Injong of Joseon

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Yi Ho
King of Joseon
Reign 1544–1545
Predecessor Jungjong of Joseon
Successor Myeongjong of Joseon
Born 10 March 1515
Died 8 August 1545 (1545-08-09) (aged 30)
Consort Queen Inseong
Posthumous name
King Injong Yeongjeong Heonmun Euimu Jangsuk Heumhyo the Great of Korea
Temple name
House Jeonju Yi
Father Jungjong of Joseon
Mother Queen Janggyeong
Injong of Joseon
Hangul 인종
Hanja 仁宗
Revised Romanization Injong
McCune–Reischauer In-jong
Birth name
Hangul 이호
Hanja 李峼
Revised Romanization I Ho
McCune–Reischauer Yi Ho

Injong of Joseon (10 March 1515 – 8 August 1545, r. 1544–1545), born Yi Ho or Lee Ho, was the 12th king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. His father was King Jungjong, and his mother was Queen Janggyeong, whose brother was Yun Im. As the firstborn, he became Crown Prince in 1520 and succeeded his father to the throne following Jungjong's death in 1544.



The young king was very ambitious, and tried to reform the government of the time that was rife with corruption, a legacy of the failed reforms during his father's reign. He rehabilitated Jo Gwang-jo and recruited Sarim scholars who turned away from politics after Third Literati Purge of 1519. His maternal uncle Yun Im exercised great power during this period. However, Injong was too often ill and died in 1545, just one year after coming to the throne. Following his death, Yun Im was executed by Yun Won-Hyung in the Fourth Purge of 1545 when King Myeongjong (son of the ambitious Queen Munjeong) succeeded the throne.


Some historians believe that Injong was poisoned by the Smaller Yun faction, led by Yun Won-Hyung, to enable Injong's half-brother to ascend the throne. According to unofficial chronicles, there is a tale of Munjeong finally showing love for her "adoptive" son King Injong, after decades of polite indifference (in reality behind-the-scenes hatred).

As Injong went to pay his morning respects, Munjeong's face started radiating with a smile only a mother could give to her child. Injong took it as a sign that the Queen Mother was finally acknowledging him as the king, and in particular as her own son. He ate the ddeok that his step-mother gave him, not knowing that it would be the beginning of the end. He fell ill slowly, not enough to create any suspicion, but quickly enough that historians would later pick up on the event. Three days passed before Injong mysteriously died (after only 9 months of rule).

Queen Munjeong's son became King Myeongjong, while Munjeong became Queen Regent. The chronicles also tell that Munjeong was frequently visited by spirits at night after Injong's death.[1] So disturbed was she that she moved her residence from Gyeongbok Palace to Changdeok Palace.


  1. Queen Inseong of the Bannam Park clan (7 October 1514 – 6 January 1578) (인성왕후 박씨)
  2. Royal Noble Consort Suk of the Papyeong Yun clan (숙빈 윤씨)
  3. Royal Noble Consort Hye of the Jeong clan (혜빈 정씨)
  4. Royal Consort Gwi-in of the Yeongil Jeong clan (1520 – 1566) (귀인 정씨)
  5. Consort Yang-Je of the Yun clan (양제 윤씨)

His full posthumous name[edit]

  • King Injong Yeongjeong Heonmun Euimu Jangsuk Heumhyo the Great of Korea
  • 인종영정헌문의무장숙흠효대왕
  • 仁宗榮靖獻文懿武章肅欽孝大王

Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ According to the chronicles the spirit is supposedly Injong, screaming with grief at the woman who could never be a mother to him even in death.
Injong of Joseon
Born: 1515 Died: 1545
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Joseon
Succeeded by