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  • Korean: 板屋船 (pan ok seon)

The panokseon was a style of warship devised by the Joseon royal navy in 1555 which, along with the famous turtle ships, played a decisive role in repelling Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590s. Rising high above the waterline, panokseon allowed archers and gunmen to fire down upon enemy vessels from an advantageous height. Their relatively flat shallow keels allowed the ships to operate in shallow waters and to change directly more easily and rapidly than, for example, the sekibune used by their Japanese opponents; the deep v-shaped keels on sekibune were advantageous for traveling swiftly across deep sea waters, but did not allow such quick maneuvering.

Panokseon were armed with multiple types of cannon, and had multiple decks separating combatants from non-combatants. They moved both by wind (sail) and by oar, and had a tall tower in the center of the deck for observation and command. Archers and gunners operated from the main deck, while oarsmen sat below deck along with additional archers, who could fire at enemies through the ports for the oars. An additional level below that of the oarsmen was used for storage and for cabins for warriors who would either board enemy vessels on foot or deploy onto land.


  • Gallery labels, The Story of Yi Sun Shin Museum, Seoul.[1]