.
Quoted from wikipedia:
According to Articles 39 to 44 of the Copyright Act of the Republic of Korea, under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Republic of Korea all copyrighted works enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the creator (there being multiple creators, the creator who dies last) or 50 years after publication when made public in the name of an organization.

Late Joseon Princess Deokhye’s life revealed


She was born royal,
 victimized by history and died in solitude ― having lost her country and sanity.The life story of Deokhye (1912 – 1989)
, the last princess of the Joseon Dynasty, is a tragedy that reflects the wretched fate of Korea’s last monarchy. More than 20 years after her death, her life, once written out of history, is making a comeback in different forms and ways.On Thursday, the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage published a book chronicling about 50 pieces of clothing and personal belongings worn by the Princess, along with 150 other Korean costumes from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. The pieces are currently owned by Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Tokyo, Japan.The pieces and artifacts include royal infant hanbok garments, a dressing stand, many pairs of silver spoons, a gilded fortune pocket and a pair of high heel shoes.It was Kim Young-sook, a traditional costume scholar, who first identified that the pieces once belonged to Deokhye when she visited the Japanese museum in 1982 as part of her personal research. “I recognized the pieces among piles of other collected costumes from all over the world; the museum staff had no idea where the pieces were from,” Kim told The Korea Herald. “It was amazingly fascinating and touching to see the royal infant clothes that the Princess wore as a child. I knew right away they were hers ― they even matched with her photos,” the 83-year-old scholar said.Though Kim had presented her findings at an academic forum in the 1980s ― while informing the Japanese museum of the same ― not many paid attention. After keeping her research strictly personal for more than 25 years, Kim finally asked the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea for support a few years ago, formally reporting to them about the princess and her items at Bunka Gakuen. The report on Deokhye’s clothes and belongings is the result of a two-year joint collaboration between Kim and the government. 
Young Deokhye, the last Princess of the Joseon Dynasty, poses in a Kimono. She was forced to leave Joseon for Japan at age 12.                                                         

the life of Najin

and the expansion of oppression of the Koreans

at the same time. Christianity was growing popular in Korea, so Najin was able to go to one of the mission schools and received an education that was rare in her time. She avoided an early marriage, upon which her father had decided without her permission, by finding a place in the royal palace

as a companion to Princess Deokhye

and by continuing her education at the same time. The princess had a melancholy personality and Najin brightened up her coddled and sheltered life. Deokhye’s brother, Crown Prince Yi Eun (Euimin) had been sent to Japan when he was only 10 years old, allegedly for his studies.

According to Donald Keene in The Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World 1952-1912,

“Although he never was so described, the prince served as a hostage [for Japan], as the Korean Emperor realized.”

Princess Deokhye was also sent to Japan against her wishes to marry a Japanese, after the Korean emperor died mysteriously.

File:Princess dukhye and takeyuki so, 1931.JPG

A ceremonial top (dangui) worn by Princess Deokhye as a child and recently discovered at the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Japan /Courtesy of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage
A ceremonial top (dangui) worn by Princess Deokhye as a child and recently discovered at the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Japan /Courtesy of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage

After the princess left the palace, Najin returned home .

At this point the oppression towards the Koreans was heightened when imprisonment and taxes were increased and the Korean newspapers were stopped. All Korean citizens had to speak Japanese.

By 1943,

 the Japanese military government sent hundreds of thousands of Koreans to Japan as army recruits or as laborers in mines and companies, plus thousands of young women were taken to the growing to war front in Asia to follow the troops as “comfort women.” As historian Andrew C Nahm relates, “Korea changed much during this period, but Korean nationalism did not diminish and the desire to be free from Japanese colonialism persisted.”

 Dasan Books

“I appreciate their help very much,” Kim said. “It wouldn’t have been possible with my limited budget and resources. The work has been very meaningful.”Park Dae-nam,
 senior researcher of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, said the belongings of the Princess are believed to have been donated by her half-brother, Imperial Crown Prince Uimin, and his wife Crown Princess Yi Bangja. “It is expected that the royal couple was suffering financially,” Park told The Korea Herald. “They even donated their own royal pieces of clothing to Tokyo National Museum.”

