Wihwado Retreat

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Coup of 1388
Date 20 May 1388
Location Kaesŏng, Goryeo (now part of North Korea)

Successful Coup

led by Gen. Yi Seong-gye and Gen. Jo Min-soo
led by Gen. Choe Yeong
Commanders and leaders
Yi Seong-gye
Jo Min-soo
King U
Choe Yeong

Turning back the army from Wihwa Island (Korean: 위화도 회군, Chinese: 威化岛回军) refers to the 1388 episode in the Korean history where General Yi Songgye of the Koryo dynasty, who had been sent to go north into northeast China to battle with the new Ming dynasty army in support of the Mongols, decided on Wihwa Island (Chinese: 威化岛 = Weihua Island) in the Yalu River to turn back his army southward to Kaesong as the first of a series of his revolting actions that eventually led to the establishment of the Yi dynasty.[1][2]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The 2014 period adventure film The Pirates begins with the Wihwado Retreat.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John K. Fairbank, "East Asia: Tradition and Transformation" (Harvard University Press, 1989)
  2. ^ Weihua Island (Baike Encyclopedia) (in Chinese)