Imjin War

Could Japan have defeated Ming China if they attacked via Shanghai instead of going through Korea?

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes.
    They would have successfully captured and bukkake’d Nanking at this time

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How exactly? A big reason why Korea got invaded was due to Japan having neither the ships nor the organizational capacity to land 100,000 troops directly in China. Most Japanese vessels were coast huggers incapable of voyages in the open sea, especially their fatass transport/fortified tower ships. Hence why they needed to invade Korea so Toyotomi could dump his big army there and they could all march happily into Beijing.

    Another big reason was China having a better navy than any East Asian state. When the Imjin War happened in 1590, half a century of anti-pirate operations created a string of fortresses and fortified naval bases in coastal China. Japs would have been screwed by both their lack of logistical power and by the Ming navy if they directly head towards China.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They had better ships for open seas but they were pretty light on the number of cannons at least in the 1584 revision of the Ji Xiao Xinshu. I guess the Fuchuan had more heavier pieces though

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Good thing Japanese naval vessels had little to no cannon.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Im not saying the Chinese would lose its just odd an odd claim when there are too many variables.

          https://i.imgur.com/n2yiaA2.jpeg

          >Most Japanese vessels were coast hug-ACK

          Though seriously, in the early 1600s the Japanese started to build Western-style ships that could sail into the deep ocean. The Japanese military at this time was huge, professional, and very modern. Though they quickly closed themselves off from the world. One of the greatest What Ifs in East Asian history is if Japan never implemented Sakoku cause man they could have had a huge Pacific Empire centuries earlier.

          I dont think a pacifc empire is even feasible at the military peak of the Bannermen.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Most Japanese vessels were coast hug-ACK

      Though seriously, in the early 1600s the Japanese started to build Western-style ships that could sail into the deep ocean. The Japanese military at this time was huge, professional, and very modern. Though they quickly closed themselves off from the world. One of the greatest What Ifs in East Asian history is if Japan never implemented Sakoku cause man they could have had a huge Pacific Empire centuries earlier.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I should note that these Wester Style ships that Japan built happened after the Imjin War in case anyone is confused

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Guess who also could build Western style ships that could sail the deep ocean? What Chinese nationalists don't often tell people was that 1500s Chinese naval engineering benefitted by incorporating western designs, mostly from the portuguese. What Japan (well, what the Date alone) did with Red Seal Ships in 1590/1600- incorporating western technologies with local naval engineering- the Chinese were already doing since the early 1500s. I mean damn the Late Ming/Qing navy had euro-style broadsides by the 1600s.

        >One of the greatest What Ifs in East Asian history is if Japan never implemented Sakoku cause man they could have had a huge Pacific Empire centuries earlier.
        Not really a great what if: because Feudal Japan DID try building Pacific Empire with the Imjin War and they failed. Its astronomical expense and the political destabilization caused by its failure soured foreign adventurism among the Japanese Feudal Lords for the next 300 years.

        The Sakoku system was copied from the Ming Dynasty's Haijin policy. By banning private overseas trade and ensuring only the central government can participate in international overseas trade, the system was meant to ensure that all profits from overseas trade and foreign knowledge went directly to central authorities (in China's case, the Emperor, in Japan's case, the Tokugawa Shogunate). Feudal Japan was at its most prosperous under this system. Tokugawa Japan had all the wealth and resources it needed to fund more foreign adventures...had they wanted to. But they didn't because they were more focused on creating a stable centralized government in Japan and again their experiences in the Imjin War blunted Feudal Japan's overseas ambitions.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Except that Sakoku happened decades after the Imjin War and instead was enacted around the time the Shimabara Rebellion happened. There were other avenus previous Japanese leaders looked to expand in such as Ryukyu, Taiwan, Philippines, and Hokkaido You are right that Sakoku was designed to keep Japan stable, but it happened because Christians were quite unpopular and seen with suspension in Japan. The Tokugawa Clan, being the new big player in Japan after being the previous clans. opted to severely isolate the country as a way to consolidate their own rule rather than enact other forms of restriction.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      yes they would have and I'll explain why.