Princess Deokhye’s infant hanbok jeogori (bottom) and dressing stand are currently owned by Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Japan.
Apart from the published report,
 Kim Young-sook has been preparing a non-fiction book of her own, assembling all of her personal, extensive research on Princess Deokhye. The book will include poems and songs that the Princess wrote while she was attending school in Tokyo, which Kim obtained during her long research stay in Japan. “Princess Deokhye was extremely talented in writing ― she was a very smart student,” Kim told The Korea Herald. “Most of her pieces were about her home country and the royal palace, and how much she missed them,” she added.Last year, “Princess Deokhye,”

  The inside of Seokjojeon can be seen above left, with Crown Prince Yeongchin, Sunjong, Gojong, Eombi (one of Gojong’s wives) and Princess Deokhye, seated from left to right. Provided by Myongji University-LG Yeonam Library
 the first piece of fiction ever written on the late Princess, was published on Dec. 14.
 The historical novel has been doing extremely well, selling over 500,000 copies in the past eight months. It was ranked as the top bestseller in every recognized bookstore back in January.
 “The research part was very difficult because there were almost zero resources available,” Kwon Bi-young, the author of the book, told The Korea Herald. “I’m glad that more information about the Princess is being released. At the same time, though, I am still saddened by the life that Deokhye had to live.”Princess Deokhye was born in 1912,
two years after Joseon was annexed by Japan. Adored and doted on by her father, Emperor Gojong, the youngest daughter of the royal family attended a kindergarten at Deoksu Palace, established exclusively for her. At age 12, however, only six years after Gojong’s death, Deokhye was taken to Japan and went to school in Tokyo. There, she suffered from bullying and cultural differences.At age 19,
 she was forced to marry Japanese Count So Takeyuki. While suffering from mental illness and an unhappy marriage, she gave birth to her daughter, Masae, in 1932. The princess’ life took another tragic turn when her daughter went missing, and her health condition worsened. She was sent to a mental hospital, and finally divorced her husband in 1953.She returned to Korea at the invitation of the Park Chung-hee government in 1962.
Nakseonjae in Changdeokgung
Nakseonjae in Changdeokgung Palace
Nakseonjae was the residence of Princess Deokhye and Yi Bang-ja, queen of King Yeong until she passed away in 1989
 Deokhye led an isolated life in Nakseon Hall,
Changdeok Palace, till her low-profile death in 1989

Princess dukhye and takeyuki so, 1931.JPG

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Coronation of Korea’s new empress leads to royal family controversy

[IHT] 입력 2006.10.22 20:23 / 수정 2006.10.23 20:09

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Yi Hae-won, who was recently restored as the new empress of Korea. By Choi Jae-young

The crowning of Korea’s “new empress” on Sept. 29 was presented by her backers as a means to unite royal descendants spread across the country and “speak as one voice.” What it did instead was to set family members against each other as they dispute not only the line of descent but also the legitimacy of the private organization that named Yi Hae-won as empress of South Korea.
Meeting Ms. Yi was itself quite an exercise. The day of the meeting, a spokesman from the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk (the Empire of Korea) postponed the interview for two hours, at a venue the JoongAng Daily was asked not to reveal “for reasons of security,” and the reporter had to wait another two hours until the empress arrived. The 88-year-old is only about 1.3 meters tall (4 foot, 3 inches) and a little stooped, but the small woman in a jade green hanbok looked composed and tenacious.
Once Ms. Yi arrived and settled herself for the interview, organization spokesman Lee Seong-joo asked the reporter and a handful of men who accompanied her to bow to her four times, bending from the waist to make almost a right angle. “That’s the right way to greet an empress in the royal custom,” he said. The other men in the room all claimed to be of the Lee clan, as was the first emperor of the Joseon dynasty. (Yi and Lee are different spellings of the same family name.) The men stayed throughout the short interview, interrupting and answering questions addressed to Ms. Yi, as did the spokesman.
“I am legitimate, no matter who says what,” the empress declared, referring to opposition to her claim, particularly from the Jeonju Lee Royal Family Members Foundation.

