The East Asian War, 1592-1598: International Relations, Violence and Memory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The East Asian War, 1592-1598

International Relations, Violence and Memory, 1st Edition

Edited by James B. Lewis


402 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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As East Asia regains its historical position as a world centre, information on the history of regional relations becomes ever more critical. Astonishingly, Northeast Asia enjoyed five centuries of international peace from 1400 to 1894, broken only by one major international war – the invasion of Korea in the 1590s by Japan’s ruler Hideyoshi. This war involved Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asians, and Europeans; it saw the largest overseas landing in world history up to that time and devastated Korea. It also highlighted the nature of the strategic balance in the region, presenting China’s Ming dynasty with a serious threat that perhaps foreshadowed the dynasty’s subsequent overthrow by the Manchus, played a major part in the establishment of the Tokugawa regime with its policy of peace and controlled access to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan, and demonstrated the importance for regional stability of the subtle relationship of Korea to both China and Japan. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of the war and its aftermath in all its aspects – military, political, social, economic, and cultural. As such it deepens understanding of East Asian international relations and provides important insights into the strategic concerns that continue to operate in the region at present.

Table of Contents

Introduction James B. Lewis Part 1: International and Domestic Background 1. Japanese-Korean and Japanese-Chinese Relations in the Sixteenth Century Saeki Kōji 2. Korea’s Pre-war Domestic Situation and Relations with Japan Han Moon Jong 3. Violence, Trade, and Impostors in Korean-Japanese Relations, 1510-1609 Kenneth R. Robinson Part 2: War 4. The Imjin Waeran: Contrasting the First and the Second Invasions of Korea Kitajima Manji 5. Hideyoshi’s View of Chosŏn Korea and Japan-Ming Negotiations Sajima Akiko 6. Post-war Domain Source Material on Hideyoshi’s Invasion of Korea: The Wartime Memoirs of Shimazu Soldiers Murai Shōsuke 7. The Role of the Chosŏn Navy and Major Naval Battles During the Imjin Waeran Yi Min’ung 8. Righteous Army Activity in the Imjin War Nukii Masayuki 9. Ming Grand Strategy and the Intervention in Korea Kenneth M. Swope 10. Wanli China versus Hideyoshi’s Japan: Rethinking China’s Involvement in the Imjin Waeran Harriet Zurndorfer 11. The Celestial Warriors: Military Aid and Abuse during the Korean War, 1592-98 Nam-lin Hur 12: International Relations and the Imjin War James B. Lewis Part 3: Impact and Memory 13. "The Inestimable Benevolence of Saving a Country on the Brink of Ruin": Chosŏn-Ming and Chosŏn-Later Jin Relations in the Seventeenth Century Han Myung-gi 14. Chosŏn Korea and Ming China After the Imjin Waeran: State Rituals in the Later Chosŏn Period Kuwano Eiji 15. War and Cultural Exchange Ha Woo Bong 16. The Imjin Waeran in Korean and Japanese Literatures Choi Gwan 17. Fashioning Womanly Confucian Virtue: The Virtuous Woman in Post-war Literary Discourse Michael Pettid Conclusion James B. Lewis

About the Editor

James B. Lewis is the University Lecturer in Korean History at the University of Oxford, UK.

About the Series

Asian States and Empires

The importance of Asia will continue to grow in the twenty-first century, but remarkably little is available in English on the history of the polities that constitute this critical area.  Most current work on Asia is hindered by the extremely limited state of knowledge of the Asian past in general, and the history of Asian states and empires in particular.  Asian States and Empires is a book series that will provide detailed accounts of the history of states and empires across Asia from earliest times until the present.  It aims to explain and describe the formation, maintenance and collapse of Asian states and empires, and the means by which this was accomplished, making available the history of more than half the world’s population at a level of detail comparable to the history of Western polities.  In so doing, it will demonstrate that Asian peoples and civilizations had their own histories apart from the West, and provide the basis for understanding contemporary Asia in terms of its actual histories, rather than broad generalizations informed by Western categories of knowledge.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Asia / Korea
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies