Two Japanese invasions of Korea
battles on the Korean peninsula
took place from 1592 to 1598. Toyotomi
Hideyoshi led the newly unified Japan into the
first invasion (1592-1593) with the professed goal of conquering
Korea, the Jurchens, Ming Dynasty China and India.
second invasion (1594-1596) was aimed rather solely as a
retaliatory offensive against the Koreans. The invasions are also
known as Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea
Seven Year War
(in reference to its span) and the
: 임진왜란 -
lit. Japanese Invasion of the Imjin Year), in reference to the
"Imjin (壬辰)" year of the sexagenary
The first invasion (1592–1593) is literally called the "Japanese
(= 倭 |wae|
) Rebellion (= 亂 |ran|
) of Imjin" (1592 being
year in the sexagenary cycle
) in Korean
. Meanwhile, the war is called
Bunroku no eki
the Japanese era
under the Emperor Go-Yōzei
, spanning the period
from 1597 to 1598). The second invasion (1597–1598) is called the
"Second War of Jeong-yu" and "Keichō
eki", respectively. In Chinese
wars are referred to as the "Wanli
Korean Campaign", after then reigning Chinese emperor
, or the "Renchen War to
Defend the Nation" (壬辰衛國戰爭), where renchen
(壬辰) is the
Chinese reading of imjin
Initially, the Japanese forces saw overwhelming successes on land
and consistent failures at sea. The Japanese forces came to suffer
heavily as their communication and supply lines
The Korean navy starved the Japanese forces by successfully
intercepting the Japanese supply fleets on the western waters of
the peninsula, to which most major rivers of the Korean peninsula
flow. Ming China under Emperor Wanli
brought about a military and diplomatic intervention to the
conflict, which China understood as a challenge to its tributary
system. The war stalled for five years during which the three
countries tried to negotiate a peaceful compromise; however, Japan
invaded Korea a second time in 1597. The war concluded with
the naval battle at
All of the Japanese forces in Korea had
retreated by the 12th lunar month
1598 and returned to Japan after the devastating defeat dealt by
the Korean navy.
In addition to the human losses, Korea suffered tremendous
cultural, economic, and infrastructural damage, including a large
reduction in the amount of arable land
destruction and confiscation of significant artworks, artifacts,
and historical documents, and abductions of artisans and
technicians. During this, the main palaces Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung were burned down so the palace Deoksugung was used as temporary palace. The heavy financial
burden placed on China by the war
adversely affected its military capabilities and contributed to the
fall of the Ming
Dynasty and the rise of the Qing Dynasty.
However, the sinocentric
tributary system that Ming had
defended was restored by Qing, and the normal trade relations
between Korea and Japan later continued.
Korea and China before the war
the Korean General Yi Seong-gye led
a successful coup to take political power from King U of the Goryeo Dynasty by using military force, then his followers forced
Yi to take the crown, thus founded Joseon. In search of a
justification for its rule given the lack of a royal bloodline, the
new regime received recognition from China and
integration into its tributary system within the context of the
Mandate of Heaven.
during the late 15th century, Japan, too, gained a seat in the
(lost by 1547, see
). Within this tributary system,
China assumed the role of a big brother, Korea the middle
brother, and Japan the younger
situation over one thousand years earlier when Chinese dynasties had an
antagonistic relationship with the largest of the Korean polities
(Goguryeo), Ming China had close trading and diplomatic relations
with the Joseon Dynasty, which also enjoyed continuous trade
relations with Japan.
dynasties, Ming and Joseon, shared much in common: both emerged
during the fourteenth century at the fall of Mongolian rule, embraced Confucian ideals
in society, and faced similar external threats (the Jurchen raiders and the Wokou pirates).
Internally, both China and
Korea were troubled with fights among competing political factions,
which would significantly influence decisions made by the Koreans
prior to the war, and those made during the war by the Chinese.
Dependence on each other for trade and also having common enemies
resulted in Korea and Ming China having a friendly
Hideyoshi and his preparations
last decade of the 16th century, Hideyoshi
as daimyō had unified all of Japan in a brief
period of peace.
Since Hideyoshi came to hold power in the
absence of a legitimate Minamoto
that is necessary for the Imperial Shogunal commission,
he sought for military power to legitimize his rule and to decrease
his dependence on the Imperial family. It is said that Hideyoshi
planned for an invasion of China to fulfill the dreams of his
late-lord Oda Nobunaga
, and to mitigate
the possible threat of civil disorder
or rebellion posed by the large number of samurai
and soldiers in unified Japan. But it is
quite possible that Hideyoshi might have set a more realistic goal
of subjugating the smaller neighbouring states (i.e. Ryukyus, Luzon, Taiwan, and Korea),
and treating the larger or more distant countries as trading
partners, as all throughout the invasion of Korea, Hideyoshi sought
for legal tally trade with China Hideyoshi's need for military
supremacy as a justification for his rule which lacked Shogunal
background could, on an international level, translate into a
Japanocentric order with Japan's neighbouring countries below
Historian Kenneth M. Swope identifies a rumor
circulating at the time that Hideyoshi could have been a Chinese
who fled to Japan from the law, and therefore sought revenge
The defeat of the Odawara
clan in 1590 finally
brought about the second unification of Japan, and Hideyoshi began
preparing for the next war. Beginning in March 1591, the Kyūshū daimyō
and their labor forces constructed a castle at Nagoya (in modern-day Karatsu) as the center for the mobilization of
the invasion forces.
Hideyoshi planned for a possible war with Korea long before
completing the unification of Japan, and made preparations on many
fronts. As early 1578, Hideyoshi, then battling
under Nobunaga against Mōri
Terumoto for control of the Chūgoku region of Japan, informed Terumoto of Nobunaga's
plan to conquer China. In 1592 Hideyoshi sent a letter to the
Philippines demanding tribute from the governor general and stating
that Japan had already received tribute from Korea (which was a
misunderstanding, as explained below) and the Ryukyus.
As for the military preparations, the construction of as many as
2,000 ships may have begun as early as 1586. To estimate the
strength of the Korean military, Hideyoshi sent an assault force of
26 ships to the southern coast of Korea in 1587, and he concluded
that the Koreans were incompetent. On the diplomatic front,
Hideyoshi began to establish friendly relations with China long
before completing the unification of Japan and helped to police the
trade routes against the wakō.
Diplomatic dealings between Japan and Korea
In 1587, Hideyoshi sent his first envoy Tachibana Yasuhiro, to
Korea, which was during the rule of King Seonjo
to re-establish diplomatic
relations between Korea and Japan (broken since the Japanese pirate
raid in 1555), which Hideyoshi hoped to use as a foundation to
induce the Yi Court to join Japan in a war against China. Yasuhiro,
with his warrior background and an attitude disdainful of the
Korean officials and their customs, which he considered effeminate,
failed to receive the promise of future ambassadorial missions from
Korea. Around May 1589, Hideyoshi's second embassy, consisting of
Sō Yoshitoshi (or Yoshitomo), Gensho and Tsuginobu reached Korea
and secured the promise of a Korean embassy to Japan in exchange
for the Korean rebels which had taken refuge in Japan. In fact, in
1587 Hideyoshi had ordered Sō Yoshinori, the father of Yoshitoshi
and the daimyō of Tsushima, to offer Joseon the ultimatum of
submitting to Japan and participating in the conquest of China, or
war with Japan. However, as Tsushima enjoyed a special trading
position as the single checkpoint to Korea for all Japanese ships
and had permission from Korea to trade with as many as 50 of its
own vessels, the Sō family delayed the talks for nearly two years.
Even when Hideyoshi renewed his order, Sō Yoshitoshi reduced the
visit to the Yi Court to a campaign to better relations between the
two countries. Near the end of the ambassadorial mission,
Yoshitoshi presented King Seonjo a brace of peafowl and matchlock
guns - the first advanced fire-arms to come to Korea. Yu Seong-ryong
, a high-ranking scholar
official, suggested that the military put the arquebus
into production and use, but the Yi Court
failed to cooperate. This lack of interest and underestimation of
the power of the arquebus eventually led to the decimation of the
Korean army early in the war.
On April 1590, the Korean ambassadors including Hwang Yun-gil, Kim
Saung-il and others left for Kyoto
, where they
waited for two months while Hideyoshi was finishing his campaign
against the Odawara and the Hōjō clans. Upon his return, they
exchanged ceremonial gifts with and delivered King Seonjo's letter
to Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi assumed that the Koreans had come to pay
homage as a tributary to Japan, but the Koreans still refused. For
this reason the ambassadors were not given the formal treatment
that was due in handling diplomatic matters; at last, the Korean
ambassadors asked that Hideyoshi write a reply to the Korean king,
for which they waited 20 days at the port of Sakai. The letter,
redrafted as requested by the ambassadors on the ground that it was
too discourteous, invited Korea to submit to Japan and join the war
against China. Upon the ambassadors' return, the Yi Court held
serious discussions concerning Japan's invitation; while Hwang Yun-gil
reported to the Yi Court
conflicting estimates of Japanese military strength and intentions
and pressed that a war was coming, Kim Saung-il claimed that
Hideyoshi's saying was nothing but a bluff. Moreover, most of the
estimates considered the Japanese to be incompetent. Some,
including King Seonjo, argued that Ming should be informed about
the dealings with Japan, as failure to do so could make Ming
suspect Korea's allegiance, but the Yi Court finally concluded to
wait further until the appropriate course of action became
initiated his diplomacy with Korea under the impression that Korea
was a vassal of Tsushima Island , which the Koreans considered theirs; the Yi Court
approached Japan as a country inferior to Korea accordingly within
the Chinese tributary system, and it expected Hideyoshi's invasions
to be no better than the common wakō pirate
The Yi Court handed to Gensho and Tairano,
Hideyoshi's third embassy, King Seonjo's letter rebuking Hideyoshi
for challenging the Chinese tributary system; Hideyoshi replied
with a disrespectful letter, but, since it was not presented in
person as expected by custom, the Yi Court ignored it. After the
denial of his second request, Hideyoshi launched his armies against
Korea in 1592. There were internal oppositions to the invasion
within Japan's government; among them, Tokugawa Ieyasu
, Konishi Yukinaga
and Sō Yoshitoshi
who tried to arbitrate
between Hideyoshi and the Joseon court.
The two major security threats to Korea and China at the time were
, who raided along the
northern borders, and the wakō
(Japanese pirates), who pillaged the coastal villages and trade
response to the Jurchens, the Koreans developed a powerful navy,
constructed a thorough defense line of fortresses along the
River, and took control of
the island of Tsushima.
