Korean Restoration
Date 16-29 November 1953 (13 days)
Location Seoul
Result Restoration attempt failed

Chrysanthemum Throne abolished
Creation of the Japanese State of Korea

Flag of Korea (1899) Restored Korean Imperial Government Flag of Japan Korea under Japanese rule
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Korea (1899) Cho Man-sik
Flag of Korea (1899) Yi Un
Flag of Japan Nagako
Flag of Japan Akihito

The Korean Restoration was attempt to restore the Korean Empire by Korean nationalists, who seized the city of Seoul and reinstated Yi Un, the son of the last Korean Emperor, to the throne. The restoration lasted for only 13 days, and was quickly reversed by Japanese forces.



Following the Japanese Civil War and exile of the Japanese Imperial Government to Korea, a rise in Korean nationalism surged though Japanese-controlled Korea. Koreans had grown increasingly discontent with the Japanese regime, and wanted to replace it with their own government. Without reinforcements, the Japanese Imperial Army grew weaker, allowing the Japanese monarch to be overthrown.

Failed restoration

Rebellions against the Japanese Royal Family began as early as November 11 of 1953. Public demonstrations, increased popularity of nationalists such as Cho Man-sik, and the organization of the Imperial Restoration Militia in Seoul all weakened the Japanese grip on Korea. On November 15 a violent nationalist uprising forced the Japanese Royal Family to flee Seoul. Cho Man-sik immediately took control of the city, declaring a restoration of Yi Un as the Korean monarch the following day. The government of the Empire of Korea was recreated in the form of a constitutional monarchy and took control of the city of Seoul. The Japanese Army reorganized and began a siege of the city on November 19. The Korean Army defended the city against the Japanese for ten days, until it was overwhelmed. Yi Un was forced to abdicate and renounce all ties to the Korean throne. Control of Seoul was given to Akihito, who dissolved the Imperial Government and recreated the original Japanese government. Cho Man-sik was put in prison for the following seven years.


The restoration, while unsuccessful, significantly weakened the Japanese control over Korea. To stabilize the country, Nagako abolished the Chrysanthemum Throne by signing a constitution that guaranteed the Korean people the right to govern themselves through a democratically-elected parliament, preventing further destabilization. The new government was taken over by the far-right Japanese nationalist Republican Japanese-Korean Cooperative Party in a bloodless coup, who created the Japanese State of Korea under their control.

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