Lee (Korean name)
|Pronunciation||[iː] or [riː]|
|Variant(s)||I, Rhee, Rhie, Ri, Yi|
|See also||Li, Lý|
|Deoksu clan, Jinseong clan, Yong-in clan, Gyeongju clan, Yeoju clan, Jeonju clan, Danyang clan, Yangsan clan, Suan clan, Seongjoo clan, Hongju clan|
|Revised Romanization||I (Li)|
Note: North Korean usage is in parentheses
The name is derived from the very common Chinese surname Li (Chinese: 李, Lǐ, lit. "plum") and is written identically to the Chinese in Hanja characters. In Korean, the modern pronunciation is like the English letter "E" (IPA: [iː]) and it is therefore sometimes romanized as Yi, particularly when it is used as a given name. The traditional pronunciation – still employed in North Korea – was similar to the English surname "Lee" (IPA: [liː]), although Korean tends to shift the phoneme l to r at the beginning of words, leading to the pronunciation /riː/, which produces the occasional romanizations Rhee, Rhie, and Ri.
이 was the surname of 6,796,227 South Koreans during the year 2000 census. Including millions more abroad and those named 리 in North Korea, Lee is the surname of approximately 15% of ethnic Koreans around the world.
As with all Korean family names, the holders of the Lee surname are divided into different patrilineal clans, or lineages, known in Korean as bon-gwan, based on their ancestral seat. Most such clans trace their lineage back to a specific founder. This system was at its height under the yangban aristocracy of the Joseon Dynasty, but it remains in use today. There are approximately 241 such clans claimed by South Koreans. Most people with surname Lee in Korea belong to either the Jeonju or Gyeongju clans.
The founder of this clan was Yi Dongsu, an official of the Goryeo period. This was a prominent yangban clan during the Joseon Dynasty, producing figures including the admiral Yi Sun-sin and the philosopher Yi I. The clan seat, Deoksu, corresponds to Deoksu-hyeon, an old division of what is now Kaep'ung-gun in Kaesong city, North Korea.
The founder of Yongin clan was Kil-kwon who helped to found Goryeo.
The founder of this clan was Alpyeong, one of the original village headmen of Silla, who chose Bak Hyeokgeose as the first king. According to the Samguk Sagi, the Yi name was officially bestowed on the family by King Yuri around 9 CE. Prominent members include the Joseon-era scholar Yi Deok-hyung (이덕형), who was "Han-eum" (한음) of "Oh-seong and Han-eum" (오성과 한음) fame.
In present days, Lee Byung-chull, the founder of Samsung Group and the former Samsung CEO, Lee Kun-hee, and Lee Myung-bak, former president of South Korea are notable figures from the Gyeongju Lee clan. It is the most populous Lee clan after the Jeonju Lee clan.
Prominent members of this clan include the Joseon Dynasty philosopher Yi Ik.
This is the most populous Lee clan. The founder of this clan was Yi Han, a native of Baekje who later married a Silla princess and became a high official of Silla. His 22nd-generation descendant, Taejo of Joseon, went on to found the Joseon Dynasty. The Jeonju Yi family ruled Joseon for 518 years between 1392 and 1910.
The current pretender to the Korean throne is Her Imperial Highness, Empress Haewon of Joseon. Members of the different branches of Jeonju Yi family dominated Korean history right up until the formation of the current Republic of Korea. There are many families that claim membership in the Jeonju Yi clan.
The founder of this clan was Jeong Dojeon, who was the first Prime Minister of Joseon and had close relations to King Yi Seonggye. He bestowed upon him the right to start his clan, a right only a yangban could ask, thus Jeong Dojeon created a new yangban clan. The clan's ancestral seat is Danyang.
The founder of this clan was Yi Man-young, an internal minister in Korea following the fall of the Goryeo Dynasty. He died of strangulation near an isolated mountain.
The founder of this clan was Yi Gyunwoong (Korean: 이견웅), who helped found the Goryeo Dynasty.
The founder of this clan was Sun Yu (Korean: 순유, Hanja: 純由), a prominent official of late Silla. His 12th-generation descendant Jang Gyeong (Korean: 장경, Hanja: 長庚) was also a prominent official of the Goryeo Dynasty. Eight generations of Jang Kyung's descendants yielded 75 civil examination qualifiers. As of a 2000 census conducted by the ROK, 186,188 Koreans of the Seongjoo Yi clan live in South Korea.
The founder of the Hongju Lee clan was Yi Yu-seong, a member of the King's inner circle during the late Goryeo Dynasty. The clan's ancestral seat was bestowed when his 9th generation descendant, Yi Gi-jong, was titled. Hongyang/Hongju is located in present day Hongseong, South Chungcheong Province. Especially during the late Goryeo and early Josoen Dynasties, the Hongju Lee clan produced many outstanding and influential people, including Yi Yeon-su, Yi Seong, Yi Seo, and Yi Jong-jang.
- Korean name
- List of common Korean surnames
- Lee (surname), particularly
- Li (surname), particularly
- Yi (surname)
- Han Jeong-gon (한정곤) (2004-07-29) <재벌가 얽히고 설킨 혼맥 24탄> 삼성그룹 Ilyo Siisa, Vol. 445