      No. If anything, it'd be an even bigger disaster on part with the Athenian expedition to Syracuse. Stretches their logistical supply, communication lines, far from any support, isolated in hostile and foreign territory.

      Part of the reason why the Imjin War took so long was that it took a while for Ming China to rally an army and get to Korea. Shanghai is at the mouth of the Yangtze River, one of the two major rivers of Northern China. It would have made it much easier for the Ming to respond and concentrate their forces.

      >Could Japan have won against Ming China if they had shortened Chinese logistic supply lines, made the Chinese job of mustering troops easier and made their own lines of supply way longer and more fragile
      Uh, no

      The fact that it wasn't fought on Chinese soil was a massive benefit to the dynasty. They weren't able to get into contact with corrupt officials who would side with the Japanese for more power, as happened with literally every other invasion of China.

      Now I'm not saying its for 100 percent certain they would win, but they would have had a better chance. Fighting it in Korea made it a proxy war far from the machinations of power for the dynasty.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Fighting it in Korea made it a proxy war far from the machinations of power for the dynasty.
        The Wanli court by the Imjin war was actually pretty content, Wanli hadn't withdrawn from public life yet and made sound policy decisions, something his predecessors lacked.

        Literally all the problems that people blame for the downfall of the Ming happen AFTER the Imjin war and Wanli withdraws from day to day court activites, resulting in the bitter factionalism, unfed/unpaid garrisons and no real policymakers able to respond to emerging threats like the Jurchens confederating.

        The Ming needed someone to steer the ship in any direction in order to keep things afloat and the Imjin war was one of the last times they had someone relatively competent on the Throne.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >something his predecessors lacked.
          and successors*

          Chongzhen excluded, tried to micromanage everything.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          To be fair a massive invasion of 100k men armed to the teeth with gunpowder can make a stable situation very unstable very quickly.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The Ming army in the 1590s was actually in a much better spot to defend against a maritime threat than having to support a massive overland campaign at the edge of their logistical limits.

            The Ming armies in the south had spent decades fighting the wokou raiders.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They didn't have that much gunners.

            For Instance Oda Nobunaga only had 1500-2000 gunners for 30,000 men and i think we have a reference to Oda Nobukatsu in Imjin having 1800 gunners for 28000 men, and A Korean general by the name of Jo Gyeong Nam said they had out of 4 to 5 men only one person had bullets and that person had only 16 shots.

            In comparison ashigaru and sometimes cavarly armed with pikes seem to completely dominate the ratio in the late 16th century.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No. If anything, it'd be an even bigger disaster on part with the Athenian expedition to Syracuse. Stretches their logistical supply, communication lines, far from any support, isolated in hostile and foreign territory.

    Part of the reason why the Imjin War took so long was that it took a while for Ming China to rally an army and get to Korea. Shanghai is at the mouth of the Yangtze River, one of the two major rivers of Northern China. It would have made it much easier for the Ming to respond and concentrate their forces.

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Could Japan have won against Ming China if they had shortened Chinese logistic supply lines, made the Chinese job of mustering troops easier and made their own lines of supply way longer and more fragile
    Uh, no

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They would have died from starvation and fresh water shortage. Handwaving the impossiblity of such an invasion and glossing over naval combat the primary disadvantages the Ming faced in the Korea are reversed; logistics are directly handled by the Ming and the Japanese are now severely outnumbered by local forces.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The true objective of this war is not the conquest of China, but to weaken the power of the daimyos in western Japan.
    In fact, most of the participants in the expedition were daimyos from the Kyushu, Chugoku, and Shikoku regions.
    Ironically, Tokugawa, who posed the greatest threat to Hideyoshi, avoided this conquest and was able to slowly grow his power in Tokyo.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >The true objective of this war is not the conquest of China, but to weaken the power of the daimyos in western Japan.
      This is pure revisionism no primary source supports this theory. Why would Hideyoshi spend an unprecendented amount of money just to kill off his loyal retainers/family members?

