Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598)

Japanese invasions of Korea
The Japanese landing at Busan
DateMay 23, 1592 – December 24, 1598

Korean and Chinese strategic victory[1]

  • Withdrawal of Japanese armies following military stalemate[2]
Coat of Arms of Joseon Korea.png Joseon
Left-facing dragon pattern on Wanli Emperor's imperial robe.svg Ming
Toyotomi mon.png Toyotomi regime
Commanders and leaders

Coat of Arms of Joseon Korea.png King Seonjo
Coat of Arms of Prince of Joseon.png Prince Gwanghae
Ryu Seong-ryong
Gwon Yul
Yi Sun-sin 
Yi Eokgi 
Won Gyun 
Shin Rip 
Kim Si-min 
Song Sang-hyun 
Go Gyeong-myeong 
Kim Cheon-il 
Jo Heon 
Kim Myeong-won
Yi Il
Gwak Jae-u
Jeong Gi-ryong
Kim Deok-nyeong
Jeong Mun-bu
Kim Chung-seon

Left-facing dragon pattern on Wanli Emperor's imperial robe.svg Emperor Wanli
Song Yingchang
Yang Hao
Li Rusong
Xing Jie

Listed above: Inspectors-general/field commanders
Yang Shaoxun
Ma Gui (pr.)
Liu Ting
Deng Zilong 
Wu Weizhong
Chen Lin
Qian Shizhen et al.

Toyotomi regime:
Toyotomi mon.png Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Imperial Seal of Japan.svg Emperor Go-Yōzei
Toyotomi mon.png Hashiba Hidekatsu
Alex K Hiroshima Mori (color).svg Mōri Terumoto
Alex K Hiroshima Mori (color).svg Mōri Hidemoto
Alex K Hiroshima Mori (color).svg Mōri Yoshimasa
Alex K Hiroshima Mori (color).svg Mōri Yoshinari
Alex K Hiroshima Mori (color).svg Mōri Katsunobu
Hidari mitsudomoe.svg Kobayakawa Takakage
Hidari mitsudomoe.svg Kobayakawa Hidekane
Japanese Crest Nabesima Gyouyou.svg Nabeshima Naoshige
Mon Hosokawa.JPG Hosokawa Tadaoki
Japanese Crest ken Katabami.svg Ukita Hideie
Kikyo.svg Katō Kiyomasa
Kikyo.svg Katō Yoshiaki
Maru juji.svg Shimazu Yoshihiro
Maru juji.svg Shimazu Toyohisa
Maru juji.svg Shimazu Tadatsune
Japanese Crest Maru ni Hidari Mannji.svg Hachisuka Iemasa
Hanakurusu.gif Konishi Yukinaga
Japanese Crest daki Gyouyou.svg Ōtomo Yoshimasa
Gion Mamori.svg Tachibana Muneshige
Gion Mamori.svg Tachibana Naotsugu
So clan mon2.svg Tsukushi Hirokado
Japanese Crest Takeda Hisi.svg Ankokuji Ekei
Japanese Crest Ikoma kuruma.svg Ikoma Chikamasa
Japanese Crest Ikoma kuruma.svg Ikoma Kazumasa
Japanese Crest Kuroda Fuji tomoe.svg Kuroda Nagamasa
So clan mon.svg Sō Yoshitoshi
Alex K Hiroshima Fukushima kamon.svg Fukushima Masanori
Kanamaru mon (family crest).jpg Toda Katsutaka
Nanatsukatabami.svg Chōsokabe Motochika
Japanese Crest Matura mitu Hosi.svg Matsura Shigenobu
Japanese crest Tuta.svg Tōdō Takatora
Nakagawa Hidenari
Nakagawa Hidemasa
Murakami crest.jpg Kurushima Michifusa
Murakami crest.jpg Kurushima Michiyuki
Japanese crest Arima Mokkou.svg Arima Harunobu
Crest-of-Akizuki-Clan.jpg Takahashi Mototane
Crest-of-Akizuki-Clan.jpg Akizuki Tanenaga
Iori-mokko.jpg Itō Suketaka
Japanese Crest Shichiyoumon.svg Kuki Yoshitaka
Wachigai.svg Wakisaka Yasuharu
Japanese crest Arima Mokkou.svg Ōmura Yoshiaki
Japanese crest Sagara Umebachi.svg Sagara Yorifusa
Japanese Crest soroi Futatu Hiki.svg Gotō Sumiharu
Mukaichou.jpg Ōtani Yoshitsugu
Japanese Crest Kuroda Fuji tomoe.svg Hasegawa Hidekazu
Japanese Crest Kuroda Fuji tomoe.svg Hasegawa Hidekazu
Ikeda prince de Bizen.svg Ikeda Hideo
Japanese Crest Uesugi Sasa.svg Uesugi Kagekatsu
蒲生対い鶴.png Gamō Ujisato
Mitaira Saemon
Maruni-gosano-kiri.jpg Ōyano Tanemoto