This defensive stance within an
environment of relative peace pushed the Koreans to depend on a
heavy artillery of fortresses and warships. With the introduction
of gunpowder during the Goryeo Dynasty,
Korea developed advanced cannons which were used with great effect
Even though China was the main source of new
military technologies in Asia, Korea excelled in both cannon
manufacturing and shipbuilding in this age.
Japan, on the other hand, had been in a state of civil war
for over a century, which
had the result of turning the Japanese society into a very warlike
society. When traders from Portugal arrived in Japan and introduced Arquebuses and Muskets,
the Japanese warlords were quick to adapt to this innovative
weapon, giving them a large advantage over the Korean
This strategic difference in weapons development and
implementation contributed to the in-war Japanese dominance on
land, and the Korean dominance at sea.
As Japan had been at war since the mid-15th century, Hideyoshi had
half a million battle-hardened soldiers at his disposal to form the
most professional army in Asia for the invasion of Korea. While
Japan's chaotic state had left the Koreans with a very low estimate
of Japan as a military threat, a new sense of unity among the
different political factions in Japan, and the "Sword Hunt" in
, (the confiscation of all weapons from the
peasants) indicated otherwise. Along with the hunt came “The
Separation Edict” in 1591, which effectively put an end to all
piracy by prohibiting the
from supporting the pirates
within their fiefs. Ironically enough, the Koreans believed that
Hideyoshi’s invasion would be just an extension of the previous
pirate raids that had been repelled before. As for the military
situation in Joseon, the Korean scholar official Yu Seong-ryong
observed, "not one in a
hundred [Korean generals] knew the methods of drilling soldiers":
rise in ranks depended far more on social connections than military
knowledge. Korean soldiers were disorganized, ill-trained and
ill-equipped, and they were used mostly in construction projects
such as building castle walls.
Problems with the Korean defense policies
There were several defects with the organization of the Korean
military. An example was a defense policy that local officers could
not individually respond to a foreign invasion outside of their
jurisdiction until a higher ranking general, appointed by the
king's court, arrived with a newly mobilized army. This arrangement
was highly inefficient in that the nearby forces would remain
stationary until the mobile border commander arrived on the scene
and took control. Secondly, as the appointed general often came
from an outside region, he was likely to be unfamiliar with the
natural environment, the available technology and manpower of the
invaded region. Finally, as a main army was never maintained, new
and ill-trained recruits conscripted during war constituted a
significant part of the army. The Yi Court managed to carry out
some reforms, but even they were problematic. For example, the
military training center established in 1589 in the Gyeongsang
province recruited mostly only too
young or too old soldiers (as able men targeted by the policy had
higher priorities such as farming and other economic activities),
augmented by some adventure-seeking aristocrats and slaves buying
The dominant form of the Korean fortresses was the "Sanseong", or
the mountain fortress, which consisted of a stone wall that
continued around a mountain in a serpentine fashion. These walls
were poorly designed with little use of towers and cross-fire
positions (usually seen in European fortifications) and were mostly
low in height. It was a wartime policy for everyone to evacuate to
one of these nearby fortresses and for those who failed to do so to
be assumed as collaborators with the enemy; however, the policy
never held any great effect because the fortresses were out of
reach for most refugees.
mobilized his army at the Nagoya Castle on Kyūshū (present-day Karatsu), newly
built for the sole purpose of housing the invasion forces and the
reserves. The first invasion consisted of nine
divisions totaling 158,800 men, of which the last two of 21,500
were stationed as reserves in Tsushima and Iki
On the other hand, Joseon maintained only a few military units and
no field army, and its defense depended heavily on the mobilization
of the citizen soldiers in case of emergency. During the first
invasion, Joseon deployed a total of 84,500 regular troops
throughout, assisted by 22,000 non-regular volunteers. Aid from the
Chinese during the war could not have made up for the difference in
numbers since they never maintained more than 60,000 troops in
Korea at any point of the war, while the Japanese used a total of
500,000 troops throughout the entire war.
introduction by the Portuguese traders on the island of Tanegashima in 1543, the arquebus
became widely used in Japan.
Joseon cannons such as this one were
extensively used in the Joseon navy.
While both Korea and China have
also been introduced to firearms similar to the Portuguese arquebus
, most were older models. The Korean
soldiers' small firearms was a handgun with simple mechanism either
with gunstock or wooden shaft attached. When the Japanese diplomats
presented the Yi Court arquebuses as gifts, the Korean
scholar-official Yu Seong-ryong advocated the use of the new weapon
but the Yi Court failed to realize the potency of the new weapon.
In contrast, the Japanese often deployed the arquebus in
combination with archery in war.
The Korean infantry's main weapons were bows and handguns, and
unlike Japanese counterparts, swords and spears weren't regarded as
important. Korean archers used the advanced composite
, which was made of different
materials laminated together along with an inward curve to increase
power. These composite bows had a maximum range of 500 yards, in
comparison to the 350 yards of most standard Japanese bows.
The Chinese used a variety of weapons, including long bows
, swords, firearms, early kind of land mines
and early hand
An illustration of an ampulliform
Chinese fire-lance with a gunpowder charge shooting a blast of
flame with lead pellets as coviative projectiles.
The weapon was called the 'phalanx-charging fire-gourd'
Chinese also demonstrated massive use of rocket-propelled
arrows(which by this time were seldom used by Koreans in war),
notably during the Siege of Pyongyang in January 1593. During siege
actions, Chinese deployed rattan shields and iron pavises (large
shields), reputed to be musket-proof.
The Japanese successively defeated the Korean armies with a
combination of muskets, spears and swords. While muskets were
superior to Korean bows in terms of penetration, the former lacked
the range, accuracy, and fire rate of the latter. Numerous battle
accounts from the Annal of Joseon dynasty and various essays,
diaries of Korean officials and commanders show that musket alone
couldn't ensure victory. By employing both musket and arme blanche,
the Japanese were able to achieve success during the early phase of
war. Indeed, the ferocious charge of Japanese troops with spears
and swords were often more decisive than muskets. This is because
the Koreans, while resisted fairly decently in ranged combat by
employing small firearms and bows, were poorly trained in close
combat, and also because of the lack of battlefield experience and
discipline. This made Korean soldiers unable to hold line in front
of charging Japanese. The following words from a Korean military
official named Shi-eon Lee to the Korean king clearly shows such
weakness"You have already told me about the low accuracy of
Japanese muskets. Why, then, are Korean armies having great problem
with defeating them?"
He then answered.
"The Korean soldiers cower before the enemy and flee for their
lives even before they have engaged the enemy. As for the
commanders, they seldom leave their positions because they fear
that they might be executed for deserting. However, there is a
limit to executing deserting soldiers since there are so many of
them. Truly, the Japanese aren't good musketeers, but they advance
so rapidly that they appear right in front of the Koreans in the
time Koreans can shoot only two arrows. It is said that Koreans are
good archers, but they seldom hit the targets when the enemy is too
far away, and are too scared to shoot when the enemy is near
because they fear Japanese swords. Archery often becomes useless
because Koreans, fearing the Japanese arme blanche, can barely
shoot. The Japanese are reputed to be good swordsmen, but it is
possible for Koreans to draw swords and hold their ground. However,
the Koreans seldom do this and merely run for their lives." -
Seonjo Sillok Book 188, Year 38, 7th of June) -(上曰: “倭賊不能射, 而人莫敢敵,
何?”時言曰: “我國人見賊, 則先潰以走爲能事。 將則雖不忠, 畏有軍律, 不敢先走。 軍之走者, 不可勝誅, 惟其不可勝誅,
是以走耳。 倭賊雖不能射, 兩矢之間, 忽焉到前, 我國之人雖曰善射, 遠則不中, 近則倭劍可畏。 發矢之後, 恐其短兵來接,
未得發矢, 射亦不足恃矣。 倭雖善用劍, 我國人若持劍而進, 則可以敵矣。 我國人則不能如此, 皆以走爲善策": Both
Korean translated text and original Chinese text can be read in
this site: sillok.history.go.kr)
As for field artillery, it seems the Koreans seldom employed them,
with the cannons being mainly used in siege action and defending
castles. However, there are a few cases of Koreans employing
artillery in the field. At the battle of Haengju, the Korean army
employed "Earth" class cannon(Jeejha Chongtong) behind field
fortification. In addition, a non-regular Korean army with
government-supplied weapons used explosive shots fired from mortars
at the open terrain in Bahn-ahm, Gyongsang district. This is
recorded in "The Diary of a Militia"(향병일기), which is stored in the
database of www.history.go.kr. The Chinese seem to have been more
active in employing field artillery than the Koreans. One of the
notable Chinese field gun was "Great General Cannon". This was a
large breech-loading cannon with two-wheeled cart, shooting an iron
ball weighing about 10 kilograms. The Japanese, on the other hand,
employed virtually no artillery in both siege and field
warfare.(Nevertheless, when Admiral Lee bombarded Japanese base in
Busan, the Japanese employed looted Korean cannons against the
Korean Navy, using Korean captives.)
The Koreans actively deployed their cavalry divisions in action,
however they often suffered significant disadvantages. The terrain
was often mountainous, lacking both the flat plains suitable for
cavalry charges and the grass essential in feeding the horses. In
addition, the Japanese use of the arquebus at long range and in
concentrated volleys negated effective cavalry tactics. The Korean
cavalrymen's primary weapons were bows, with swords and lances
holding only subsidiary position. Most of the cavalry action for
the Koreans took place in the Battle
at the beginning of the war where they were
outnumbered and wiped out by the Japanese infantry. Although the
Japanese divisions also fielded cavalry (they, however, dismounted
when engaged in action, acting more like mounted infantry) and
occasionally specialized firearms were used on horseback, though
most cavalrymen preferred the conventional yari
spear.)., their use was reduced by increasing
logistical difficulties and the increasing use of firearms by the
Koreans and Chinese.
An old painting of a panokseon.
In contrast to the Japanese advantages on land, Korea possessed a
large advantage at sea. Advanced artillery and shipbuilding
technology, along with an experienced naval history against
Japanese pirates, allowed the Korean navy to field highly advanced
and formidable watercraft. By the time of the Japanese invasion,
Korea employed the panokseon
powerful galley-type ship armed with cannons that outranged most
As virtually all Japanese ships in the first phase of the war
lacked cannon artillery, Korean ships outranged and bombarded
Japanese ships with impunity outside the range of the Japanese
muskets, arrows, and catapults. When the Japanese attempted to
outfit cannons to their ships, their lightweight ship design
prohibited using more than a few per vessel and usually lacked the
firepower or range of their Korean counterparts
In addition to a lack of effective naval armament,most Japanese
ships were modified merchant vessels more suited for transportation
of troops and equipment than fielding artillery weapons; Most
Japanese ships were also constructed with a deep keel and a single
sail, that while provided speed limited movement to favourable
winds and manouevrability was considerably disadvantaged by Korea's
narrow coastal waters. Korean ships in contrast fielded multiple
sails and crews providing oar power, and were constructed with a
flat keel that enabled sharp turns. Additionally Japanese ships
were constructed with iron nails while the Korean panokseons used
wooden pegs. In water, nails corroded and loosened while wooden
pegs expand and strengthened the joints.
