By Kenneth M. Swope
The invasion of Korea via jap troops in may perhaps of 1592 was once no usual army excursion: it used to be one of many decisive occasions in Asian historical past and the main tragic for the Korean peninsula until eventually the mid-twentieth century. eastern overlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi expected conquering Korea, Ming China, and finally all of Asia; yet Korea’s entice China’s Emperor Wanli for tips caused a six-year conflict related to thousands of squaddies and encompassing the complete sector. For Japan, the conflict was once “a dragon’s head via a serpent’s tail”: a powerful starting with out actual ending.
Kenneth M. Swope has undertaken the 1st full-length scholarly examine in English of this significant clash. Drawing on Korean, eastern, and particularly chinese language resources, he corrects the Japan-centered point of view of prior bills and depicts Wanli now not because the self-indulgent ruler of acquired interpretations yet fairly one actively engaged in army affairs—and involved particularly with rescuing China’s patron nation of Korea. He places the Ming in a extra full of life mild, detailing chinese language siege conflict, the improvement and deployment of cutting edge army applied sciences, and the naval battles that marked the climax of the battle. He additionally explains the war’s repercussions outdoor 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 effect to the chinese language mainland and an army revival of China’s dedication to protecting its pursuits in Northeast Asia. Swope’s account deals new perception not just into the heritage of war in Asia but additionally right into a clash that reverberates in diplomacy to this day.
Read or Download A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 PDF
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Additional info for A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598
Thus in the spring of 1592, Pubei found himself swept into a troop mutiny of the Ningxia garrison instigated by a Chinese officer named Liu Dongyang (though the rebellion is usually attributed to Pubei and his sons, most likely because of their Mongol ancestry). The mutineers killed Dang and a subordinate, burned and looted government offices in the city, and quickly seized some forty-seven outlying frontier fortresses. 37 The rebellion was reported to the throne on April 19, 1592, by a Shaanxi surveillance official, who reported that the entire province was in an uproar and only a single official (Xiao Ruxun at Pingluo) was resisting the mutineers with any degree of success.
In China the war has been called the yuan Chaoxian (the Rescue of Korea) or the dong zheng (Eastern Expedition). This war was the single largest military conflict in the world during the sixteenth century. The Japanese mobilized more than 150,000 troops for their first invasion in 1592 and more than 140,000 for their second major invasion in 1597. Ming China provided in excess of 40,000 troops to help Korea in 1592 and more than twice that many in 1597, even as hundreds of thousands of its soldiers were simultaneously engaged in quelling uprisings at home.
Wang Dewan, the supervising secretary for the Office of Scrutiny in the Ministry of War, opposed Li Chengliang’s appointment on the grounds that the general was too distant (in Liaodong) and had already retired from active service—to give him a new post violated policy. Swope FM-End 30 10/19/09 3:39 PM Page 30 A DRAGON’S HEAD AND A SERPENT’S TAIL it was just this kind of savagery that would enable the Li to prevail. Besides, he continued, their authority would only be temporary. ” Other officials also vouched for the Li family too.
A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 by Kenneth M. Swope