Sampo Waeran

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Riots at three ports in southern Korea
Date 04/01-04/19 1510 (Lunar Calendar)
Location Southern Korean Peninsula
Result Increased restrictions for Japanese in Korea
Korea: Joseon Dynasty Japanese living on Tsushima Island and in Korea
Commanders and leaders
이우증 U-Jeung Lee (李友曾)
김세균 Sae-Gyun Kim (金世鈞)
유담년Dam-Nyeon Yu (柳聃年)
황형 Hyeong Hwang (黃衡)
Sō Yoshimori (宗義盛), ruler of Tsushima Island
Unknown 4000-5000
Sampo Waeran
Hangul 삼포왜란
Hanja 三浦倭亂
Revised Romanization Sampo Waeran
McCune–Reischauer Samp'o Waeran

The Three Ports Incident, also known as Sampo Waeran Korean: 삼포왜란) or Sanbo-No-Ran (Japanese: 三浦の乱) refers to a riots in 1510 by Japanese citizens residing in Korean port cities (Dongnae, Chang-won and Ulsan).


At the beginning of the Joseon dynasty, due to frequent attacks by foreign powers, the Korean government adopted an isolationist foreign policy and stationed troops near the port of Busan to enforce it. From 1407 to 1426, the Korean government modified this policy by gradually opening several ports to trade with Japan.

By 1426 three ports were open to Japanese trade: Busan, Naei and Yeom. During this time, the number of Japanese residents of Korea surpassed 2000. The local Japanese government on Tsushima island assumed responsibility for governing these Japanese citizens, and exported cotton grown in Korea to Tsushima Island. Local farmers who owned the land on which the cotton was grown wanted to collect taxes on the cotton, but the Korean government, in an attempt to improve foreign relations with Japan, decided to exempt the Japanese from being taxed on the cotton.

When King Jungjong of Joseon succeeded his half-brother King Yeonsangun of Joseon to the throne, the Korean government implemented reforms that included the elimination of tax breaks for Japanese citizens. Due to this increased tax burden, the Japanese petitioned the government on Tsushima Island for relief. Japan had ships off the Korean coast to enforce laws and provided military support to Japanese citizens living in Korea.

In April 1510, two Japanese men, Obarishi and Yasko, led between 4000 and 5000 men in an attack on Busan, Naei, Yeom, and the castle located at Naei. A military general stationed at Busan, U-Jeung Lee (李友曾), was killed and the leader at the Naei port, Sae-Gyun Kim (金世鈞), was kidnapped. Dam-Nyeon Yu (柳聃年) and Hyeong Hwang (黃衡) were immediately sent by the Korean government to suppress the riots. As a result, the son of Sō Yoshimori (宗義盛), the governor of Tsushima Island, was killed and the riots were subdued.[1]


The riots resulted in over 270 Koreans killed or injured, 796 homes destroyed, 295 Japanese people killed, and 5 Japanese ships sunk. The Joseon government sent relief to people living in the affected regions and deported all remaining Japanese people to Tsushima Island. When the dead from the riots were buried, the graves of the Japanese were marked differently, to warn future visitors to Korea of the consequences of participating in riots.

After the riots, all commercial activity between the two countries ended. This negatively affected the Japanese people living on Tsushima Island and Japanese citizens demanded a re-opening of the ports.

In 1512, Emperor Go-Kashiwabara of Japan responded by publicly punishing Sō Yoshimori (宗義盛), the leader of Tsushima Island, who was responsible for causing the riots in Korea, and repatriated Korean prisoners of war that had been living in Japan. Koreans accepted this peace offering from the Japanese emperor and the two countries entered into the ImSin Agreement (壬申約條) or the Agreement of 1512. The agreement reopened the port at Naei to commercial activity; however, the number of Japanese ships and citizens allowed in Korea remained lower than before the riots.[2]

See also[edit]