Andong Kim clan

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The Andong Kim clan (Hangul: 안동 김씨, Hanja: 安東 金氏) refers to two Korean clans of Elder Andong Kim Clan (구 안동 김씨) and the New Andong Kim Clan (신 안동 김씨). They were prominent noble family / yangban families during Korea's Joseon Dynasty originating from Andong, North Gyeongsang province, during the Goryeo Dynasty. The clans produced many individuals who passed the gwageo, and 3 Queen Consorts during the Joseon Dynasty, Queen Sunwon, Queen Hyohyeon, and Queen Cheorin. Both clans derive from the Gyeongju Kim clan, and in 2015, the census counted a total of 519,719 members from both clans.

Family seal of the Andong Kim clan


Andong Kim clan (Elder)[edit]

The Elder Andong Kim clan (구 안동 김씨, 舊 安東 金氏) was founded during the Shillah Dynasty period by prince Kim Seuk-Seung (김숙승(金叔承) as the progenitor of the clan, who was the son of Gyeongsun of Silla, the last king of Shilla. Due to this, they were often referred to as the 'rebels' of the Korean noble family during the Goryeo Dynasty period and were also known as the Sangrak Kim clan (상락 김씨, 上洛 金氏). During this period, general Kim Bang-gyeong (김방경, 金方慶; 1212 —1300) who was a legendary swordsman of Goryeo dynasty later made as Kim Seuk-Seung's new ascendant and the newest sijo (중시조) of the family, raised the clan back to its former prestige.

When the Mongols invaded during the reign of King Gojong of the Goryeo Dynasty, Kim Bang-gyeong entered Wido in 1248 as a Byeongma Pangwan in Seobuk-myeon, where he fought against his former comrades and mercenaries who turned rogue against the kingdom during the 'Rebellion of Sambeyolcho (삼별초의 난)'. He was then ordered to aid the Mongol invasions of Japan in reluctance. Despite being Kublai Khan's most trusted and respected swordsman - being the first foreigner to receive the 2nd rank of noble as a warrior (문무 2품 文武) in 1276, which was a higher rank than the emperor of nánsòng - he only showed loyalty to King Gojong, which in turn, made Kublai Khan respect him as a warrior even more so. During the Mongolian Invasion of Japan in 1273, he led the wars of Tsushima to victory in only 6 hours, and destroyed the 30 km length army barricades set of Fukuoka city by the shogunate army. This led to the defeat of the shogunate army and the Shimazu clan, and forced them to retreat to Dazaifu's Water Castle (水城). However, during this period, he was yet again framed by his political rivals during 1278. Due to the pressure from his loyal court, king of the Goryeo dynasty reluctantly ordered to torture him at his age of 66 and ordered exile against his sons, almost ending the clan. According to the official records of Goryeo Sajulyeo (고려사절요), people of Kim Bang-geyong's territory cried and begged for his release during February 1278, trying to stop the carriage that was transporting him by throwing rocks at the soldiers and ordering his release. This led Kublai Khan to order Kim Bang-gyeong's release himself, and he was released in 1280 at the age of 68. Although he later tried to resign from his rank as a military officer, due to injuries and disability made during his torture, the king refused his resignation and insisted him to stay. Historains assert that this was most likely due to king's attempt to conceive political checks and balances against the increasing Mongolian influence within the Goryeo Dynasty's loyal court, as Kim Bang-geyong was the only loyal Korean imperialist general of his court. He was listed as a member of the Central Book of Records, and died in 1300 at the age of 88.

His 12th successor, Kim Si-min (Kim Shimin, 김시민), followed the clan's footstep as a noble scholar and a swordsman, and was appointed as the military official of the North, where he fought against the Nitange's rebellion during 1583. However, due to the corruption within Joseon Dynasty's military at the time, he resigned after publicly criticizing the king and his military order at the time. Although he was later reinstated as the aiding general of Jinju in 1591, his commander and comrades soon fled Jinju city upon hearing about the upcoming invasion heading to the city, leaving the citizens to die and only him to defend the city. Thus, he took control of the 1,000 swordsman of the Jinju castle, and began acting very proactive against the attacks. Despite the sheer outnumbered factions against the Japanese armies, who were now armed with Dutch firearms and guns due to their trades with the West, Kim Shimin led his army to multiple victories by recapturing the lost cities of Geochang County, Goseong County, South Gyeongsang, Changwon, Jinhae-gu, and Sacheon with only 1000 men. Due to these incredulous and almost inhumane accomplishments, the Japanese army feared him, and dubbed him as a monster / ghost / phantasm named 'Mokuso Sokahn (木曽判官 もくそかん / 蝦蟇の妖術使い)'. This myth was only solidified during the siege of Jinju castle, where Ukita Hideie and samurai Hosokawa Tadaoki led a siege against 3,800 soldiers of Jinju city with 30,000 Japanese armies. However, the Japanese samurais lost within 7 days siege, with 16,000 casualties whereas Jinju army only suffered 150 casualties in total. Although a bullet wound that Shimin received during this siege took his life 11 days after the siege ended, his myth was further solidified by the 18th century kabuki 'The Legend of Tenjiku Tokubei (天竺徳兵衛韓噺)', which depicts Tenjuku Tokubei as the son of Kim Shimin, who teaches him evil Christian magic and orders him to terrorize Japan.

The census in 2015 found the number of members to be 425,264.

Andong Kim clan (New)[edit]

Kim Seub-don (김습돈, 金習敦) made his ascendant, Kim Seon-pyeong (김선평, 金宣平), the founder of New Andong Kim clan (신 안동 김씨, 新 安東 金氏). Kim Seon-pyeong was one of the founding contributors of the Goryeo Dynasty. He was originally a castellan of Andong province. Later, he received a new surname from Taejo of Goryeo thanks to his contribution to the founding of the new dynasty. In 2015, the number of members of the New Andong Kim clan amounted to 47,702 individuals.


Heungseon Daewongun removed much of the Andong Kim clan's power during the 19th century. During the Gabo Reform, the Yangban class was abolished.

Prominent individuals from the Elder Andong Kim clan[edit]

  • Kim Suk-seung (Grandson of Gyeongsun of Silla)
  • Kim Bang-gyeong (Grand duke and swordsman of Goryeo dynasty)
  • Royal Noble Consort Myeong (Taejong of Joseon’s concubine)
  • Crown Princess Hwi (Munjong of Joseon’s first wife)
  • Kim Si-min (General during Joseon Dynasty, who also rose to prominence due to legends and myths surrounding him)
  • Kim Ja-jeom (Scholar and politician during Joseon Dynasty, who later led the rebellion against the Joseon Kingdom, and is known as the biggest rebel in Korean history. This led to his name being treated as a common noun referring rebels in Korean history.)
  • Kim Gu (Politician and independence activist during the 20th century, who is referred to as the 'white tiger' (백범). Him, along with Syngman Rhee, are regarded as the founding fathers of Korea)
  • Kim Jil (Scholar and politician during early Joseon Dynasty)
  • Kim Jaekyung (Congressman of Jinju city from 2004 to 2020, and the descendant of Kim Simin. Referred to as the 'limping white fox of Jinju' due to his disability in his leg. Excommunicated from the main clan hierarchy due to marrying a Catholic woman)

Prominent individuals from the New Andong Kim clan[edit]