Yi Won, front, and Yi Seok, back, at the funeral of Yi Ku on July 24, 2005. By Choi Jae-young

She said is the oldest surviving child of Prince Uichin (1877-1955), the fifth son of Emperor Gojong (1852-1919). Official records show that Prince Uichin fathered 12 sons and nine daughters.
“I was born to the approved wife of Prince Uichin,” Ms. Yi continued, “I will restore the imperial culture.”
The 10th of those sons, Ms. Yi’s younger brother Yi Seok, thinks his sister was persuaded to take the title by a group of Lee family members because of her difficult life.
After Korea’s liberation from Japan, the new government nationalized the royal fortune and ousted the family from its palaces. Ms. Yi raised three sons and a daughter by herself after her husband was kidnapped and taken to the North during the Korean War. She said she doesn’t know if her husband is still alive, and her daughter died at the age of 47. Two of her sons live in the United States, where she also lived for 10 years until 2002. Since then, Ms. Yi, who spent her first 15 years in a palace, has lived in a 13.2-square-meter (142 square-foot) room in Hanam, Gyeonggi province, with her second son.

Empress Yi Hae-won’s wedding at 19 to Lee Seung-gyu. Provided by the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk

“I don’t mind if my sister [Yi Hae-won] takes the empress seat or not,” Yi Seok said. “However, the family members in direct line didn’t approve such a ceremony. I was invited to the coronation, but I didn’t attend because I didn’t know who [the association members are].”
What he does mind, and what aroused some controversy in Korean society, is the way Ms. Yi was named empress. There was no prior public discussion on the status of an empire or the imperial family within Korea, although an August poll by Realmeter, a research company, did ask what Koreans thought about having a symbolic royal family. Of the 460 Koreans aged 19 or older who were polled, just under 55 percent supported the idea.
“There should have first been enough discussion to get public approval,” said Yi Seok. “When I give lectures on the history of the Korean royal family, I see a lot of people who miss the empire.” He added, “I plan to collect signatures from people and if more than 1 million want to restore the empire, even though it’s just symbolic, I will present that list to the president and ask him to restore the imperial culture and allow some descendants to live in Gyeongbok or Changdeok palaces.”
Members of the Jeonju Lee Royal Family Members Foundation said the family had already selected who should succeed the late Yi Ku, the last direct heir to the throne and the son of Crown Prince Yeongchin, the seventh son of Emperor Gojong.
“[Having an empress] doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Lee Jeong-jae, an official of the foundation, with obvious anger. “When Yi Ku passed away in July of last year, we selected Yi Won as his successor,” he said. Yi Won is a son of Yi Chung-gil, the surviving ninth son of Prince Uichin. “Such [a restoration] ceremony will only confuse the Korean people,” added Lee Yong-kyu, the vice chairman of the foundation. “Korea is not a constitutional monarchy, the royal descendant’s role is limited to that of an officiating priest and his ruling role was removed a long time ago,” he said. In Confucian custom, a woman cannot lead a ritual to honor ancestors.


“The direct descendants of the empire had a family meeting right after the news that Yi Ku passed away, and decided to have Yi Won entered in the family register of Yi Ku as a son,” said the vice chairman. “We just followed their decision.”
That family meeting is in itself controversial. The vice chairman said that both Ms. Yi and her younger brother, as imperial family members, attended the meeting. Yi Seok and Yi Hae-won, however, told the JoongAng Daily that not only were they not at the meeting, they were not even aware of it. “Adopting a son after death doesn’t make any sense,” Yi Seok said angrily by phone.
“I heard that Crown Princess Yi Bang-ja [the wife of Crown Prince Yeongchin] wrote a will before she died, and in it she named me as first successor,” he added. He said Kim Sang-ryeol, who was close to the Crown Princess, is in possession of that will. Mr. Kim, however, refused to confirm what the will contained, but said he plans to reveal its contents to the public someday.
Added to all the infighting, the legitimacy of those calling themselves the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk is unclear. Although its members say that they are close relatives of the royal family, they are not listed in the direct imperial family records.
The association is now preparing a residence and office for Ms. Yi in a building near Seoul Station, using two floors with a total area of about 396 square meters. The spokesman said that the building owner is also a member of the organization, and supports the Empire of Korea.
“We’re not asking the government to financially support us. We’ll raise funds from supporters of the royal family,” Mr. Lee said. “But as the empress is old, we don’t have much time to restore the royal tradition and legitimacy, which will contribute to the development of Korea’s history and culture,” he added.
The last words the empress spoke during the interview only added to the questions one might have about the association. “They treat me like a puppet,” she said as she took her leave.


