By Kenneth M. Swope
The invasion of Korea through jap troops in may possibly of 1592 was once no usual army excursion: it used to be one of many decisive occasions in Asian background and the main tragic for the Korean peninsula until eventually the mid-twentieth century. jap overlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi expected conquering Korea, Ming China, and finally all of Asia; yet Korea’s entice China’s Emperor Wanli for information prompted a six-year conflict regarding millions of squaddies and encompassing the full zone. For Japan, the battle was once “a dragon’s head through a serpent’s tail”: a powerful starting with out genuine ending.
Kenneth M. Swope has undertaken the 1st full-length scholarly learn in English of this significant clash. Drawing on Korean, eastern, and particularly chinese language resources, he corrects the Japan-centered standpoint of past debts and depicts Wanli now not because the self-indulgent ruler of got interpretations yet fairly one actively engaged in army affairs—and involved particularly with rescuing China’s customer nation of Korea. He places the Ming in a extra lively gentle, detailing chinese language siege battle, the advance and deployment of cutting edge army applied sciences, and the naval battles that marked the climax of the struggle. He additionally explains the war’s repercussions open air the army sphere—particularly the dynamics of intraregional international relations in the shadow of the chinese language tributary system.
What Swope calls the 1st nice East Asian warfare marked either the emergence of Japan’s wish to expand its sphere of impact to the chinese language mainland and an army revival of China’s dedication to protecting its pursuits in Northeast Asia. Swope’s account bargains new perception not just into the heritage of struggle in Asia but in addition right into a clash that reverberates in diplomacy to this day.
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Extra resources for A Dragon's Head and a Serpent's Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 (Campaigns and Commanders Series)
They used cannon for attack and defense and for both mobile and stationary warfare. 12 Ming forces also made extensive use of firearms on warships, a practice that would serve them well in the fight against the Japanese. According to Fan Zhongyi, the increased use of firearms was perhaps the single-most important aspect of Ming military development as a step toward a more modern style of warfare. Sun Laichen has gone further, calling the Ming the world’s first true gunpowder empire, making a case for China being the primary exporter of this technology throughout Asia prior to 1500.
His younger sons Li Ruzhang and Li Rumei had already earned distinction in the military, as had their cousin, Li Ruwu. The family was greatly feared and respected along the northern frontiers. 42 His recommendation immediately sparked controversy. The Li family had made quite a few enemies over the years, both because of their great regional power in northeast China and because of their disdain for traditional Confucian sensibilities. In addition, they were tainted by their association with the now discredited Zhang Juzheng.
There was never any grand design for overarching conquest by any one power, even Tang China. And while events on the Korean peninsula certainly influenced developments in China and Japan, they did not fundamentally alter subsequent historical developments, at least outside the peninsula. Swope FM-End 10 10/19/09 3:39 PM Page 10 INTRODUCTION and a stable Korean frontier afforded them the opportunity to concentrate on other military problems. Had they formally colonized Korea, the results may well have been more problematic for the Chinese, but the overall course of Tang history most likely would not have changed all that much.