's leadership and strategic
thinking was also a large factor in Korea's naval dominance, using
a superior naval force to disrupt the Japanese logistical network
and hence limit the Japanese forces' ability to operate
In order to bolster his fleet, Hideyoshi attempted unsuccessfully
to hire two Portuguese galleons to join the invasion.
First invasion (1592–1593)
|First wave of the
||Takahashi Mototane , Akizuki Tanenaga, Itō Suketaka , Shimazu Tadatoyo
Tachibana Muneshige, Tachibana Naotsugu , Tsukushi Hirokado, Ankokuji Ekei
|Reservers (8th div.)
Hidekatsu and Hosokawa Tadaoki (Iki Island)
||Kuki Yoshitaka, Wakisaka Yasuharu, Katō Yoshiaki, Otani Yoshitsugu
|Stationed force at Nagoya
||Ieyasu, Uesugi, Gamō, and others
The initial attacks
Busan and Dadaejin
23, 1592, the First Division of 7,000 men led by Konishi Yukinaga left Tsushima in the
morning, and arrived at the port city of Busan in the
The Korean naval intelligence had already detected
the Japanese fleet, but Won Gyun
, the Right
Naval Commander of Gyeongsang, mistook the fleet as consisting of
trading vessels on a mission. A later report of the arrival of an
additional 100 Japanese vessels raised his suspicions, but the
general did nothing about it. Sō Yoshitoshi landed alone on the
Busan shore to ask the Koreans for a safe passage to China for the
last time; the Koreans refused, and Sō Yoshitoshi besieged the city
while Konishi Yukinaga
attacked the nearby fort of
the next morning. Japanese accounts claim that the
battles dealt the Koreans complete annihilation (one claims 8,500
deaths, and another, 30,000 heads), while a Korean account claims
that the Japanese themselves took significant losses before sacking
"Dongnaebu Sunjeoldo", a Korean
painting from 1760 depicting the Battle of Dongnae.
On the morning of May 25, 1592, the First Division arrived at
. The fight
lasted twelve hours, killed 3,000, and resulted in a Japanese
victory. A popular legend describes the governor in charge of the
fortress, Song Sang-hyeon
Konishi Yukinaga again demanded, before the battle, that the
Koreans allow the Japanese to travel through the peninsula, the
governor replied, "It is easy for me to die, but difficult to let
you pass." Even when the Japanese troops during the battle neared
his commanding post, Song remained seated with cool dignity. And
when a Japanese cut off Song's right arm holding his staff of
command, Song picked up the staff with his left arm, which was then
cut off; again Song picked it up, this time with his mouth, but was
killed by a third blow. The Japanese, impressed by Song's defiance,
treated his body with proper burial ceremony.
The occupation of the Gyeongsang Province
Katō Kiyomasa's Second Division landed in Busan on May 27
, and Kuroda Nagamasa's Third Division, west of
Nakdong, on May 28
. The Second Division
took the abandoned city of Tongdo on May 28, and captured Kyongju on May 30.
Division, upon landing, captured the nearby Kimhae
castle by keeping the defenders under pressure
with gunfire while building ramps up to the walls with bundles of
crops. By June 3
, the Third Division captured
Unsan, Changnyong, Hyonpung, and Songju. Meanwhile, Konishi
Yukinaga's First Division passed the Yangsan mountain fortress
(captured on the night of the Battle of Dongnae, when its defenders
fled when the Japanese scouting party's fired their arquebuses),
and captured the Miryang castle on the afternoon of May 26
. The First Division secured the Cheongdo
fortress in the next few days, and destroyed the city of Daegu. By
, the First Division crossed the
, and stopped at the
Upon receiving the news of the Japanese attacks, the Joseon
government appointed General Yi Il
mobile border commander, as was the established policy.
Yi headed to Myongyong near the beginning of the strategically
important Choryong pass to gather troops, but he had to travel
further south to meet the troops assembled at the city of Daegu.
There, General Yi moved all troops back to Sangju, except for the
survivors of the Battle of Dongnae who were to be stationed as a
rearguard at the Choryong pass.
Battle of Sangju
On April 25
, General Yi deployed a force of
less than 1,000 men on two small hills to face the nearing First
Division. Assuming that rising smoke was from the burning of
buildings by a nearby Japanese force, General Yi sent an officer to
scout horseback; however, as he neared a bridge, the officer was
ambushed by Japanese musket fire from below the bridge, and
beheaded. The Korean troops, watching him fall were greatly
demoralized. Soon the Japanese began the battle
with their arquebuses; the
Koreans replied with their arrows, which fell short of their
targets. The Japanese forces, having been divided into three,
attacked the Korean lines from both the front and the two flanks;
the battle ended with General Yi Il’s retreat and 700 Korean
Battle of Chungju
General Yi Il then planned to use the Choryong pass, the only path
through the western end of the Sobaek
, to check the Japanese advance. However, another
commander, Sin Rip
, appointed by the Joseon
government had arrived in the area with a cavalry division, and
moved 8,000 combined troops to the Chungju fortress, located above
the Choryong pass. General Sin Rip then wanted to fight a battle on
an open field, which he felt ideal for the deployment of his
cavalry unit, and placed his units on the open fields of Tangeumdae
. As the general feared that, since the
cavalry consisted mostly of new recruits, his troops would flee in
battle easily, he felt the need to trap his forces in the
triangular area formed by the convergence of the Talcheon and Han river in the shape of a “Y”.
However, the field
was dotted with flooded rice paddies, and was not suitable for
On June 5, 1592 the First Division of 18,000 men led by Konishi
Yukinaga left Sangju, and reached an abandoned fortress at Mungyong
by night. The next day, the First Division arrived at Tangumdae in
the early afternoon, where they faced the Korean cavalry unit at
the Battle of Chungju
divided his forces into three, and attacked with arquebuses from
both flanks and the front. The Korean arrows fell short of the
Japanese troops, which were outside their range, and General Sin
led two charges that failed against the Japanese lines. General Sin
then killed himself in the river, and the Koreans that tried to
escape by the river either drowned, or were decapitated by the
Capture of Seoul
The Second Division led by Katō Kiyomasa arrived at Chungju, with
the Third Division not far behind. There, Katō expressed his anger against
Konishi for not waiting at Busan as planned, and attempting to take
all of the glory for himself; then Nabeshima Naoshige proposed a
compromise of dividing the Japanese troops into two separate groups
to follow two different routes to Hanseong (the capital and the present-day Seoul), and
allowing Katō Kiyomasa to choose the route that the Second Division
would take to reach Seoul.
The two divisions began the race
to capture Hanseong on June 8
, and Katō took
the shorter route across the Han River while Konishi went further
upstream where smaller waters posed a lesser barrier. Konishi
arrived at Hanseong first on June 10
the Second Division was halted at the river with no boats to with
which to cross. The First Division found the castle undefended with
its gates tightly locked, as King Seonjo had fled the day before.
The Japanese broke into a small floodgate, located in the castle
wall, and opened the capital city's gate from within. Katō’s Second
Division arrived at the capital the next day (having taken the same
route as the First Division), and the Third and Fourth Divisions
the day after. Meanwhile, the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and
Eighth Divisions had landed on Busan, with the Ninth Division kept
in reserve on the island of Iki.
Parts of Hanseong had already been looted, burnt (i.e. bureaus
holding the slave records and the weapons), and abandoned by its
inhabitants. General Kim Myong-won, in charge of the defenses along
the Han River, had retreated. The King’s subjects stole the animals
in the royal stables and fled before him, leaving the King to rely
on farm animals. In every village, the King’s party was met by
inhabitants, lined up by the road, grieving that their King was
abandoning them, and neglecting their duty of paying homage.
the southern shore of the Imjin River was burnt to deprive the Japanese troops of
materials with which to make their crossing, and General Kim
Myong-won deployed 12,000 troops at five points along the
Japanese campaigns in the north
The crossing of the Imjin River
While the First Division rested in Hanseong, the Second Division
began heading north, only to be delayed by the Imjin River for two
weeks. The Japanese sent a familiar message to the Koreans on the
other shore requesting them to open way to China, but the Koreans
rejected this. Then the Japanese commanders withdrew their main
forces to the safety of the Paju fortress; the Koreans saw this as
a retreat, and launched an attack at dawn against the remaining
Japanese troops on the southern shore of the Imjin River.
Japanese body retaliated against the isolated Korean troops, and
acquired their boats; at this, the Korean General Kim Myong-won
retreated with his forces to the Kaesong fortress.
The distribution of the Japanese forces in 1592
Kaesong castle having been sacked shortly after General Kim
Myong-won retreated to Pyeongyang, the Japanese troops divided
their objectives thus: the First Division would pursue the Korean
king in Pyongan Province in the north (where
Pyongyang is located); the Second Division would attack
Hamgyong Province in the
northeastern part of Korea; the Sixth Division would attack
Jeolla Province at the southwestern
tip of the peninsula; the Fourth Division would secure Gangwon Province in the midwestern part
of the peninsula; and the Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth
Divisions would stabilize the following provinces respectively:
Hwanghae Province (below Pyongan
Province), Chungcheong Province
(below Gyeonggi Province); Gyeongsang Province (in the southeast
where the Japanese first had landed); and Gyeonggi
Province (where the capital city is located).
Capture of Pyeongyang
The First Division under Konishi Yukinaga proceeded northward, and
sacked Pyongsan, Sohung, Pungsan, Hwangju, and Chunghwa on the way.
Chunghwa, the Third Division under Kuroda Nagamasa joined the
First, and continued to the city of Pyeongyang located behind the Taedong
10,000 Korean troops guarded the city against
30,000 Japanese under various commanders including the Generals Yi
Il and Kim Myong-won, and their defense preparations had assured
that no boats were available for Japanese use.
On the night of July 22, 1592, the Koreans silently crossed the
river and launched a successful surprise attack against the
Japanese encampment. However, this stirred up the rest of the
Japanese army, which attacked the rear of the Korean positions and
destroyed the reinforcements crossing the river. Then the rest of
the Korean troops retreated back to Pyeongyang, and the Japanese
troops gave up their pursuit of the Koreans to observe the way the
Koreans crossed the river.
The next day, using what they had learned from observing the
retreating Korean troops, the Japanese began sending troops to the
other shore over the shallow points in the river, in a systematic
manner, and at this the Koreans abandoned the city over night. On
, the First and Third Divisions
entered the deserted city of Pyeongyang.
