Obsession on fire. Nevertheless, another report that revealed it

Obsession with Reward and Recognition. During the Joseon Dynasty, generals,
admirals, and other government officials all worked to be rewarded and
recognized by the king. It was a typical culture of Joseon’s bureaucracy. In
that process of receiving rewards, conflicts among those people who achieved
similar deeds occurred frequently. Although Yi seems to be of a noble and a
moral character indifferent to rewards, he was not an exception in this
struggle to be rewarded. He also worked to be recognized by the king by often
resorting to methods unanticipated of him.


XX.     The rewards at the time were given according to the reports that
generals, admirals, and officials send to the government. Especially, for
military battles, the king gave graded rewards in proportion to the number of
enemy heads each commander decapitated. Consequently, although he initially
agreed to file a report with joint signatures with his counterpart, he instead
sent an exclusive one only for himself. It can be assumed from this incident
that Yi Sun Sin was not so different from any other military officials of the

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XX.     In another incident, Admiral Yi claimed that some of his men
infiltrated into Japanese camp in Busan and set the military provisions,
weapons, and some of enemy soldiers on fire. Nevertheless, another report that
revealed it was Lee Won Ik and Chung Hee Won who should be rewarded by the feat
instead. Yi later claimed the report might have been fraudulent since he only
relied on the words of his subordinates who reported to Yi. Still, false report
to the king was considered a heavy crime in the Joseon Dynasty.


XX.        Disloyalty
towards the King and the Nation. Yi’s battle history reveals an
interesting fact. Out of the 23 battles he fought, 15 took place in 1592, 1 in
1593, 3 in 1594, 3 in 1597, and the last one in 1598. Vast majority of them
took place in the first year of the war, and Yi Sun Sin actually did not fight
many battles during the following years. This was because Yi refused to obey
the king’s order to wage battles owing to unfavourable circumstances. Yi’s action
by refusal to respond to crown prince’s call compounded to the King’s outrages.
As Yi continuously refrained from fighting battles, King Seonjo sent his crown
prince, Gwanghaegun, to deliver his order face to face. Yet, Yi impertinently
refused to even meet him. This refusal was completely unacceptable according to
the laws then. It is a blatant evident that Yi was disrespectful and disloyal
to the king and the nation.