|Prince of Korea
Head of Unhyeon Palace
|Prince Wu when serving Japanese Army|
|Spouse||Lady Park Chan-ju|
|Father||Prince Imperial Ui|
|Mother||Lady Suin, concubine|
|Born||15 November 1912|
|Died||7 August 1945
Hiroshima, Empire of Japan
|Burial||15 August 1945
|Born||15 November 1912
Keijo, Korea under Japanese rule
|Died||7 August 1945
Ninoshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Years of service||1933 - 1945|
|Commands held||Information officer, China; GSO at Hiroshima|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Second Sino-Japanese War
|Awards||Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers
Showa Enthronement Medal (1928)
Tokyo Earthquake Rehabilitation Medal (1930)
Japanese Red Cross Order of Merit
China Incident Medal (1937)
|Revised Romanization||I U|
Colonel Yi Wu (15 November 1912 – 7 August 1945), was the 4th head of Unhyeon Palace, a member of the imperial family of Korea, and an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War.
At the age of five, he was adopted to be the heir of deceased Prince Jun (or Prince Yeongseon, 永宣君李埈 yŏng sŏn gun i jun), the 3rd head of Unhyŏn Palace and the only son of the elder brother of Emperor Gojong, Prince Hui (or Prince Heung, 興親王李熹 hŭng chin wang i hui or Yi Jaemyeon, Prince Wanheung of Korea, 完興君李載冕 wan hŭng gun i jae myŏn). He was taken to Japan shortly afterwards under the pretense of educational purposes.
However, unlike his elder brother, Prince Gŏn (李鍵 이건 i gŏn), he maintained his integrity as a Korean, despite his Japanese education. This made him the favorite son of his father, Prince Gang, who himself attempted to escape from Korea to join the exiled Korean government. He overcame all attempts by the Japanese to marry him off to a minor Japanese noble, and married Lady Park Chan-ju, a granddaughter of Marquis Park Yŏng-hyo who was a husband of Princess Yŏnghye of Korea. They had two children, Yi Chung (李淸 이청 i chŏng) (born 23 April 1936) and Yi Jong (李淙 이종 i jong) (born 9 November 1940 - 1966).
Prince Wu served in the Japanese Army stationed in China. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on 25 October 1933, he was promoted to lieutenant on 25 October 1935, to captain on 1 March 1938, to Major on 15 October 1941 and to Lieutenant-Colonel on 10 June 1945. While in Manchuria, he was supposedly reported to have supported the guerrilla resistance movements by Chinese and Korean exiles.
Prince Wu was transferred to Hiroshima in 1945, and on 6 August 1945, he was mortally injured by the atomic bomb blast on the way to his office, and died later that day at a medical aid station. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Colonel. After his funeral, Adjutant Lieutenant Colonel Yoshinari Hiroshi (吉成 弘) committed seppuku on account of not being able to save Prince Wu. Thereafter his body was moved to Korea and was buried in Heungwon on 15 August 1945, the day the war ended.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yi Wu.|