Campaigns in the Gangwon Province
Fourth Division under the command of Mōri Yoshinari set out
eastward from the capital city of Hanseong in July, and captured
the fortresses down the eastern coast from Anbyon to Samcheok. The division then turned inward to capture
Jeongseon, Yeongwol, and Pyeongchang, and settled down at the provincial capital of
There Mōri Yoshinari established a civil
administration, systematized social ranks according to the Japanese
model, and conducted land surveys. Shimazu Yoshihiro, one of the generals in
the Fourth Division, arrived at Gangwon late, due to the Umekita Rebellion, and finished the
campaign by securing Chunchon.
Campaigns in the Hamgyong Province and Manchuria
Katō Kiyomasa leading the Second Division of more than 20,000 men,
crossed the peninsula to Anbyon
with a ten
day march, and swept north along the eastern coast. Among the castles
captured was Hamhung, the provincial capital of the Hamgyong Province,
and here a part of the Second Division was allocated for defense
and civil administration.
of the division of 10,000 men continued north, and fought a battle
on August 23 against the southern and
northern Hamgyong armies under the commands of Yi Yong at Songjin
A Korean cavalry division took advantage
of the open field at Songjin, and pushed the Japanese forces into a
grain storehouse. There the Japanese barricaded themselves with
bales of rice, and successfully repelled a formation charge from
the Korean forces with their arquebuses. While the Koreans planned
to renew the battle in the morning, Katō Kiyomasa ambushed them at
night; the Second Division completely surrounded the Korean forces
with the exception of an opening leading to a swamp. Here, those
that fled were trapped and slaughtered.
who fled gave alarms to the other garrisons, allowing the Japanese
troops easily to capture Kilchu, Myongchon, and Kyongsong. The Second Division then turned inland
through Puryong toward Hoeryong where two Korean princes had taken refuge.
On August 30, 1592, the Second Division entered into Hoeryong where
Katō Kiyomasa received the Korean princes and the provincial
governor Yu Yong-rip, these having already been captured by the
local inhabitants. Shortly afterward, a Korean warrior band handed
over the head of an anonymous Korean general, and the General Han
Kuk-ham tied up in ropes.
Kiyomasa then decided to attack a nearby Jurchen castle across the
River in Manchuria to test his
troops against the “barbarians”, as the Koreans called the Jurchens
(“Orangkae” in Korean and “Orangai” in
Japanese – the Japanese derived both the word and the concept of
the Jurchens as barbarians from the Koreans).
with 3,000 men at Hamgyong joined in (with Kato’s army of 8,000),
as the Jurchens periodically raided them across the border. Soon
the combined force sacked the castle, and camped near the border;
after the Koreans left for home, the Japanese troops suffered a
retaliatory assault from the Jurchens. Despite having the
advantage, Katō Kiyomasa retreated with his forces to avoid heavy
losses. Because of this invasion, rising Jurchen leader Nurhachi
offered military assistance to Joseon and
Ming in the war. However, the offer was refused by both countries,
particularly Joseon, citing that it would be disgraceful to accept
assistance from the "Barbarians" to the north.
Second Division continued east, capturing the fortresses of
Jongseong, Onsong, Kyongwon, and Kyonghung, and finally
arrived at Sosupo on the estuary of the Tumen
River. There the Japanese rested on the beach, and
watched a nearby volcanic island rising on the horizon that they
mistook as Mount
After the tour, the Japanese continued
their previous efforts to bureaucratize and administrate the
province, and allowed several garrisons to be handled by the
The naval battles of Admiral Yi
Having secured Pyeongyang, the Japanese planned to cross the
into Jurchen territory, and
use the waters west of the Korean peninsula to supply the invasion.
However, Yi Sun-sin
, who held the post of
the Left Naval Commander (equivalent of "Admiral
” in English) of the Jeolla Province
(which covers the western
waters of Korea), successfully destroyed the Japanese ships
transporting troops and supplies. Thus the Japanese, now lacking
enough arms and troops to carry on the invasion of the Jurchens,
changed the objective of the war to the occupation of Korea.
When the Japanese troops landed at the port of Busan, Bak (also
) Hong, the Left
Naval Commander of the Gyeongsang Province, destroyed his entire
fleet, his base, and all armaments and provisions, and fled.
, the Right Naval Commander, also
destroyed and abandoned his own base, and fled to Konyang with only
four ships. Therefore, there was no Korean naval activity around
the Gyeongsang Province, and the surviving two, out of the four
total navies, were active only on the other (west) side of the
peninsula. Admiral Won later sent a message to Admiral Yi that he
had fled to Konyang after being overwhelmed by the Japanese in a
messenger was sent by Admiral Yi to the nearby island of Namhae to give
Yi’s order for war preparations, only to find it pillaged and
abandoned by its own inhabitants.
As soldiers began to flee
secretly, Admiral Yi ordered “to arrest the escapees" and had two
of the fugitives brought back, beheaded them and had their heads
Admiral Yi's battles greatly affected the war and put significant
strain on Japanese supply routes.
Battle of Okpo
Admiral Yi relied on a network of local fishermen and scouting
boats to receive intelligence of the enemy movements. On the dawn
of June 13, 1592, Admiral Yi and Admiral Yi Eok-gi set sail with 24
, 15 small warships, and 46
boats (i.e. fishing boats), and arrived at the waters of the
Next day, the Jeolla fleet sailed to the arranged location where
Admiral Won was supposed to meet them, and met the admiral on
. The augmented flotilla of 91 ships then
began circumnavigating the Geoje Island, bound for the Gadeok Island, but scouting vessels
detected 50 Japanese vessels at the Okpo
Upon sighting the approaching Korean fleet, some of
the Japanese who had been busying themselves with plundering got
back to their ships, and began to flee. At this, the Korean fleet
encircled the Japanese ships and finished them with artillery
bombardments. The Koreans spotted five more Japanese vessels that
night, and managed to destroy four. The next day, the Koreans
approached 13 Japanese ships at Jeokjinpo as reported by the
intelligence. In the same manner as the previous success at Okpo,
the Korean fleet destroyed 11 Japanese ships – completing the
Battle of Okpo without a loss of a single ship.
Battle of Sacheon and the Turtle Ship
three weeks after the Battle of Okpo, Admirals Yi and Won sailed
with a total of 26 ships (23 under Admiral Yi) toward the Bay of
Sacheon upon receiving an intelligence report of the
Admiral Yi had left behind his fishing
vessels that used to make up most of his fleet in favor of his
newly completed Turtle ship
The turtle ship
was a vessel of a
design with the removal of the
elevated command post, the modification of the gunwales into curved
walls, and the addition of a roof covered in iron spikes (and
hexagonal iron plates, which is disputed). Its walls contained a
total of 36 cannon ports, and also openings, above the cannons,
through which the ship’s crew members could look out and fire their
personal arms. This design also prevented the outsiders from
boarding the ship and aiming at the personnel inside. The ship was
the fastest and most maneuverable existing warship in the East
Asian theater, as it was powered by two sails and 80 oarsmen taking
turns to handle the ship’s 16 oars. No more than six Turtle Ships
served throughout the entire war, and their primary role was to cut
deep into the enemy lines, cause havoc with its cannons, and
destroy the enemy flag ship.
8, 1592, the fleet arrived at the Bay of Sacheon, where the outgoing tide prevented the Korean fleet
Therefore, Admiral Yi ordered the fleet to
feign withdrawal, which the Japanese commander observed from his
tent on a rock. Then the Japanese hurriedly embarked their 12 ships
and pursued the Korean fleet. The Korean navy counterattacked, with
the Turtle Ship in the front, and successfully destroyed all 12
ships. Admiral Yi was shot by a bullet in his left shoulder, but
Battle of Dangpo
On July 10, 1592, the Korean fleet again found and destroyed 21
Japanese ships, which were anchored at Dangpo while the Japanese
raided a coastal town.
Battle of Danghangpo
Admiral Yi Eok-gi with his fleet joined Admirals Yi Sun-sin and Won
Gyun, and participated in a search for enemy vessels in the
Gyonsang waters. On July 13
, the generals
received intelligence that a group of Japanese ships including
those that escaped from the Battle of Dangpo was resting in the Bay
. Having traveled through a
narrow gulf, the Koreans sighted a total of 26 enemy vessels in the
bay. The turtle ship was used to penetrate the enemy formation and
rammed the flagship, while the rest of the Korean fleet held back.
Then Admiral Yi ordered a fake retreat, as the Japanese could
escape to land while in the bay. When the Japanese pursued the
Koreans far enough, the Korean fleet turned and surrounded the
Japanese fleet, with the Turtle Ship again ramming against the
enemy flag ship. The Japanese were unable to counter the Korean
cannons. Only 1 Japanese ship managed to escape from this route,
and that too was caught and destroyed by a Korean ship the next
Battle of Yulpo
On July 15
, the Korean fleet was sailing
east to return to the island of Gadok, and successfully intercepted
and destroyed seven Japanese ships coming out from the Yulpo
Battle of Hansando
In response to the Korean navy's success, Toyotomi Hideyoshi
recalled three admirals from land-based activities: Wakizaka
Yasuharu, Kato Yoshiaki, and Kuki Yoshitaka. They were the only
ones with naval responsibilities in the entirety of the Japanese
invasion forces. However, the admirals arrived in Busan nine days
before Hideyoshi's order was actually issued, and assembled a
squadron to counter the Korean navy. Eventually Admiral Wakizaka
completed his preparations, and his eagerness to win military honor
pushed him to launch an attack against the Koreans without waiting
for the other admirals to finish.
The combined Korean navy of 70 ships under the commands of Admirals
Yi Sun-sin and Yi Ok-gi was carrying out a search-and-destroy
operation because the Japanese troops on land were advancing into
the Jeolla Province
. The Jeolla
Province was the only Korean territory to be untouched by a major
military action, and served as home for the three admirals and the
only active Korean naval force. The admirals considered it best to
destroy naval support for the Japanese to reduce the effectiveness
of the enemy ground troops.
On August 13, 1592, the Korean fleet sailing from the Miruk Island
received local intelligence that a large Japanese fleet was nearby.
The following morning, the Korean fleet spotted the Japanese fleet
of 82 vessels anchored in the straits of Gyeonnaeryang
. Because of the narrowness of
the strait and the hazard posed by the underwater rocks, Admiral Yi
sent six ships to lure out 63 Japanese vessels into the wider sea,
and the Japanese fleet followed. There the Japanese fleet was
surrounded by the Korean fleet in a semicircular formation called
“crane wing” by Admiral Yi. With at least three turtle ships (two
of which were newly-completed) spearheading the clash against the
Japanese fleet, the Korean vessels fired volleys of cannonballs
into the Japanese formation. Then the Korean ships engaged in a
free-for-all battle with the Japanese ships, maintaining enough
distance to prevent the Japanese from boarding; Admiral Yi
permitted melee combats only against severely damaged Japanese
ships. The battle ended in a Korean victory, with Japanese losses
of 59 ships – 47 destroyed and 12 captured. Several Korean
prisoners of war were rescued by the Korean soldiers throughout the
fight. Admiral Wakisaka escaped due to the speed of his flag ship.
