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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
tikh wrote:
Hey all, a couple more questions!

When did Kato and Konishi and Kuroda arrive at the Imjin River? The battle itself was July 6-7 (western calendar), but there was a period of 10 days where the Japanese camped out before the fighting began, right?

Why did Kato agree to go on the expedition to Hamgyeong Province? Wouldn't he have demanded the prestige of attacking Pyongyang?

Where can I read about Katos campaign in Hamgyeong? Hawley and Turnbull are pretty sparse on the matter.

Thanks in advance for any help!

I really don't know where to point you for more details about Kato Kiyomasa's campaign in Hamgyeong, but perhaps the reason why he was happy to go there rather than Pyongyang is that he had a clear line of site to the Yalu River and wanted to be "ichiban nori" into China? To him, that was probably a more prestigious goal then risking getting bogged down in a siege at Pyongyang. As it is, he was the only one of the Japanese generals to lead a force into "Chinese" territory and did some nasty skirmishing with the nomadic Manchurian Jin (Qing) warriors.
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wangkon936
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo,

Technically, the area north of Hamgyeong province Korea was not China at the time. It was unsettled Jurchen land, thus there was very little chance that Kato Kiyomasa would have been "ichiban nori" into China.

It would have been foolhardy to invade China without clear and secure lines of supplies and communications, which the Japanese were never able to secure during the Imjin Waeran.
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shikisoku
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
wangkon936 wrote:
It was unsettled Jurchen land, thus there was very little chance that Kato Kiyomasa would have been "ichiban nori" into China.


While one can make an argument that Jurchen lands were independent of Ming rule (a somewhat murky argument), the Japanese considered them part of the Ming Empire, and hence Kato was indeed 'ichiban nori' to his contemporaries.
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RollingWave
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Rolling Wave, I recently read another criticism of Swope's book and wondered if you know what's the deal with Song's participation in the war?

Another Swope Critic wrote:
"I don't mean to be rude but those people who gave this book 5 stars either didn't pay attention to what Swope wrote or they haven't read other sources on the Imjin War. In Swope's book, beginning on Page 150, he implies that Song Yingchang went with the army to Korea. In Page 156, he wrote that Song Yingchang led troops into battle and participated in the capture of Pyongyang. Yet Song was nowhere near Korea during that time and his own letters showed that he never set foot in Korea. This was also documented in the Ming Shi (History of the Ming), complied during the Qing Dynasty.

I don't care what sources Swope used to come to this conclusion but I would think that Song's OWN LETTERS would supersede any other source. This has led to think that Swope didn't bother with that important primary source and probably got his information from a secondary source. Even Hawley, who he criticizes in his footnotes if you bothered looking at them, didn't write about Song setting foot in Korea. This is a major error that SHOULD NOT be present in an academic text, particularly one that claims to be correcting biases with more research. Three stars is what I'm giving it and I recommend you not waste your money and just go buy Hawley's version."


It's been a long time since I looked here, but anyway, I wrote that comment on Amazon Wink

Again, having read through Song's letters, it was clear that he wasn't at the frontline, otherwise he wouldn't be writing letters back and forth to Li Ru Song which made up around half his letters during this period with a date lag of close to a week of the events happening on the front line. I don't recall the Annuals of Seonjo mentioning that he was in Korea either, though the later guy who had his position, the unfortunate Yang Hao, was stationed in Seoul during the 2nd war and was personally present in the ill fated siege of Ulsan.

It seemed likely that he was still stationed in Manchuria during most of this. Acting as the final Logistics coordinator, which made it even more likely that he didn't move after they soon realize that their original assumption of logistics (that the Koreans would help supply most of their need) is thrown out the window.

Reading Song's letter, you get the impression that the Logistics war was just as epic of a struggle as the actual fighting war. One of his administrative aids send into Korea, literally smacked a Korean counter part silly over frustration with logistics (or rather, the lack there of) this record was confirmed from the Korean Annual.

There were repeated mention of horrible road condition by around late Feb into early March, attempts to use shipping instead of road, and all that. He got into a lot of details on these things and it's great, most history records that survive are either completely without details or are book keeping without context, his letters are a rare mix both contextual history with book keeping level detail. Anyone who reads Chinese and is interested in this war should read it.

The Annuals of Seonjo need to be taken in the context that almost all the guys opening their mouth in the records were complete military outsiders. every once in awhile you see a general speak, but it's very rare, most of the time it's just administrators throwing around 2nd to 3rd hand military information and making exaggerated claims. It's a great read to get a macro context, but one needs to be careful of it's detail. Also that since the court was on the run during most of the first war, they didn't have very good information either. they knew little of what Yi Sun Sin was up to for example, and greatly over estimated what strength they had in Jeolla. They were much more interested in the 2 captured prince during all this than Yi.
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