Emperor of Korea

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Emperor of Korea was the title of head of state of the Korean Empire between 1897 and 1910. It was established with the inauguration of Gojong, in November 1897, and ended with the abolition of emperor Sunjong on August 29, 1910. In 1910, the head of the Gyeongsul National Assembly was taken over by the Japanese emperor, and the head of the government was taken over by Japanese Prime Minister Masatake Terauchi as the first governor of Joseon.

A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation.

Korean Empire Last unified state of Korea from October 1897 to August 29, 1910

The Korean Empire was the last independent unified Korean state. Proclaimed in October 1897 by Emperor Gojong of the Joseon dynasty, the empire stood until Japan's annexation of Korea in August 1910. During the Korean Empire, Emperor Gojong oversaw the Gwangmu Reform, a partial modernization and Westernization of the military, economy, land system, and education system, and of various industries.

Gojong of Korea Emperor of Korea

Gojong, the Emperor Gwangmu, was the last king of Joseon and the first Emperor of Korea.



Joseon was conquered by Japan, which won the Sino-Japanese War. To emphasize that Korea was an independent country, the title of the monarchy was changed to a great monarchy in 1895. The Chinese emperor named the Emperor in 1897.

First Sino-Japanese War war (1894–1895) between the Qing dynasty and the Empire of Japan over influence in Joseon, fought chiefly in Joseon

The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between China and Japan primarily over influence in Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the port of Weihaiwei, the Qing government sued for peace in February 1895.

During the coronation of the Korean emperor in Gyeongung Palace, The Joseon Dynasty became the Empire of Korea. The government was an absolute monarchy. The Emperor was head of state and had absolute power. Japan's intervention intensified and the Emperor gradually lost power. In 1910, emperor Sunjong abdicated, The Korean Imperial House continued to exist.

Joseon Korean kingdom, 1392 to 1897

Joseon dynasty was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye in July 1392 and was replaced by the Korean Empire in October 1897. It was founded following the aftermath of the overthrow of Goryeo in what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul. The kingdom's northernmost borders were expanded to the natural boundaries at the rivers of Amnok and Tuman through the subjugation of the Jurchens. Joseon was the last dynasty of Korea and its longest-ruling Confucian dynasty.

House of Yi Korean royal and imperial dynasty

The House of Yi or Korean Imperial Household, also called the Yi Dynasty or known as Yi clan of Jeonju, is the household of Joseon and the Korean Empire, consisting of the descendants of Yi Seonggye, the founder of Joseon, known by his posthumous name, Taejo. All his descendants are members of the Yi clan of Jeonju, including the imperial family of the Korean Empire (1897–1910).

List of Korean Emperors

#Portrait Personal name Period of reign Courtesy name (C) /
Pseudonym (Ps)
Temple name (廟號) (T) /
Posthumous name (諡號) (P)
Era name (年號)
1 Korea-Portrait of Emperor Gojong-01.jpg Yi Myeong bok
Yi Hui
이명복 (李命福)
이희 (李㷩)
1897–1907Seongrim (C)
Juyeon (Ps)
성림 (聖臨, C)
주연 (珠淵, Ps)
Gojong (T)
Emperor Tae (P)
고종 (高宗, T)
태황제 (太皇帝, P)
Gwangmu광무 (光武)
2 Emperor Sunjong.jpg Yi Cheok이척 (李坧)1907–1910Gundang (C)
Jeongheon (Ps)
군방 (君邦, C)
정헌 (正軒, Ps)
Sunjong (T)
Emperor Hyo (P)
순종 (純宗, T)
효황제 (孝皇帝, P)
Yunghui융희 (隆熙)

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A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

Monarchy system of government where the head of state position is inherited within family

A monarchy is a form of government in which a group, generally a group of people representing a dynasty (aristocracy), embodies the country's national identity and its head, the monarch, exercises the role of supreme sovereignty. The actual power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to partial and restricted, to completely autocratic. Traditionally the monarch's post is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In contrast, elective monarchies require the monarch to be elected. Both types have further variations as there are widely divergent structures and traditions defining monarchy. For example, in some elected monarchies only pedigrees are taken into account for eligibility of the next ruler, whereas many hereditary monarchies impose requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, etc. Occasionally this might create a situation of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election. There have been cases where the term of a monarch's reign is either fixed in years or continues until certain goals are achieved: an invasion being repulsed, for instance.

Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.

Korean monarchy existed in Korea until the end of the Japanese occupation. After the independence and the installation of the Constitution that adopted republic system, the concept of nobility has been abolished, both formally and in practice.

Korea under Japanese rule Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910–1945

Korea under Japanese rule began with the end of the short-lived Korean Empire in 1910 and ended at the conclusion of World War II in 1945. Japanese rule over Korea was the outcome of a process that began with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, whereby a complex coalition of the Meiji government, military, and business officials sought to integrate Korea both politically and economically into the Empire of Japan. A major stepping-stone towards the Japanese occupation of Korea was the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905, in which the then-Korean Empire was declared a protectorate of Japan. The annexation of Korea by Japan was set up in the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, which was never actually signed by the Korean Regent, Gojong.

Sunjong of Korea Emperor of Korea

Sunjong, the Emperor Yunghui, was the second and the last Emperor of Korea, of the Yi dynasty, ruling from 1907 until 1910.

Korean era names were used during the period of Silla, Goguryeo, Balhae, Taebong, Goryeo, Joseon, and the Korean Empire. Dangun-giwon, the era name originating from the foundation of Gojoseon is also widely used in Korea as an indication of long civilisation of Korea.

Empress Myeongseong Korean empress

Empress Myeongseong or Empress Myung-Sung, known informally as Queen Min, was the first official wife of Gojong, the twenty-sixth king of Joseon and the first emperor of the Korean Empire.

Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910 treaty

The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire on August 22, 1910. In this treaty, Japan formally annexed Korea following the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 by which Korea became a protectorate of Japan and Japan–Korea Treaty of 1907 by which Korea was deprived of the administration of internal affairs.

Korean independence movement independence movement

The Korean independence movement was a military and diplomatic campaign to achieve the independence of Korea from Japan. After the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, Korea's domestic resistance has peaked in the March 1st Movement, which was crushed and sent Korean leaders to flee into China. In China, Korean independence activists built ties with the National Government of the Republic of China which supported the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (KPG), as a government in exile. At the same time, the Korean Liberation Army, which operated under the Chinese National Military Council and then the KPG, led attacks against Japan.

Yi Un

Lieutenant General Prince Imperial Yeong, the Yi Un, Crown Prince Uimin, also known as Yi Un, Yi Eun, Lee Eun, and Un Yi, was the 28th Head of the Korean Imperial House, an Imperial Japanese Army general and the last crown prince of Korea.

Ye Wanyong minister of Korea, who signed the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty

Ye Wanyong, also known as Yi Wan-yong, was a Korean statesman who served as the last Prime Minister of the Korean Empire who was pro-Japanese and remembered for signing the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, which placed Korea under Japanese rule in 1910.

Princess Yi Haewŏn is a descendant of the Joseon dynasty. She is the second daughter of Prince Imperial Ui of Korea, the fifth son of Emperor Gojong of Korea and his concubine, Lady Sudeokdang. She is the eldest of the surviving daughters of Prince Imperial Ui. She is one of several descendants, including her brother King Yi Seok and her nephew, Yi Won, who claim to be the legitimate heir to the throne of the Korean Imperial Household.

This is a list including all rulers who had carried the title of emperor through history.

National Palace Museum of Korea national museum

The National Palace Museum of Korea is a national museum of South Korea located in Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul.

New Peoples Association

The New People's Association, established in April 1906 was a clandestine organization for fostering the independence and national strength of the Korean Empire. The organization was formed by social activists such as Ahn Changho, Shin Chaeho, Park Eunsik, and Lim Chi Jung.