chapter  3
29 Pages

Violence, trade, and impostors in Korean–Japanese relations, 1510–1609

This chapter examines the heavy social, political, and material costs to Korea of the Chinese military intervention. In the final analysis, the sufferings and hardships that the Koreans had to endure did not invalidate Ming China's military aid, but Korea, which survived the crisis, was left with many scars. Ming China's attempt to rescue Choson Korea eventually turned out to be a success when, at the end of the eleventh month of 1598, the Japanese invaders decided to abandon their ill-fated military desires and return to Japan. But China's success was a result not so much of its own military victories as of Japan wearying of prolonged and hopeless battles in a foreign country. It is not easy to list many battles in which the Chinese achieved a decisive victory over the Japanese. The Chinese soldiers, who were very concerned with self-protection, were constantly trying to find ways of avoiding risky confrontations with the Japanese.