      >Ironically, Tokugawa, who posed the greatest threat to Hideyoshi, avoided this conquest and was able to slowly grow his power in Tokyo.
      He wasn't sent to Korea because of the distance involved, alongside other Eastern daimyos they were meant to participate in a hypothetical Ming invasion once Korea was conquered.

      If Tokugawa and Maeda, who held the greatest power under Hideyoshi, had joined the expedition, conquering the Korean Peninsula would have been easy.
      However, I think conquering China would have been impossible anyway.
      Even Spain, the dominant power at the time, found it impossible.

      >If Tokugawa and Maeda, who held the greatest power under Hideyoshi, had joined the expedition, conquering the Korean Peninsula would have been easy.
      It is irrelevant how much additional manpower the Japanese would have had during the first invasion, they advanced way too fast stretching their logistics to the limit. Japanese forces heavily outnumbered the Chinese until the 1598 Ming offensive, though both sides had no way of knowing this.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        While it may not be the sole reason, it is true that Hideyoshi constantly struggled to weaken the daimyos, hoping for its effectiveness in the invasion of Korea.
        Being a self-made man from the lower strata, he feared above all else being overthrown and replaced by those beneath him.
        His fear can be seen in his confiscation of katanas from peasants, depriving them of armed means.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >While it may not be the sole reason, it is true that Hideyoshi constantly struggled to weaken the daimyos, hoping for its effectiveness in the invasion of Korea.
          I suggest you read up on the Hachikuni plan, the eight Korean provinces were divied between the participating daimyos which would strengthen their positions not weaken them. He fully intended to travel to Korea to direct the invasion. Furthermore, the invasion of Ming China wasn't even his idea to begin with, Oda Nobunaga expressed his desires to conquer China in 1577 after he planned on finishing off the Mori clan.

          I want the conspiracy theory that Toyotomi did Korea to distract the lords for rebelling against him to be true: all the Pro-Toyotomi lords wasted men & finances for the war, while Ieyasu and his allies conserved their strength and built further alliances.

          Its just fricking hilarious how everyone in that war (Ming China, Joseon Korea, Toyotomi Japan) got fricked.

          >Its just fricking hilarious how everyone in that war (Ming China, Joseon Korea, Toyotomi Japan) got fricked.
          Not applicable to the Ming, whether it be manpower or expenditure it wasn't as big of a deal as the History of the Ming made it out to be. However the Japanese invasion inadvertently led to Nurhaci's rise as the Korean border garrisons that kept him in check were devastated in battle.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            > Korean border garrisons that kept him in check were devastated in battle.
            That was actually because of the Yi Gwal revolt which killed more Provincial generals then the Imjin war in 4 battles.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >That was actually because of the Yi Gwal revolt which killed more Provincial generals then the Imjin war in 4 battles.
            Too late in timeframe. Nurhaci wouldn't have the opportunity to unify the Jurchens if it wasn't for the Imjin War.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The Northern Garrison weren't devasted in Imjin though. They had casualties for sure but they had several years in Imjin to regroup and deployed again. When Nurhachi united at Imjin he wasn't even considered being called with his name and i don't think there would have been an agenda to strike that early. The First mention of him is in 1595 and they gave him a gift as a superior because he was a considered a small lord which sounds ridiculous now.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I found another record from 1601 (Seonjo 34th year 10th Month 19th Day) and in this account Seonjo is asking about the "thrall general" (Nurhachi) and the noble is telling him that Nurhachi will invade only after he subdues all his enemies and they have 10 years guaranteed of integrity in the region.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            While it may not be the sole reason, it is true that Hideyoshi constantly struggled to weaken the daimyos, hoping for its effectiveness in the invasion of Korea.
            Being a self-made man from the lower strata, he feared above all else being overthrown and replaced by those beneath him.
            His fear can be seen in his confiscation of katanas from peasants, depriving them of armed means.

