Empress Myeongseong

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  • Died: 1895/10/8
  • Other Names: (K: Minbi; Queen Min)
  • Korean: 明成皇后 (Myeongseong Hwanghu, Myŏngsŏng Hwanghu)

Queen Myeongseong was queen of King Gojong of Joseon Dynasty Korea, and mother to Emperor Sunjong. Her murder by Japanese terrorists in 1895 is frequently held up today in Korean expressions of anti-Japanese sentiment.

Born the daughter of Min Chirok, she married King Gojong in 1866.

She took up residence at Gonnyeonghap Hall from 1884 onwards, at Gyeongbokgung Palace. She was murdered there on October 8, 1895, in what is known in Korea as the Eulmi Incident. A group of Japanese entered the Hall and killed the queen; fearing the queen might survive if she had switched places and was disguised as a handmaid, they also killed all of her handmaids. They then burned her body on a nearby hill; the royal family later retrieved the body and held a state funeral for her on November 22, 1897. Posthumously elevated from queen to empress a month earlier on October 12, 1897, she was buried alongside Emperor Gojong at the Imperial Tombs at Hongneung on March 4, 1919.


  • Plaques and gallery labels at Gyeongbokgung Palace.