300 ships (200 scuttled in the initial phase of the war)[4]
1st. (1592–93)
2nd. (1597–98)
75,000 soldiers (including naval reinforcements)[7]

Total: ~200,000[8]

Toyotomi regime:
1st. (1592)
158,800[9] (not including sailors)[10]
24,000 muskets[11]
700 transport ships[12]
300 warships[13]
2nd. (1597–98)
1,000 ships (some armed with cannons)[15]

Total: ~300,000[9][14]
Casualties and losses

Joseon: 205,738+ killed (including civilians)[16]
50,000–60,000 captives[16]
157 ships[17]

Ming: ~36,000 killed[18][16]

Toyotomi regime: 80,000[19]

460+ ships[20]
Japanese invasions of Korea
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese萬曆朝鮮之役
Simplified Chinese万历朝鲜之役
North Korean name
South Korean name
Japanese name

The Japanese invasions of Korea comprised two separate yet linked operations: an initial invasion in 1592, a brief truce in 1596, and a second invasion in 1597. The conflict ended in 1598 with the withdrawal of the Japanese forces[1][21] from the Korean Peninsula after a military stalemate[22] in Korea's southern coastal provinces.[23]

The invasions were launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the intent of conquering the Korean Peninsula and China, which were respectively ruled by the Joseon and Ming dynasty. Japan quickly succeeded in occupying large portions of the Korean Peninsula, but the contribution of reinforcements by the Ming,[24][25][26] as well as the disruption of Japanese supply fleets along the western and southern coasts by the Joseon Navy[27][28][29][30][31] forced a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Pyongyang and the northern provinces to the south, in Busan and nearby southern regions. Afterwards, with guerrilla warfare waged against the Japanese with righteous armies (Joseon civilian militias)[32] and supply difficulties hampering both sides, neither the Japanese nor the combined Ming and Joseon forces were able to mount a successful offensive or gain any additional territory, resulting in a military stalemate. The first phase of the invasion lasted from 1592 until 1596, and was followed by ultimately unsuccessful peace negotiations between Japan and the Ming between 1596 and 1597.

In 1597, Japan renewed its offensive by invading Korea a second time. The pattern of the second invasion largely mirrored that of the first. The Japanese had initial successes on land, capturing several cities and fortresses, only to be halted and forced to withdraw to the southern coastal regions of the peninsula. The pursuing Ming and Joseon forces, however, were unable to dislodge the Japanese from their remaining fortresses and entrenched positions in the southern coastal areas,[33][34][35] where both sides again became locked in a ten-month long military stalemate.

With Hideyoshi's death in 1598, limited progress on land, and continued disruption of supply lines by the Joseon navy, the Japanese forces in Korea were ordered to withdraw back to Japan by the new governing Council of Five Elders. Final peace negotiations between the parties followed afterwards and continued for several years, ultimately resulting in the normalization of relations.[36]


In Korean, the first invasion (1592–1593) is called the "Japanese (wae) Disturbance (ran) of Imjin" (1592 being an imjin year in the sexagenary cycle). The second invasion (1597–1598) is called the "Second War of Jeong-yu" (丁酉). Collectively, the invasions are referred to as the Imjin War.

In Chinese, the wars are referred to as the "Wanli Korean Campaign", after the then reigning Chinese emperor, or the "Renchen War to Defend the Nation" (壬辰衛國戰爭), where renchen (壬辰) is the Chinese reading of imjin.

In Japanese, the war is called Bunroku no eki (文禄の役). Bunroku referring to the Japanese era name of Emperor Go-Yōzei, spanning the period from 1592 to 1596. The second invasion (1597–1598) is called "Keichō no eki" (慶長の役). During the Edo period (17–19th centuries), the war was also called "Kara iri" (唐入り "entry into China"), because Japan's ultimate purpose at the commencement of the invasion was the conquest of Ming China, although with the reality that the conflict was largely confined to the Korean Peninsula for the duration of the war, the armies of Toyotomi Hideyoshi would alter their immediate objectives during the course of the campaign.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: İmcın müharibəsi
Bân-lâm-gú: Jîm-sîn E Loān
беларуская: Імдзінская вайна
Deutsch: Imjin-Krieg
français: Guerre d'Imjin
한국어: 임진왜란
қазақша: Имдин соғысы
português: Guerra Imjin
română: Războiul Imjin
Türkçe: Imjin Savaşı
文言: 壬辰倭亂
吴语: 太阁征朝
粵語: 壬辰倭亂