            His idea was probably a two-tiered strategy.
            Even if he couldn't conquer Korea and China, weakening and debilitating the warlorda would be satisfactory.
            If they could conquer east Asia, it would expand Jap's territory, which would be even better.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >His idea was probably a two-tiered strategy.
            Again, this is modern historians trying to insert a narrative that never existed in primary sources. Hideyoshi alongside his contemproaries had a very poor understanding of the sheer size of Ming China and genuinely thought he was going to retire in Ningbo and install the Japanese Emperor in Beijing after the rapid capitulation of Hanseong.

            The Northern Garrison weren't devasted in Imjin though. They had casualties for sure but they had several years in Imjin to regroup and deployed again. When Nurhachi united at Imjin he wasn't even considered being called with his name and i don't think there would have been an agenda to strike that early. The First mention of him is in 1595 and they gave him a gift as a superior because he was a considered a small lord which sounds ridiculous now.

            I'm not well versed on Nurhaci/Joseon relations, I would imagine the increased manpower, lack of an external enemies and no economic devastation gave Joseon Korea greater room to manuever. The Imjin War's impact on the Ming was largely fiscal, as even though there was high amount of men mobilized(141,937) casualties are relatively light(~20,000). Widespread impoverishment in Liaodong and increased taxation(leading to peasant rebellions) gave the Later Jin room to grow.

            >Why would Hideyoshi spend an unprecendented amount of money just to kill off his loyal retainers/family members?

            Considering what he did to his nephew during this period, it's not surprising.
            Everything Hideyoshi did during this time was madness, akin to late-stage Hitler.
            There are various theories about the causes, such as Alzheimer's or syphilis, but regardless, it's best not to seek logical reasons for his actions during this period.

            Hideyoshi crippling his own finances, prestige, sucession and manpower is the end result not the motive. He was neither the first or the last individual that harbored continental ambitions, under the pretense of borrowing troops, working under the Edo Shogunate, Itakura Shigemune wanted to use the opportunity to conquer Southern Ming territory with 20,000 troops though this was quickly dashed when the Qing captured the Longwu Emperor.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Hideyoshi alongside his contemproaries had a very poor understanding of the sheer size of Ming China and genuinely thought he was going to retire in Ningbo and install the Japanese Emperor in Beijing
            Wouldn't you say it's at least possible that's just what the official narrative was, and he had other reasons for the invasion or was planning to drop his other claims once he had a fait accompli in Korea? Maybe if Hideyoshi succeeded in the invastion and got a lucky situation where the Ming dynasty was dealing with other problems at that moment and didn't have the spare manpower to lead a counter invasion to Korea, they might be willing to accept the peace in exchange for him dropping his claims to invade China during peace negotiations. I think there's a possibility he could have been thinking that far ahead.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Wouldn't you say it's at least possible that's just what the official narrative was, and he had other reasons for the invasion or was planning to drop his other claims once he had a fait accompli in Korea?
            No, he was purely a megalomaniac with the sole purpose of capturing Ming China. After capturing Hanseong, despite his troops not having step foot into Liaodong he envisioned an easy conquest of Ming China with India as his next target. He even planned on crossing over the Korean strait with 30,000 additional troops though he was dissuaded by Maeda Toshiie and Tokugawa Ieyasu who feared domestic turmoil. He only changed his mind once the Ming recaptured Pyongyang and Kaesong.

            >Maybe if Hideyoshi succeeded in the invastion and got a lucky situation where the Ming dynasty was dealing with other problems at that moment
            It was precisely that the Ming had to deal with the Ningxia rebellion that they delayed entering Korea in full force.

            >and didn't have the spare manpower to lead a counter invasion to Korea
            Even if they weren't going to mount a full campaign the contingent(2,854-3,500) sent under Shi Ru and Zu Chengxun was more than enough to change the mind of Konishi Yukinaga who sent his younger brother home and tried to convince Hideyoshi on the futility of the invasion.

