Yi Gae

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Yi Gae
Hangul 이개
Hanja 李塏
Revised Romanization I Gae
McCune–Reischauer Yi Kae
Pen name
Hangul 백옥헌
Hanja 白玉軒
Revised Romanization Baegokheon
McCune–Reischauer Paegokhŏn
Courtesy name
Hangul 청보, 백고
Hanja 淸甫, 伯高
Revised Romanization Cheongbo, Baekgo
McCune–Reischauer Ch'ŏngbo, Paekko

Yi Gae (1417–1456) was a scholar-official of the Joseon Dynasty and one of the six martyred ministers. He was born to a yangban family of the Hansan Yi lineage, and was the great-grandson of Goryeo period philosopher Yi Saek.

Yi passed the higher examination in 1436, and he was appointed to the Hall of Worthies by Sejong in 1441. After Munjong rose to the throne in 1450, he was appointed to provide personal instruction in the classics to the prince, who became the young King Danjong in 1453.

In 1455, Danjong was overthrown by Sejo. Yi joined a conspiracy of other high officials to overthrow Sejo and return Danjong to the throne; but just before the plot would have unfolded, it was betrayed to the king by Kim Jil. Arrested, he refused to repent under torture and was executed.

Death Poem[edit]

Yi Gae wrote the following death poem in prison before his execution:

방안에 혔는 촛불 눌과 이별하엿관대

겉으로 눈물지고 속타는 줄 모르는다.

우리도 천리에 임 이별하고 속타는 듯하여라.

Oh, candlelight shining the room, with whom did you part?

You shed tears without and burn within, yet no one notices.

We part with our Lord thousand miles away and burn like thee.

Popular culture[edit]

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