Venue: The tomb of the General NAMI, Nami Island
Time: 10 am – 3 pm, May 2, 2019
Nami Island is home to the tomb of General Nami (1441-1468) a valiant, yet controversial figure from Joseon dynasty Korea. General Nami was of royal blood: his mother was the fourth daughter of King Taejong (r. 1400-1418) and his father was a member of the Nam clan from Ui-ryeong. He later married the daughter of Kwon Ram, a high government official.
Famous since childhood for his bravery, in 1457 at the tender age of 17 he took first place in elaborately conducted military service examinations. During these examinations the candidates were tested on Confucian and military classics and martial arts such as archery, horseback riding, and lancing.
General Nami’s brilliance attracted the patronage of the King Sejo (r. 1455-1468). His reputation was further enhanced when in 1467 his expeditionary force of 30,000 troops forcefully put down a large-scale uprising in the northeastern province ignited by Lee Si-ae, the magistrate of Hoeryeong. General Nami was honored officially as a Merit Subject and given the title of Minister of National Defense (Byeongjo Panseo) at the age of 25. Later he successfully drove back the Yeojin tribes, which helped to secure Korea’s northern borders. Unfortunately for General Nami his great patron, King Sejo, died in September 1468 and after the enthronement of the new ruler, King Yejong, General Nami was falsely denounced as a traitor.
General Nami and 25 others including his mother and his faithful retainers were executed. It was not until 1818 during the reign of King Sunjo that it was officially revealed that false evidence was used to convict General Nami. His official positions were restored and he was given the posthumous name of “Chung-mu”.
I will cut the boulders of Mt. Baekdu until my sword is worn away,
I will water my horse with the waters of the Duman River until it dries up,
If a man cannot subjugate an entire nation by the age of 20,
Then no one will deem him a hero.