General Yon Ge Somun



Named after a famous general during the Koguryo Dynasty, Yon Ge Somun.  The 49 movements refer to the last two figures of 649 AD, the Year he forced the Dang Dynasty to quit Korea after destroying nearly 300,00 Chinese troops at Ansi Sung.

Yon Ge Somun was the general who killed the penultimate King of Koguryo, Yeongnyu, in 642. It was a period of tremendous instability, both because of the pressure by Silla, but also because the political situation in Koguryo was very confusing. After General Yon Ge put Yeon gnyu's nephew Bojang as his puppet on the throne following his coup d’état, he tried with little success to calm down Yeon's two sons in trying to gain power, and started repressing Buddhism (the Kingdom's official religion) in favor of Taoism.

Yon Ge Somun (603 - 665) was a powerful and controversial military dictator and Generalissimo in the warring days of Koguryo--one of the Three Kingdoms of ancient Korea. Traditional Korean histories paint Yon Ge as a despotic leader, whose cruel policies and disobedience to his monarch led to the fall of Koguryo. However, his achievements in defending Koguryo against Chinese onslaughts have inspired Korean nationalist historians, most notably the 19th century Korean historian and intellectual Sin Chaeho, to term Yon Ge may be considered the greatest hero in Korean history.

Many Korean scholars today echo praise for Yon Ge as a soldier-statesman without equal in Korean history, though other scholars strongly disagree.  Chinese and Japanese scholars continue to hold an unfavorable view of General Yon Ge Somun.