King Injo

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  • Born: 1595
  • Died: 1649
  • Other Names: (Yi Jong), Prince Nŭngyanggun
  • Korean: 仁祖 (Injo)

King Injo was the 16th king of Joseon Dynasty Korea. He came to the throne in 1623 in a coup known as the Injo Revolt, in which the pro-Ming Sŏin faction overthrew Prince Gwanghae and his Puk'in faction, who supported accommodation of the Manchus.[1]

Injo was a son of Prince Gwanghae's younger half-brother, and was thus a nephew of the man he overthrew and succeeded as ruler.[2] Despite Injo's violent overthrow of his predecessor, the Ming court moved quickly to accept him as the new king and formally grant him investiture, in order to help ensure Joseon's aid in defending Ming China against the Manchus.[3]

Ultimately, Injo was forced to submit to Manchu authority in 1637 after a lengthy resistance.[4] He was formally invested by the Manchu leader Hong Taiji that same year. Injo's heir, Prince Sohyeon, taken prisoner during the fighting and brought to the Later Jin dynasty capital at Mukden, was invested by the Later Jin as crown prince of Joseon two years later, in 1639.[5]

Preceded by:
Prince Gwanghae
King of Joseon
Succeeded by:
King Hyojong


  1. Seo-Hyun Park, "Small States and the Search for Sovereignty in Sinocentric Asia: Japan and Korea in the Late Nineteenth Century," in Anthony Reid & Zheng Yangwen (eds.), Negotiating Asymmetry: China's Place in Asia (NUS Press, 2009), 36-37.
  2. Evelyn Rawski, Early Modern China and Northeast Asia: Cross-Border Perspectives, Cambridge University Press (2015), 167.
  3. Ji-Young Lee, “Diplomatic Ritual as a Power Resource," Journal of East Asian Studies 13 (2013), 325.
  4. Mark Ravina, “Japan in the Chinese Tribute System,” Sea Rovers, Silver, and Samurai, eds. Tonio Andrade and Xing Hang, U Hawaii Press (2016), 356.
  5. Bumjin Koo, "Languages of the Qing Investiture Letters for Chosŏn before the Conquest of China," talk given at HMC Seminar, University of Tokyo, 29 Nov 2019.