Japanese Castles in Korea 1592-98

Japanese Castles in Korea 1592-98


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The Japanese invasion and occupation of Korea, which lasted from 1592 to 1598, was the only occasion in Japanese history when samurai aggression was turned against a foreign country. During the occupation of Korea the Japanese built 25 wajo or castles. Unlike the castles built in Japan, these castles were never developed or modernized after the Japanese departure meaning that the details of late 16th century castle construction are better preserved than at many other sites.

Written by Stephen Turnbull, an expert on the subject, this book examines the castles built by the Japanese in Korea, as well as the use the samurai made of existing Korean fortifications, particularly city walls. This resulted in curious hybrid fortifications which dominated the landscape until the Japanese were pushed out of the peninsula by a furious onslaught from the huge Chinese armies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781846031045
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/20/2007
Series: Fortress Series
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 837,441
Product dimensions: 7.24(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.14(d)

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is recognized as one of the world's foremost military historians of the medieval and early modern periods. He first rose to prominence as a result of his 1977 book, The Samurai: A Military History. Since then he has achieved equal fame writing about European military subjects and has published over 50 books. He always tries to concentrate on the less familiar areas of military history, in particular such topics as Korea, Eastern Europe, the Baltic states and the Teutonic Knights.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the very short history of the wajo     4
Design and development     8
The Korean fortification tradition and its shortcomings
Adopt, adapt, improve - the first Japanese castles in Korea The creation of the wajo
Structural and architectural features of the wajo     13
The wajo as a defensive system     19
Safe harbours and secure moorings
Policing and defence
Commanders and garrisons The wajo's defensive armaments
The wajo from end to end     28
The Busan Harbour defences
The wajo on the Nakdong River
The east coast Ungcheon and the islands
The western wajo
The living site     37
The realm of the beasts: building the wajo
From praying to raiding - daily life in the wajo Watching the wajo
The wajo as economic centres
Operational history     44
The revelation of strength: Busan 1592
The vindication: Ungcheon 1593
The ultimate test: Ulsan 1598 The finished product: Sacheon 1598
Combined operations: Suncheon 1598
Aftermath     59
The wojo and the war's outcome
Influence of the wajo on Japanese castle design The influence of the wajo on Korean castle design
The wajo today     62
Bibliography     63
Index     64

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