            >they might be willing to accept the peace in exchange for him dropping his claims to invade China during peace negotiations.
            This happened in history when the Ming realized they had insufficient manpower and logistic burdens to evict the Japanese from Hanseong. However, the Ming court took his threat very seriously and entry into the conflict was non negotiable.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >He only changed his mind once the Ming recaptured Pyongyang and Kaesong.
            Correction, Hideyoshi no longer wished to cross over in the aftermath of the Wangseong conference which came to the conclusion that the oncoming winter, Korean resistance, food shortage and the looming threat of the Ming made it unsustainable to advance further. After catching wind of a massive Ming intervention Hideyoshi sobered up and requested the daimyos to fortify existing gains and to reinforce Konishi in Pyongyang, he was even willing to once again go to Korea to exterminate recalcitrant Koreans. It was around the end of the year that a direct conquest of Ming was a pipe dream, preperation for peace negotations included request for annual tribute from the Ming, the cessation of five Korean provinces to the Japanese as well as securing Joseon and Ming hostages under Konishi Yukinaga. At the very least Hideyoshi thought that the conquest of Ming China was realistic from 1585-1592.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Meant to state Hachidokuniwari not Hachikuni.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Why would Hideyoshi spend an unprecendented amount of money just to kill off his loyal retainers/family members?

        Considering what he did to his nephew during this period, it's not surprising.
        Everything Hideyoshi did during this time was madness, akin to late-stage Hitler.
        There are various theories about the causes, such as Alzheimer's or syphilis, but regardless, it's best not to seek logical reasons for his actions during this period.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >demoted his rival to wasteland in an attempt to diminish his power.
      >that became an excuse for Ieyasu not to attempt the invasion of Korea.
      >this weakened Hideyoshi's own power, allowed his greatest enemy inside to grow stronger.

      KWAB

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I want the conspiracy theory that Toyotomi did Korea to distract the lords for rebelling against him to be true: all the Pro-Toyotomi lords wasted men & finances for the war, while Ieyasu and his allies conserved their strength and built further alliances.

        Its just fricking hilarious how everyone in that war (Ming China, Joseon Korea, Toyotomi Japan) got fricked.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If Tokugawa and Maeda, who held the greatest power under Hideyoshi, had joined the expedition, conquering the Korean Peninsula would have been easy.
    However, I think conquering China would have been impossible anyway.
    Even Spain, the dominant power at the time, found it impossible.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It is highly unlikely that Japan could have defeated Ming China even if they had attacked via Shanghai instead of going through Korea. Several factors support this conclusion:

    1. Ming China's Military Strength: The Ming dynasty had a large, well-equipped, and experienced military. The Ming military was capable of mobilizing vast numbers of troops and had extensive fortifications along its coast.

    2. Logistical Challenges: An invasion via Shanghai would have posed significant logistical challenges for Japan. Supplying and reinforcing an invading army across the East China Sea would have been extremely difficult, particularly given the size of the forces required to confront Ming China.

    3. Naval Superiority: Ming China had a formidable navy, which could have challenged Japanese naval forces attempting to cross the sea and maintain supply lines. The Ming navy was experienced in dealing with coastal threats and piracy, making it a significant obstacle to any maritime invasion.

    4. Geopolitical Context: The decision to attack Korea (the Imjin War, 1592-1598) was partly influenced by strategic considerations. Korea served as a land bridge to China, making it a more practical initial target. Attacking directly via Shanghai would have bypassed this strategic step, confronting Japan with the full might of the Ming forces from the outset.

    5. Internal Issues in Japan: The unification of Japan under Toyotomi Hideyoshi was relatively recent, and internal stability was not fully secured. Mounting a massive overseas campaign would have strained Japan's resources and political cohesion.

    6. Historical Precedents: Historically, large-scale invasions of China have required massive logistical preparation and prolonged efforts, often failing despite initial successes (e.g., the Mongol invasions, which eventually succeeded but required decades of effort and numerous campaigns).

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      (cont.)

      In summary, while an invasion via Shanghai would have been a different strategy, the inherent difficulties and the strengths of Ming China suggest that Japan would still have faced overwhelming odds and likely defeat.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    no but it would be an epic battle like ghost of tsushima

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The Ming didn't really start running into the problems that would lead to the collapse of the dynasty until after the Imjin war. The Ming military in the 1580s/90s would've repelled an invasion at Shanghai handedly, imo.

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