By Samuel Hawley
“Magnificent!” (South China Morning Post)
“A superb read!” (JoongAng day-by-day News)
“The scope is actually vast!” (Seoul Magazine)
“Like a prelude to Shogun!"(StrategyPage.com)
“A feast!” (Shogun-ki)
In may perhaps of 1592, jap dictator Toyotomi Hideyoshi despatched a 158,800-man military of invasion from Kyushu to Pusan on Korea’s southern tip. His target: to overcome Korea, then China, after which the entire of Asia. The ensuing seven years of scuffling with, recognized in Korea as imjin waeran, the “Imjin invasion,” after the 12 months of the water dragon during which it all started, dwarfed modern conflicts in Europe and was once essentially the most devastating wars to grip East Asia some time past thousand years.
The Imjin War is the main complete account ever released in English of this cataclysmic occasion, so little identified within the West. It starts with the political and cultural historical past of Korea, Japan and China, explores the diplomatic deadlock that ended in the struggle, describes each significant incident and conflict from 1592 to 1598 and introduces a desirable solid of characters alongside the best way. there's Hideyoshi, internet hosting backyard events as his armies march towards Beijing; Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin, rising from a jail telephone to tackle the japanese army with simply 13 ships; chinese language commander Zhao Chengxun, pain defeat after promising to “scatter the japanese to the 4 winds”; the courtesan Chu Non-gae, luring a samurai into her palms after which leaping into the Nam River with him locked in her embrace.
One country scuffling with to extend, one other to outlive. Shockwaves extending throughout China and past. The Imjin War is an epic story of grand point of view and intimate aspect of an upheaval that may form East Asia for hundreds of years to come.
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Additional resources for The Imjin War: Japan's Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China
Why was Oda Nobunaga such a successful conqueror? Because he was unconventional. To begin with, he did not rely on traditional samurai armies, mounted on costly horses, wielding expensive swords and wearing fancy lacquered armor. Instead he based his army upon the lowly ashigaru, the foot soldier. They could be easily recruited from the peasantry, they were cheap to arm, and they were easy to train. Second, Nobunaga’s forces were highly mobile. By improving roads, building bridges, and installing troop-ferrying ships on Lake Biwa, Nobunaga was able to move his armies around central Honshu with a speed that confounded his enemies.
Hideyoshi’s boundless confidence and ambition certainly had a good deal to do with the decision. But there was also a measure of strategic reasoning involved. To seize Korea was merely to chip a piece off the periphery of the Chinese empire, a piece that would likely cost him a good deal in men and wealth. After the task was complete, he would then have to rebuild his army before setting out to chip off another piece elsewhere. On the other hand, if he sent his forces in a rapid thrust through Korea to take Beijing, the entire world that the Ming Chinese presided over would fall to him.
If such concerns were in Hideyoshi’s mind—and it is hard to believe they were not—then to extend his conquests overseas might have been seen as a logical response. By replacing the goal of national unification with Asian domination, Hideyoshi could keep his daimyo busy serving his will rather than their own (with the promise, of course, of huge new territories to be divided up) and the people and resources in their domains working hard to achieve his new national purpose. In this way internal stability could be maintained and time purchased for Hideyoshi and his heirs to solidify their grip on the country.