When the news of the defeat at the Battle of Hansando reached
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he ordered that the Japanese invasion forces
cease all naval operations.
Battle of Angolpo
On August 16, 1592, Yi Sun-sin led their fleet to the harbor of
Angolpo where 42 Japanese vessels were docked. When Admiral Yi
tried to fake a retreat, the Japanese ships did not follow; in
response, Admiral Yi ordered the Korean ships to take turns
bombarding the Japanese vessels. In fear that the Japanese troops
would take revenge for their losses against the local inhabitants,
Admiral Yi ordered the Korean ships to cease fire against the few
remaining enemy vessels.
From the beginning of the war, the Koreans organized militias
called the "Righteous Army" (의병) to resist the Japanese invasion.
These fighting bands were raised throughout the country, and
participated in battles, guerilla raids, sieges, and the
transportation and construction of wartime necessities.
There were three main types of Korean militias during the war:
first, the surviving and leaderless Korean regular soldiers;
second, the “Righteous Armies” (Uibyong in Korean) consisting of
commoners; and third, the Buddhist monks.
During the first invasion, the Jeolla Province remained the only
untouched area on the Korean peninsula. In addition to the
successful patrols of the sea by Admiral Yi, volunteer activism
pressured the Japanese troops to avoid the province for other
Gwak Jae-u's Campaigns along the Nakdong River
was a famous leader in the
Korean militia movement, and it is widely accepted that he was the
first to form a resistance group against the Japanese invaders. He
was a land-owner in the town of Uiryong situated by the Nam River
in the Gyeongsang Province
. As the Korean
regulars abandoned the town and an attack seemed imminent, Gwak
organized fifty townsmen; however the Third Division went from
Changwon straight toward Songju.
When Gwak used abandoned government
stores to supply his army, the Gyeongsang Province Governor
branded Gwak's group as rebels, and
ordered that it be disbanded. When the general asked for help from
other landowners, and sent a direct appeal to the King, the
governor sent troops against Gwak, in spite of having enough
troubles already with the Japanese. However, an official from the
capital city then arrived to raise troops in the province, and,
since the official lived nearby and actually knew him, he saved
Gwak from troubles with the governor.
Gwak Jae-u deployed his troops in guerilla warfare under the cover
of the tall reeds on the union of the Nakdong
and the Nam Rivers. This strategy
prevented easy access for the Japanese troops to the Jeolla
Province where Admiral Yi and his fleet were stationed.
Battle of Uiryong/Chongjin
The Sixth Division under the command of Kobayakawa Takakage was in
charge of conquering the Jeolla Province. The Sixth Division
marched to Songju through the established Japanese route (i.e. the
Third Division, above), and cut left to Geumsan in Chungcheong, which
Kobayakawa secured as his starting base for his invasion of the
Ankokuji Ekei, a former Buddhist monk made into a general due to
his role in the negotiations between Mōri Terumoto and Toyotomi
Hideyoshi, led the units of the Sixth Division charged with the
invasion of the Jeolla Province. The units began their march to Uiryong at
Changwon, and arrived at the Nam
Ankokuji’s scouts planted meters measuring the
river’s depths so that the entire squadron could cross the river;
over the night, the Korean militiamen moved the meters into the
deeper parts of the river. As the Japanese troops began to cross,
Gwak’s militia ambushed them, and caused heavy losses for the
Japanese. In the end, to advance into the Jeolla Province,
Ankokuji’s men had to try going north around the insecure grounds
and within the security of the Japanese-garrisoned fortresses.
Kaenyong, Ankokuji’s target was changed to Gochang, to be taken with the aid of Kobayakawa
However, the entire Jeolla campaign was then
abandoned when Kim Myeon
and his guerillas
successfully ambushed Ankokuji’s troops by firing arrows from
hidden positions within the mountains.
The Jeolla coalition & the Battle of Yong-in
Japanese troops were advancing to Hanseong (present-day Seoul),Yi Kwang,
the governor of the Jeolla Province, attempted to check the
Japanese progress by launching his army toward the capital
Upon hearing the news that the capital had already
been sacked, the governor withdrew his army. However, as the army
grew in size to 50,000 men with the accumulation of several
volunteer forces, Yi Kwang and the irregular commanders
reconsidered their aim to reclaim Hanseong, and led the combined
forces north to Suwon, 26 miles
(42 km) south of Hanseong.
, an advance guard of 1,900 men attempted to take the nearby
fortress at Yong-in, but the 600 Japanese defenders under Admiral
Wakizaka Yasuharu avoided engagement with the Koreans until
, when the main Japanese troops came to
relieve the fortress. The Japanese troops counterattacked
successfully against the Jeolla coalition, forcing the Koreans to
abandon arms and retreat.
The First Geumsan Campaign
Around the time of General Kwak's mobilization of his volunteer
army in the Gyeongsang Province
in Jeolla Province
formed a volunteer force of
6,000 men. Go then tried to combine his forces with
another militia in the Chungchong
Province, but upon crossing the provincial border he heard that
Kobayakawa Takakage of the Sixth Division had launched an attack on
capital of Jeolla Province) from the
mountain fortress at Geumsan.
Go returned to his own
territory. Having joined forces with General Gwak Yong, Go then led
his soldiers to Geumsan. There, on July 10
the volunteer forces fought with a Japanese army retreating to
Geumsan after a defeat at the Battle of
two days earlier on July 8
Battle of Haengju
The Japanese invasion into Jeolla province was broken down and
pushed back by General Gwon Yul
hills of Ichiryeong, where outnumbered Koreans fought overwhelming
Japanese troops and gained victory. Gwon Yul quickly advanced
northwards, re-taking Suwon and then swung south toward Haengju
where he would wait for the Chinese reinforcements. After he got
the message that the Koreans were annihilated at Byeokje, Gwon Yul
decided to fortify Haengju.
Bolstered by the victory at Byeokje, Katō and his army of 30,000
men advanced to the south of Hanseong to attack Haengju Fortress,
an impressive mountain fortress that overlooked the surrounding
area. An army of a few thousand led by Gwon Yul was garrisoned at
the fortress waiting for the Japanese. Katō believed his
overwhelming army would destroy the Koreans and therefore ordered
the Japanese soldiers to simply advance upon the steep slopes of
Haengju with little planning. Gwon Yul answered the Japanese with
fierce fire from the fortification using Hwachas
, rocks, handguns, and bows. After nine
massive assaults and 10,000 casualties, Katō burned his dead and
finally pulled his troops back.
The Battle of Haengju
important victory for the Koreans, as it greatly improved the
morale of the Korean army. The battle is celebrated today as one of
the three most decisive Korean victories; Battle of Haengju
, Siege of Jinju
, and Battle of Hansando
Today, the site of Haengju fortress has a memorial built to honor
Siege of Jinju
Jinju (진주) was a large castle that defended Jeolla
Province. The Japanese commanders knew that
control of Jinju would mean the fall of Jeolla. Therefore, a large
army under Hosokawa Tadaoki
approached Jinju. Jinju was defended by Kim
(김시민), one of the better generals in Korea, commanding a
Korean garrison of 3,000 men. Kim had recently acquired about 200
new arquebuses that were equal in strength to the Japanese guns.
With the help of arquebuses, cannon, and mortars, Kim and the
Koreans were able to drive back the Japanese from Jeolla Province.
Hosokawa lost over 30,000 men. The battle at Jinju is considered
one of the greatest victories of Korea because it prevented the
Japanese from entering Jeolla.
Intervention of Ming China
Dynasty Emperor Wanli and his
advisers responded to King Seonjo's
request for aid by sending an inadequately small force of 5,000
Ming Dynasty Emperor Wanli
When it became clear that this was not enough, the Ming Emperor
sent a large force in January 1593 under two generals, Song Yingchang
, the latter being of Korean/Jurchen ancestry. The
salvage army had a prescribed strength of 100,000, made up of
42,000 from five northern military districts and a contingent of
3,000 soldiers proficient in the use of firearms from South China.
January 1593, a large force of Chinese soldiers met up outside of
Pyongyang with a group of Korean militias.
Ming Army's matchlocks,an early
muzzle-loaded firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries,.
Seonjo's decree, Ming general Li Rusong was appointed the supreme
commander of armies in Korea. Li then led the allied troops to
victory in the bloody siege of
and drove the Japanese into eastward retreat.
Overconfident with his recent success, Li Rusong personally led a
pursuit with 5,000 mounted troops, along with a small force of
Koreans, but was ambushed near Pyokje by a large Japanese formation
of nearly 40,000. Li escaped when relief force of 5,000 arrived and
the Japanese were officially retreated from Pyongyang.
Negotiations and truce between China and Japan (1594–1596)
Under pressure from the Chinese army
and local militias
, with food supplies cut
off and his forces now reduced by nearly one third from desertion,
disease and death, Konishi was compelled to sue for peace. General
Li Rusong offered General Konishi a chance to negotiate an end to
the hostilities. When negotiations got underway in the spring of
1593, China and Korea agreed to cease hostilities if the Japanese
would withdraw from Korea altogether. General Konishi had no option
but to accept the terms, but he would have a hard time convincing
Hideyoshi that he had no other choice.
Hideyoshi proposed to China the division of Korea: the north as a
self-governing Chinese satellite, and the south to remain in
Japanese hands. The peace talks were mostly carried out by Konishi
Yukinaga, who did most of the fighting against the Chinese. The
offer was taken into consideration until Hideyoshi also demanded
one of the Chinese princesses to be sent as his concubine. Then the
offer was promptly rejected. These negotiations were kept secret
from the Korean Royal Court.
By May 18, 1593, all the Japanese soldiers had retreated back to
Japan. In the summer of 1593, a Chinese delegation visited Japan
and stayed at the court of Hideyoshi for more than a month. The
Ming government withdrew most of its expeditionary force, but kept
16,000 men on the Korean peninsula to guard the truce.
An envoy from Hideyoshi reached Beijing
1594. Most of the Japanese army had left Korea by the autumn of
1596; a small garrison nevertheless remained in Busan. Satisfied
with the Japanese overtures, the imperial court in Beijing
dispatched an embassy to allow Hideyoshi to have the title of "King
of Japan" on condition of complete withdrawal of Japanese forces
Later, Hideyoshi abrogated a negotiation one-sidedly. Peace
negotiations soon broke down and the war entered its second phase
when Hideyoshi sent another invasion force. Early in 1597, both
sides resumed hostilities.
Korean military reorganization
Proposal for military reforms
During the period between the First and Second invasions, the
Korean government had a chance to examine the reasons why they had
been easily overrun by the Japanese. Yu Seong-ryong, the Prime
Minister, spoke out about the Korean disadvantage.
Yu pointed out that Korean castle defenses were extremely weak, a
fact which he had already pointed out before the war. He noted how
Korean castles had incomplete fortifications and walls that were
too easy to scale. He also wanted cannons set up in the walls. Yu
proposed building strong towers with gun turrets for cannons.
Besides castles, Yu wanted to form a line of defenses in Korea. He
proposed to rebuild the series of all enveloping walls and forts
around Seoul. In this kind of defense, the enemy would have to
scale many walls in order to reach Seoul.
Yu also pointed out how efficient the Japanese army was, in that it
took them only one month to reach Seoul, and how well organized
they were. The organized military units the Japanese generals
deployed were a large part of the Japanese success. Yu noted how
the Japanese moved their units in complex maneuvers, often
weakening the enemy with arquebuses, then attacking with melee weapon
. Korean armies often
moved forward as one body without any organization at all.
Military Training Agency
King Seonjo and the Korean court finally began to reform the
military. In September 1593, the Military Training Agency was
established. The agency carefully divided the army into units and
companies. Within the companies were squads of archers,
arquebusers, and edged-weapon users. The agency set up divisional
units in each region of Korea and garrisoned battalions at castles.
The agency, which originally had less than 80 members, soon grew to
One of the most important changes was that both upper class
citizens and slaves were subject to the draft. All males had to
enter military service be trained and familiarized with
It was also around this time that the military scholar Han Gyo
(한교) wrote the martial arts manual Muyejebo
based on the book Ji Xiao Xin Shu
written by the famous
Chinese general Qi Jiguang
Second invasion (1597–1598)
|Army of the Right
|Army of the Left
Hideyoshi was dissatisfied with the first campaign and decided to
attack Korea again. One of the main differences between the first
and second invasions was that conquering China was no longer a goal
for the Japanese. Failing to gain a foothold during Katō Kiyomasa's
Chinese campaign and the full retreat of the Japanese during the
first invasion affected Japanese morale. Hideyoshi and his generals
instead planned to conquer Korea.
Instead of the nine divisions during the earlier invasion, the
armies invading Korea were divided into the Army of the Left and
the Army of the Right, consisting of about 49,600 men and 30,000
Soon after the Chinese ambassadors returned safely to China in
1597, Hideyoshi sent 200 ships with approximately 141,100 men under
the overall command of Kobayakawa
. Japan's second force arrived unopposed on the southern
coast of Gyeongsang Province in 1596. However, the Japanese found
that Korea was both better equipped and ready to deal with an
invasion this time. In addition, upon hearing this news in
China, the imperial court in Beijing appointed Yang Hao (楊鎬) as the supreme
commander of an initial mobilization of 55,000 troops from various
(and sometimes remote) provinces across China, such as
Sichuan, Zhejiang, Huguang, Fujian, and
A naval force of 21,000 was included in the
effort. Rei Huang
, a Chinese historian,
estimated that the combined strength of the Chinese army and navy
at the height of the second campaign was around 75,000.
forces totaled 30,000 with General Gwon
Yul's army in Gong Mountain (공산; 公山) in Daegu, General
Gwon Eung's (권응) troops in Gyeongju, Gwak Jae-u's soldiers in
Changnyeong (창녕), Yi Bok-nam’s (이복남)
army in Naju, and
Yi Si-yun's troops in Chungpungnyeong.
Initially the Japanese found little success, being confined mainly
to Gyeongsang Province and only managing numerous short-range
attacks to keep the much larger Korean and Chinese forces off
balance. All throughout the second invasion Japan would mainly be
on the defensive and locked in at Gyeongsang province. The Japanese planned
to attack Jeolla
Province in the
southwestern part of the peninsula and eventually occupy Jeonju, the
Korean success in the Siege of Jinju
in 1592 had saved this
area from further devastation during the first invasion. Two
Japanese armies, under Mōri
and Ukita Hideie
the assault in Busan and marched towards Jeonju, taking Sacheon and
Changpyong along the way.
Siege of Namwon
located 30 miles southeast of Jeonju.
predicting a Japanese attack, a coalition force of 6,000 soldiers
(including 3,000 Chinese and civilian volunteers) were readied to
fight the approaching Japanese forces. The Japanese laid siege to
the walls of the fortress with ladders and siege towers. The two
sides exchanged volleys of arquebuses and bows. Eventually the
Japanese forces scaled the walls and sacked the fortress. According
to Japanese commander Okochi
, author of the Chosen
, the Siege of Namwon
resulted in 3,726 casualties on the Korean and Chinese forces'
side. The entire Jeolla Province fell under Japanese control, but
as the battle raged on the Japanese found themselves hemmed in on
all sides in a retreat and again positioned in a defensive
perimeter only around Gyeongsang Province.
Battle of Hwangseoksan
Hwangseoksan Fortress consisted of extensive walls that
circumscribed the Hwangseok mountain and garrisoned thousands of
soldiers led by the general Jo Jong-do
and Gwak Jun
. When Katō Kiyomasa
laid siege to the mountain
with a large army, the Koreans lost morale and retreated with 350
casualties. Even with this incident the Japanese were still unable
to break free from Gyeongsang Province and were reduced to holding
a defensive position only, with constant attacks from the Chinese
and Korean forces.
Korean naval operations (1597–1598)
A naval battle.
Close combat was very rare during Admiral Yi's
The Korean navy played a crucial part in the second invasion, as in
the first. The Japanese advances were halted due to the lack of
reinforcements and supplies as the naval victories of the Korean
navy prevented the Japanese from accessing the south-western side
of the Korean peninsula. Also, during the second invasion, China
sent a large number of Chinese ships to aid the Koreans. This made
the Korean navy an even bigger threat to the Japanese, since they
had to fight a larger enemy fleet.
Plot against Admiral Yi
Initially, Korea was setback in the naval arena when Won Gyun
took Admiral Yi's place as
Because Admiral Yi, the commander of the Korean navy, was so able
in naval warfare, the Japanese plotted to demote him by making use
of the laws that governed the Korean military. A Japanese double
agent working for the Koreans falsely reported that Japanese
General Katō Kiyomasa
coming on a certain date with a great Japanese fleet in another
attack on Korean shores, and insisted that Admiral Yi be sent to
lay an ambush.
Knowing that the area had sunken rocks detrimental to the ships,
Admiral Yi refused, and he was demoted and jailed by King Seonjo
for refusing orders. On top of this,
Admiral Won Gyun accused Admiral Yi of drinking and idling. Won
Gyun was quickly put in Admiral Yi's place.
Battle of Chilchonryang
After Won Gyun replaced Admiral Yi, Won Gyun gathered the entire
Korean fleet, which now had more than 100 ships carefully
accumulated by Admiral Yi, outside of Yosu to search for the
Japanese. Without any previous preparations or planning, Won Gyun
had his fleet sail towards Busan.
After one day, Won Gyun was informed of a large Japanese fleet near
Busan. He decided to attack immediately, although captains
complained of their exhausted soldiers.
At the Battle of
, Won Gyun was completely outmaneuvered by the
Japanese in a surprise attack. His ships were overwhelmed by
arquebus fire and the Japanese traditional boarding attacks.
However, before the battle, Bae Soel, an officer, ran away with 13
Panokseons, the entire fighting force of the Korean navy for many
It should be noted that the Battle of Chilchonryang was Japan's
only naval victory of the war. Won Gyun was killed by a Japanese
garrison after he struggled ashore on an island.
Battle of Myeongnyang
After the debacle in Chilcheollyang, King
immediately reinstated Admiral Yi. Admiral Yi quickly
returned to Yeosu only to find his entire navy destroyed. Yi
re-organized the navy, now reduced to 12 ships and 200 men from the
previous battle. Nonetheless, Admiral Yi's strategies did not
waver, and on September 16, 1597, he fought against a Japanese
fleet consisting of 333 ships (133 warships, 200 logistical ships)
with only 12 ships of his own in the Myeongnyang Strait
. The Battle of Myeongnyang resulted in a
Korean victory and the Japanese were forced to return to Busan, under the
orders of Mōri Hidemoto.
Admiral Yi won back the control of
the Korean shores. The Battle of Myeongnyang is considered Admiral
Yi's greatest battle because of the disparity of numbers.
Siege of Ulsan
Korean and Chinese soldiers assault
the Japanese-built fortress at Ulsan.
By late 1597, the Joseon and Ming allied forces achieved victory in
and pushed the Japanese further
south. After the news of the loss at Myeongnyang,
Katō Kiyomasa and his retreating
army decided to destroy Gyeongju, the former capital of Unified Silla.
Eventually, Japanese forces sacked the city
and many artifacts and temples were destroyed, most prominently,
the Bulguksa, a Buddhist temple.
However, Joseon and Ming
allied forces repulsed the Japanese forces who retreated south to
Ulsan, a harbor that had been an important Japanese trading post a
century before, and which Katō had chosen as a strategic
Yet Admiral Yi's control of the areas over the Korea Strait
permitted no supply ships to reach the western side of the Korean
peninsula, into which many extensive tributaries merge. Without
provisions and reinforcements, the Japanese forces had to remain in
the coastal fortresses known as wajō
that they still controlled. To gain
advantage of the situation, the Chinese and Korean coalition forces
attacked Ulsan. This siege was the first major offensive from the
Chinese and Korean forces in the second phase of the war.
The effort of the Japanese garrison (about 7,000 men) of Ulsan was
largely dedicated to its fortification in preparation for the
expected attack. Katō Kiyomasa assigned command and defense of the
base to Katō Yasumasa, Kuki Hirotaka, Asano Nagayoshi, and others
before proceeding to Sosaengpo. The Chinese Ming and Korean army
first assault on January 29, 1598, caught the Japanese army
unawares and still encamped, for the large part, outside Ulsan's
A total of around 36,000 troops with the help of singijeons
nearly succeeded in sacking the fortress, but reinforcements under
the overall command of Mōri
came across the river to aid the besieged fortress and
prolonged the hostilities. Later, the Japanese troops were running
out of food and victory was imminent for the allied forces, but
Japanese reinforcements arrived from the rear of the Chinese and
Korean troops and forced them to a stalemate. After several losses,
however, Japan's position in Korea had significantly
Battle of Sacheon
During the autumn of 1597, the Korean and Chinese allies prevented
the Japanese forces from reaching Jiksan (present-day Cheonan).
