Yi Won

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Prince Yi Won
Yiwon 08JongmyoDaeje.jpg
Born (1962-09-23) 23 September 1962 (age 57)
Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
SpouseCho Tŭng-hak
IssueYi Kwon
Yi Yeon
Full name
Yi Sang-hyŏp
FatherYi Gap
MotherYi Gyeong-suk
Yi Won
Revised RomanizationI Won
McCune–ReischauerYi Won

Yi Won (Korean이원) (born 23 September 1962) is a descendant of the Joseon Dynasty (a.k.a. Yi Dynasty) and one of several who claim to be head of the House of Yi.[1] He worked as a general manager of Hyundai Home Shopping, a Hyundai Department Store Group company, until Prince Yi Gu died on 16 July 2005. He was born as the eldest son of Prince Gap of Korea, the 9th son of Prince Yi Kang by his wife at Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul and became the adopted son of Prince Yi Gu, the twenty-ninth head of the Imperial house, though the legality of the adoption tradition is contested.[2]


Prince Won attended the Sangmun High School during 1979-1981 and completed studies in broadcasting at the New York Institute of Technology, United States. He and his wife have had two children, the eldest son, Yi Kwon (이권), born in 1998; the other son, Yi Yeon (이영), born in 1999.

He currently lives in an apartment in Wondang, Goyang, Gyeonggi province, Korea with his family.

Adoption controversy[edit]

On 16 July 2005, following the death of Prince Gu, some members of the Lee Family Council chose him as the next Head of Korean Imperial Household and they also made his title the Hereditary Prince Imperial (Hwangsason) in the meaning of inherited a title of Prince Gu. His claim is contested by Princess Yi Haewon of Korea who was crowned Empress of South Korea by 12 descendants who felt that she should be Empress, not Prince Won. In spite of this, he is annually called on to take the place of the Sovereign at the Jongmyo jerye ceremonies performing sacrifices to his royal ancestors.

Those who dispute the legitimacy of the adoption point out that consent for the adoption of Prince Won was not given by other members of Imperial House, including Prince Yi Seok, the younger half-brother of Prince Gap, and Princess Yi Hae-won, the eldest surviving member of the house. Also, according to present Korean law, the traditional adoption after death of a foster parent to continue the line has been outlawed by legislation as of 2004.

Another problem arises over whether Prince Won or his father Prince Gap is the senior member of the house. While the line of Prince Gang is the senior line following the death of Prince Gu, there are descendants of the elder sons of Prince Gang.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reviving Joseon Archived 8 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine", Invest Korea Journal, Mar-Apr 2010.
  2. ^ Royal Ark

External links[edit]