Samurai Invasion: Japan's Korean War 1592 -1598 (OCR)
Date: 24 Jun 2006 14:46:00
After unifying Japan by force, in 1592 Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1536-98) attempted to establish an empire in East Asia. The conquest of China was his ultimate objective, but Korea had to be subdued first. Instead, it proved an insuperable obstacle to Hideyoshi's imperial fantasy. Turnbull's lively and lavishly illustrated history of the failed invasion brightly illuminates the world of late 16th-century warfare in East Asia. After reeling under the initial Japanese attacks, Korean regular and irregular forces, aided by armies from Ming China, eventually turned the Japanese back, but the invasion did not end until Hideyoshi's death in 1598. Skillfully piecing together contemporary accounts from Japanese and Korean sources, the author provides a vivid and horrifying picture of the strategy, tactics, and technology of Japanese warfare. Brutality was the norm, and hand-to-hand combat produced butchery rivaling the worst of modern wars. In Kyoto a single burial mound holds the sliced-off noses of 30,000 Korean and Chinese victims of Japanese slaughter. Absorbing and accessible, Turnbull's book will interest general readers and belongs in public as well as college libraries.