Without any hope of conquering Korea, the Japanese commanders
prepared to retreat. From the beginning of the spring of 1598, the
Korean forces and 100,000 Chinese soldiers began to retake castles
on the coastal areas. The Wanli
of China sent a fleet under the artillery expert
in May 1598; this naval
force saw action in joint operations with the Koreans against the
Japanese navy. In June 1598, after Commander Konishi Yukinaga
's warning of the dire
situations in the campaign, 70,000 troops were withdrawn and 60,000
troops were left behind — mostly Satsuma
soldiers under the Shimazu clan
commanders Shimazu Yoshihiro and
his son Tadatsune. The remaining Japanese forces fought
desperately, turning back Chinese attacks on Suncheon and
Chinese believed that Sacheon was crucial in their program to retake the lost
castles and ordered an attack.
Although the Chinese were
ascendant initially, the tide of battle turned when Japanese
reinforcements attacked the rear of the Chinese army and the
Japanese soldiers inside the fortress counter-attacked through the
gates. The Chinese Ming forces retreated with 30,000 losses.
However, numerous assaults on the Japanese position in the coastal
fortresses weakened the Japanese forces and they retreated from the
Death of Hideyoshi
On September 18, 1598, Hideyoshi ordered the withdrawal of forces
from Korea on his deathbed. The Council of Five Elders
Hideyoshi's death a secret to preserve morale and sent the decree
to withdraw to the Japanese commanders in late October.
Battle of Noryang Point
The Battle of Noryang Point was the final naval battle in the war.
The Korean navy under Admiral Yi had recovered from its losses and
was aided by the Chinese navy under Chen
. Intelligence reports revealed that 500 Japanese ships were
anchored in the narrow straits of Noryang in order to withdraw the
remaining Japanese troops. Noting the narrow geography of the area,
Admiral Yi and Chen Lin led a surprise attack against the Japanese
fleet at 2:00 am on December 16, 1598, using cannons and fire arrow
By dawn, nearly half of the Japanese battle ships were destroyed;
as the Japanese began to withdraw, Admiral Yi ordered the final
charge to destroy the remaining ships. As Yi's flagship sped
forward, he was shot on the left side of his chest under the arm.
This was the third time he was shot throughout the war. Yi told his
captains to keep his death secret and to continue the battle so
that the morale of the soldiers would not drop. Admiral Yi died in
minutes. Only three nearby captains, including his nephew, saw his
The battle ended with an allied victory and a Japanese loss of
nearly 250 battleships out of the original 500. Only after the
battle did the soldiers learn of Yi's death, and it is said that
Chen Lin was so shocked when he heard the news of his death, he
fell down many times on his way and lamented that Yi died in his
As Tsushima suffered greatly from its loss of trade with Korea as a
result of the invasions, Yoshitoshi of the Sō family, then dominant
in Tsushima, sent four peace negotiation missions to Korea in 1599:
the first three were captured and sent to Beijing by Chinese
troops, but the fourth one in 1601 successfully obtained from Seoul
the condition of returning the Korean captives for peace. However,
the major incentive for Korea toward normalization of relations
with Japan was the withdrawal of the Chinese soldiers, which could
result from the normalization, since the Chinese themselves were
causing as much havoc as the Japanese had. Yoshitoshi then released
several Korean prisoners and, between the years 1603 and 1604,
helped the two Korean envoys in repatriating a further 3,000 by
organizing a negotiation at Kyoto with Tokugawa Ieyasu
, then the Shogun
In continuation of the diplomatic talks toward peaceful relations,
Korea in 1606 demanded that the Shogun write a formal letter
requesting peace, and that the Japanese soldiers who had defiled
the royal tombs in Seoul be extradited. Unable to fulfill the
request, Yoshitoshi sent a forged letter and a group of criminals
instead; despite the apparent fraud, the great need to dispel the
Chinese soldiers pushed the Koreans to send an embassy in 1608. The
end result of the visit was a return of hundreds of Koreans as well
as the restoration of the diplomatic relations between the two
Aftermath and conclusion
Admiral Yi's headquarters were located here.
The Japanese invasions were Asia's first regional wars involving
massive armies equipped with modern weapons. The regular deployment
of Japanese armies sizing up to 200,000, Chinese armies in the
80,000 range at the most, and the regular and irregular Korean
participation in the hundreds of thousands rivaled the troop
strength of European armies in the Thirty Years War
invasions also stood as a challenge to the existing Chinese world
order on two levels: the military, in which the war reaffirmed
Ming's status as
the supreme military power in East Asia,
and the political, in which the war affirmed Chinese willingness to
aid in the protection of its tributary states.
If the theory that Hideyoshi attempted to conquer China (as opposed
to the thesis that Hideyoshi dealt with the goal of the
"Japanocentric world order" in more realistic yet theoretical
terms) holds true, it is important to note that the geopolitical
position of Korea as the bridge between China and Japan caused the
war to happen completely on the Korean peninsula (the same holds
true for the First Sino-Japanese
, the Mongol invasions
in reverse, and the Korean
Losses and gains
Japan achieved technological transfer from Korea, such as new
methods of pottery/silk making/iron forging, etc at the cost of
thousands of lives and large sums of national wealth. After
Hideyoshi's death his son Toyotomi
became head of the Toyotomi
. In fact these two invasions weakened the clan's power and
prestige and in a matter of months, Japan was split again. Tokugawa
Ieyasu later won the decisive Battle of Sekigahara
himself as Shogun
to bear the financial burden from defending Korea, all the while
fighting a new war with the Manchus (which would culminate in the
rise of the Qing
As for Korea, which withstood the most damage out of the three,
this conflict was more devastating than any other event in its
history (even the Korean War
of arable land to sixty-six percent of the prewar total greatly
hurt Korea's mainly agricultural economy; famine, disease, and
rebellions ran rampant in Korea. Significant losses of historical
archives, cultural and scientific artifacts (such as the water clock Ja-gyuk-roo
), and skilled
artisans marked the nadir of Korean science
The total military and civilian casualty as estimated by the late
19th century historian, Geo H. Jones, is 1 million, and the total
combat casualty ranges around 250,000. A total of 185,738 Korean
and 29,014 Chinese casualties occurred, and 50 to 60,000 captives
were taken by the Japanese throughout the war. Among those
captured, a total of 7,500 were returned to Korea through
diplomatic means. A large portion of the captives were sold to
European traders — mainly Portuguese, who then resold them in
The captives brought to Japan, including scholars, craftsmen,
medicine makers, and gold smelters, provided to Japan many cultural
and technological gains. It is not surprising that Japanese pottery
and art developed a significant similarity to their Korean
began with Korean
fonts and technicians along with the adoption of the western
techniques. The first production of porcelain (Arita) in Japan began in 1616 at the town
of Imari when a
Korean potter called Yi Sam-pyong discovered kaolin-rich
As Korean pottery
highly prized in Japan, many Japanese lords established
pottery-producing kilns with the captured Korean potters in Kyūshū
and other parts of Japan, and these communities were forced to
maintain their Korean traditions and to keep away from the rest of
Cruelty and war crimes
According to Stephen
, a historian specializing in Japanese history,
Japanese troops committed crimes against civilians in battles and
killed indiscriminately, including farm animals. Outside of the
main battles, Japanese raided Korean habitations to “kill, rape and
steal in a… cruel manner…” Japanese soldiers treated their own
peasants no better than the captured Koreans and worked many to
death by starvation and flogging
Japanese collected enough ears and noses (cutting ears off of enemy
bodies for making casualty counts was an accepted practice) to
build a large mound near Hideyoshi’s Great Buddha, called the
Mimizuka, or “the Mound of Ears”.
The Chinese, as claimed by Turnbull, were said to be no better than
the Japanese in the amount of destruction they caused and the
degree of the crimes they committed. Turnbull claimed they even
attacked Korean forces, and they did not distinguish between Korean
civilians and the Japanese. He argued that military competition resulted
between the Chinese generals and the Koreans, and supposedly led to
the indiscriminate killing of Korean civilians in Namhae by the
Chinese soldiers, whom the Chinese General Chen Lin labelled as Japanese collaborators
in order to gain a larger head count.
took advantage of the chaos during the
war to form raiding parties and rob other Koreans. The inhabitants
of Hamgyong Province (in the northern part of the Korean peninsula)
surrendered their fortresses, turning in their generals and
governing officials to the Japanese invaders, as they felt
oppressed by the Joseon government. Many Korean generals and
government officials deserted their posts whenever danger seemed
The war left significant legacies in all three countries. Korea
gained several national heroes. Admiral Yi was and
still is a subject of reverence in Japan: for example, Admiral Togo, famed for his
success at the Battle of
Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War, called Admiral Yi the
greatest naval commander in history.
In appreciation of the
Chinese aid, the Koreans built a sacrificial altar for the Chinese
Emperor Wanli, and held rituals for the emperor. In Chinese
academia, historians list the war as one of the Wanli Emperor's
"Three Great Punitive Campaigns". Contemporary Chinese historians
often use the campaigns as an example of the friendship the two
nations shared. Contemporary Japanese leaders justified the war
with a previous incursion into Korea led by the mythical Empress Jingu
in 400 AD, claiming that they
were being blessed by the god of war, Hachiman
, whom Empress Jingu carried in her womb
during her invasion. This temporary and partial occupation of Korea
fixed a Japanese argument that Korea had always been part of Japan,
and the Japanese leaders of the late 19th and the early 20th
centuries used the war to justify their occupation of Korea
Today, anti-Japanese sentiment can be traced back to the Japanese
invasions in 1592.
Hideyoshi's former castle at Osaka was restored as a museum in the
1930s to commemorate Japan's military history. In the context of
invasions are seen as the first Japanese attempt to become a global
power. In China (as well as Korea), the war inspired nationalistic
resistance against the Japanese imperialism during the 20th
Despite the great enthusiasm for the war in East Asia, the Japanese
invasions of Korea are not widely known in the west. Historian
Stephen Turnbull attributes this ignorance to titles such as
Hideyoshi's Invasions of Korea
(merely an extended part of
and the Japanese invasions of Korea
(simply a larger
repeat of the Japanese wakō
absent the distinction as a "war". Some textbooks treat the war
with a few lines, and to date not a single complete academic study
on the subject exists in English. Historian Kenneth M. Swope lists
a near exception: Samurai Invasion: Japan’s Korean War
by Stephen Turnbull, but criticizes the work for
undercoverage of the Korean and Chinese perspective, and for its
- Note: All websites are listed here
independently from the References section.
- Swope. 2002. pp. 761
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 21
- Swope. 2002. pp. 758-9
- Jang, Pyun-soon. pp. 123-132
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 7
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 10-11
- Villiers pp. 71
- Alagappa, Muthiah pp. 117
- Sansom, George. pp. 142, 167-180.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 11.