The root of the current family feud goes back to the time of Emperor Gojong, who was deprived of diplomatic power in 1905 by Japan before it colonized Korea in 1910. Emperor Gojong had nine sons and four daughters, but only four lived long enough to marry: Emperor Sunjong, Prince Uichin, Crown Prince Yeongchin and Princess Deokhye. Prince Uichin as the second-eldest son, was next in line, but as he participated in Korea’s independence movement, the Japanese government forced Emperor Sunjong, who had no children, to leave the title to Prince Yeongchin.
Hirobumi Ito, the resident general during the Joseon dynasty, took the crown prince to Japan at the age of 11 to be educated there, where he was married to Masako Nashimotonomiya, better known as Crown Princess Yi Bang-ja, who was a member of Japan’s royal family. The crown princess, who was a candidate to become Japan’s empress, recalled in her autobiography that she was chosen as Prince Yeongchin’s wife in an attempt to end the Joseon royal line, as Japanese doctors had diagnosed her as infertile. However, she gave birth to two sons, Jin and Ku. Jin died at the age of eight months, leaving Ku, as the only surviving son of the last crown prince, in the main line of descent.
Yi Ku, who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and married an American Julia Mullock, had no children. He died last year in a hotel room in Japan, leaving no clear successor.

Art Photography



Eight of Prince Uichin’s children , his first wife, Kim Deok-soo, center front, and two court ladies behind her. Second from the right is Yi Hae-won. Provided by the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk

Prince Uichin. Provided by the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk



the end@copyright dr Iwan suwandy 2012


Hi,I’d like to introduce a great site where the blogger, Dr Iwan suwandy’s collection. He was a medical doctor and is a traveller now having much interest in Korean Culture with deep inspiration. I believe you also may help him to collect more good information from your blog or through your powerful knowledge. And he may also let you know more about what’s not known about. Let me give you his blog site address down here.

– Dr Iwan suwandy’s collection-

Many Thanks! Seen around your blog and infos!

– Tim

5 thoughts on “The Last Princess Deokhye Of Korea Art Photography

  1. Kim February 3, 2012 / 3:28 am

    Dear All,
    Nice to have you Tim here at the collection of the Last Princess’ at Dr. Iwan’s blog and also I’m thankful to Mr. Perkasa for letting me specially know about what I’ve been searching for.
    Yes, Deokhye is the precious of the Last Imperial Highness and beyond our great symbol of Kingdom of Josun Dynasty. So I respect her and let others all know the name of “Deokhye” as well as I read the book and the music… I hope all know the princess through this Dr. Iwan’s blog in his language all over the world, too. Thank you Iwan! As my interest and to have a good opportunities of sharing one of my favorite song of the “Tears of Rose (눈물꽃) by Jinsul Huh, a Korean Singer” by allowing all to click and see here, too. The site is particularly introduced in English language and may help all other country-people to understand what the lyric and song really mean.
    Additionally, I find the other person’s good blog-site on everything culturally and traditionally Korean which preferably contains facts about Deokhye Onju (the Last Princess) at This site is in a way looking similar in structure to yours that is very powerful and full of knowledge on our nation. I’ll keep letting others know your site and attach others on yours as well.
    Please mention the 2 sites and hopefully upload the visual material, if you don’t mind. Sound and Visual goes very effective together for sharing what we’re bearing at heart with all the world!
    – Kim
    Ps: For the Music Video generated by someone that named himself Kim, I’m another Kim for we have the same many family names in Korea. This is also the fact we’re all family loving our culture!

    • iwansuwandy February 3, 2012 / 3:43 am

      HALLO kIM,THANKS FOR VISI MY BLOG,AND ALSO YOUR INFORMATIONS,this info also will upload to my another blog
      Dr Iwan suwandy

    • Tron HonoH March 30, 2012 / 11:08 pm

      “According to Japanese maps officially published before 1895, the Diaoyu Islands were never drafted into Japan map” Ju Deyuan said.

      “And changes on lots of Japanese maps tell the real ownership of the Diaoyu Islands.”

      In 1945, the Japanese Government accepted the Potsdam Declaration, which stipulated that Japan must return all territories it seized from China. From then on, the Diaoyu Islands were deleted from Japanese maps.

      “Such changes actually mean Japan has returned the Diaoyu Islands to China” Ju Deyuan said.

      “However, in 1971, the Japanese Government announced that the Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan, which showed that Japan is in conflict with its commitment to the Potsdam Declaration.”

      • iwansuwandy April 8, 2012 / 9:40 pm

        hallo Trin Hono
        thanks for visit my blog and info

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