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|Yi Gu, Prince Imperial Hoeun
Gu as a child
|Emperor of Korea|
|Pretend||1 May 1970 – 16 July 2005|
|Predecessor||Yi Eun, Crown Prince Euimin|
|Successor||Yi Won, Hereditary Prince Imperial|
29 December 1931|
Kitashirakawa Palace (now Akasaka Prince Hotel), Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan
|Died||16 July 2005
Akasaka Prince Hotel, Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan
(m. 1959; div. 1982)
|House||House of Yi|
|Mother||Masako of Nashimoto|
|Revised Romanization||I Gu|
|Revised Romanization||Hoeeun Hwangtaeson**|
Prince Yi Gu, the Prince Imperial Hoeun (29 December 1931 – 16 July 2005) was a Korean prince. He was pretender to the Korean Imperial Throne from 1970 until he died in 2005. He was the grandson of Gojong of the Joseon dynasty.
Gu was born in Kitashirakawa Palace (now Akasaka Prince Hotel), Kioicho, Kojimachiku, Tokyo, Japan; his father was Crown Prince Eun of Korea, and his mother was Princess Yi Bangja, born Masako Nashimoto, a Japanese princess.
Gu attended the Gakushuin Peers' School in Tokyo. He later attended Centre College, Danville, Kentucky and studied architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology both in the U.S.. He was employed as an architect with I.M. Pei & Assocs, Manhattan, New York from 1960 to 1964. Made stateless by Japan in 1947, Gu acquired United States citizenship in 1959, and Korean citizenship in 1964. He married Julia Mullock (b. 1928) on 25 October 1959 at St George's Church in New York, and they adopted a daughter, Eugenia Unsuk.
After the fall of Syngman Rhee, he returned to Korea in 1963 with the help of the new president Park Chung-hee, moving into the new building in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace with his mother and wife. He lectured on architecture at Seoul National University and Yonsei University and also managed his own airline, Shinhan. When that went bankrupt in 1979, he went to Japan to earn money. In 1982, his family forced him to divorce his wife because she was sterile; his mother died in 1989. He started living with a Japanese astrologer, Mrs. Arita.
In November 1996, he made what he hoped would be his permanent return to Korea but, showing signs of a nervous breakdown, he was unable to adjust to life in Korea. Restlessly going back and forth between Japan and Korea, he would die of a heart attack, at the age of seventy-three, on 16 July 2005 at the Akasaka Prince Hotel, the former residence of his parents in Tokyo, Japan. His funeral was held on 24 July 2005 and his posthumous title decided as "Prince Imperial Hoeun of Korea" by the Lee Family Council.
- Korean royalty
- Death announcement in Korea Times
- Farewell to royal heir evokes memories of Korea's past
- obituary in the English edition of Dong-A Ilbo
Yi GuBorn: 29 December 1931 Died: 16 July 2005
|Titles in pretence|
Crown Prince Uimin
|— TITULAR —
Emperor of Korea
1 May 1970 – 16 July 2005
Reason for succession failure:
Empire abolished in 1910
Won, Hereditary Prince Imperial