- Swope. 2002. pp. 771
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 13.
- Arano pp. 206.
- Swope. 2002. pp. 760
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 37
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 23
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 24
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 38
- Swope. 2005. pp. 21.
- The Book of Corrections: Reflections on the National Crisis
during the Japanese Invasion of Korea, 1592–1598. By Sôngnyong Yu.
Translated by Choi Byonghyon. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian
Studies, University of California, 2002. xi, 249 pp. James B.
Lewis. The Journal of Asian Studies, Volume 63, Issue
02, May 2004, pp 524-526. doi: 10.1017/S0021911804001378, Published
online by Cambridge University Press February 26, 2007.
- Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 240
- Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 240-1
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 34.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 28.
- Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 242
- Jang, Pyun-soon. pp. 112
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 36.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 36-37.
- Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 242-3
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 38.
- Swope. 2002. pp. 760-1
- Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 243
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 26
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 9.
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. pp. 14
- Swope. 2005. pp. 32.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 26.
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 3
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 22.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 187.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 26.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 15.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 16.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 17-18.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 20.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 40.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 42.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 109.
- Hawley, Samuel. pp. 3–7.
- Hawley, Samuel. pp. 6.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 30.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 29.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 37.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 38.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 28.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 24.
- Brown, Delmer M., pp. 252
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 9
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 10
- Brown, Delmer M., pp. 243
- George Sanson (1961) A History of Japan 1334-1615,
Stanford University Press, p. 352, based on the archives of
- based on the archives of Shimazu clan
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 47.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 48.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 83-4.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 50-1.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 52.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 55-6.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 56-7.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 53.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 53-4.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 57-8.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 59-60.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 61-2.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 63-4.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 65-6.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 67-8.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 69-70.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 71.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 72-3.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 240.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 73-4.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 74-5.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 75-6.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 77-8.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 79-80.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 81-82.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 82.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 85-6.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 90-1.
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 11
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 90-2.
- Hawley, Samuel: The Imjin War. Japan's Sixteenth-Century
Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China, The Royal
Asiatic Society, Korea Branch, Seoul 2005, ISBN 89-954424-2-5,
- Turnbull, Stephen: Samurai Invasion. Japan’s Korean War
1592-98 (London, 2002), Cassell & Co ISBN 0-304-35948-3,
- Roh, Young-koo: "Yi Sun-shin, an Admiral Who Became a Myth",
The Review of Korean Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3 (2004),
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 12
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 93.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 94-5.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 96-7.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 98-107.
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 13
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 14
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 1-8-9.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 110-5.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 116-123.
- The Home Front
- 브리태니커백과사전. 정유재란 (丁酉再亂)
- Korean History Project - Where the Past is Always Present.
Song of the Great Peace
- Hawley, The Imjin War, op. cit,
- Huang, Ray, "The Lung-ch'ing and Wan-li Reigns, 1567–1620." in
The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 7, The Ming
Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part I, edited by Denis Twitchett and John
Farbank. Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 572.
- Huang, Ray, "The Lung-ch'ing and Wan-li Reigns, 1567–1620." in
The Cambridge History of Chani. Vol. 7, The Ming
Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part I, edited by Denis Twitchett and John
Farbank. Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 572.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 191.
- 脇坂紀, 太田 藤四郎 and 塙 保己一, editors, 続群書類従 [Zoku Gunsho Ruiju
Series], 1933, p. 448.
- This refers to a record of the number of noses collected, as
samurai were paid according to how many noses they collected, both
from the living and the dead, in contrast to the more traditional
practice of collecting heads.
- Hidemoto, Okochi, 朝鮮記 [Chosen Ki], 太田 藤四郎 and 塙 保己一, editors,
続群書類従 [Zoku Gunsho Ruiju Series], 1933
- Lee, Ki-Baik, A New History of Korea, Translated by
Edward W. Wagner and Edward J. Shultz, Ilchorak/Harvard University
Press, 1984, p. 214, ISBN 0-674-61575-1.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 182–183.
- 桑 田忠親 [Kuwata, Tadachika], ed., 旧参謀本部編纂, [Kyu Sanbo Honbu],
朝鮮の役 [Chousen no Eki] (日本の戦史 [Nihon no Senshi] Vol. 5), 1965,
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 202,
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 203.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 204–205.
- 文禄\u12539 ・慶長役における被虜人の研究, 東京大学出版, 1976, p. 128, ASIN
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 215.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 219.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 220–221.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 222.
- The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition; 2006 - Hideyoshi
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 227.
- pg. 111 Woongjinweewinjungi #14 Yi Sun-shin by Baek
Sukgi. (C) Woongjin Publishing Co., Ltd.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 235.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 13.
- Swope. 2006. pp. 186.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 13-14.
- Swope. 2002. pp. 757
- Swope. 2002. pp. 781
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 233.
- Kim, Yung-sik. pp. 55
- Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 254
- Arano pp. 197.
- Arano pp. 199.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 230.
- Sohn, pp. 102.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 231.
- Arano pp. 198.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 169.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, pp. 206-7.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 195.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 236-7.
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 170.
- Strauss, Barry. pp. 20
- Turnbull, Stephen. 2002, p. 236.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 16.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 12.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 14.
- Swope. 2005. pp. 15.
- Swope 15
- Alagappa, Muthiah. "Asian Security Order: Instrumental and
Normative Features", Stanford University Press, 2003. ISBN
- Arano, Yasunori. "The Formation of a Japanocentric World
Order." International Journal of Asian Studies 2:2
- Brown, Delmer M. "The Impact of Firearms on Japanese Warfare,
1543-1598", The Far Eastern Quarterly May 1948 (Volume 7,
Number 3: pp. 236-253), Association for Asian Studies.
- Eikenberry, Karl W. "The Imjin War." Military Review
68:2 (February 1988), pp. 74–82.
- Ha, Tae-hung, tr., and Sohn Pow-key, ed. Nanjung Ilgi: War
Diary of Admiral Yi Sun-sin. Seoul: Yonsei University Press,
1977, ISBN 89-7141-018-3.
- Hawley, Samuel, The Imjin War, The Royal Asiatic
Society, Korea Branch/UC Berkeley Press, 2005, ISBN
- Jang, Pyun-soon. Noon-eu-ro Bo-nen Han-gook-yauk-sa 5:
Gor-yeo Si-dae (눈으로 보는 한국역사 5: 고려시대), Park Doo-ui, Bae
Keum-ram, Yi Sang-mi, Kim Ho-hyun, Kim Pyung-sook, et al., Joog-ang
Gyo-yook-yaun-goo-won. 1998-10-30. Seoul, Korea.
- Jones, Geo H. "The Japanese Invasion of Korea - 1592", The
China Review, or notes & queries on the Far East, 1899
(Volume 23, Number 4-5: pp. 215-219, pp. 239-254), China
- Kim, Ki-chung. "Resistance, Abduction, and Survival: The
Documentary Literature of the Imjin War (1592–8)." Korean
Culture 20:3 (Fall 1999), pp. 20–29.
- Kim, Yung-sik. "Problems and Possibilities in the Study of the
History of Korean Science". Osiris, 2nd Series, Vol. 13,
Beyond Joseph Needham: Science, Technology, and Medicine in East
and Southeast Asia. (1998), pp. 48–79. JSTOR
- 桑田忠親 [Kuwata, Tadachika], ed., 舊參謀本部編纂, [Kyu Sanbo Honbu], 朝鮮の役
[Chousen no Eki] (日本の戰史 [Nihon no Senshi] Vol. 5), 1965.
- Neves, Jaime Ramalhete. "The Portuguese in the Im-Jim War?"
Review of Culture 18 (1994), pp. 20–24.
- Niderost, Eric. “Turtleboat Destiny: The Imjin War and Yi Sun
Shin.” Military Heritage 2:6 (June 2001),
pp. 50–59, 89.
- Niderost, Eric. "The Miracle at Myongnyang, 1597." Osprey
Military Journal 4:1 (January 2002), pp. 44–50.
- Park, Yune-hee. Admiral Yi Sun-shin and His Turtleboat
Armada: A Comprehensive Account of the Resistance of Korea to the
16th Century Japanese Invasion. Seoul: Shinsaeng Press,
- Rockstein, Edward D., Ph.D. Strategic And Operational
Aspects of Japan's Invasions of Korea 1592-1598, 1993-6-18.
Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
- Sadler, A.L. "The Naval Campaign in the Korean War of Hideyoshi
(1592–1598)." Transactions of the
Asiatic Society of Japan, Second Series, 14 (June 1937),
- Sansom, George. A History of Japan 1334-1615, Stanford
University Press. (1961) ISBN 0-8047-0525-9
- Sohn, Pow-key. "Early Korean Painting", Journal of American
Oriental Society, Vol. 79, No. 2. (April - June, 1959),
pp. 96–103. JSTOR.
- Stramigioli, Giuliana. "Hideyoshi's Expansionist Policy on the
Asiatic Mainland." Transactions of the
Asiatic Society of Japan, Third Series, 3 (December 1954),
- Strauss, Barry. "Korea's Legendary General", MHQ: The
Quarterly Journal of Military History Summer 2005 (Volume 17,
Number 4: pp. 52-61).
- Swope, Kenneth M. "Beyond Turtleboats: Siege Accounts from
Hideyoshi's Second Invasion of Korea, 1597-1598", Sungkyun
Journal of East Asian Studies (Vol. 6, No. 2. 2006 Academy
of East Asian Studies. pp. 177-206)
- Swope, Kenneth M. "Crouching Tigers, Secret Weapons: Military
Technology Employed During the Sino-Japanese-Korean War,
1592-1598", The Journal of Military History pp. 69
(January 2005): pp. 11-42. (C) Society for Military
- Swope, Kenneth M. "Deceit, Disguise, and Dependence: China,
Japan, and the Future of the Tributary System, 1592-1596". The
International History Review, XXIV. 4: December 2002,
- Turnbull, Stephen. Samurai Invasion: Japan’s Korean War
1592–98. London: Cassell & Co, 2002, ISBN
- Turnbull, Stephen. 'The Samurai Sourcebook'. London: Cassell
& Co. 1998. ISBN 1854095234.
- Villiers, John. "SILK AND SILVER: MACAU, MANILA AND TRADE IN
THE CHINA SEAS IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY" (A lecture delivered to
the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society at the Hong Kong
Club. 10 June 1980). The HKUL Digital Initiatives
- Yi, Min-Woong [이민웅], Imjin Wae-ran Haejeonsa: The Naval
Battles of the Imjin War [임진왜란 해전사], Chongoram Media [청어람미디어],
2004, ISBN 89-89722-49-7.