Stephen Turnbull: Samurai Invasion – Japan’s Korean War 1592-98

Stephen Turnbull: Samurai InvasionCassell, 2002, 256pp

Shows how factionalism in the Korean court, complacency and incompetence led to the easy conquest of Korea by Japan in 1592. Well illustrated, with maps and photographs, this book plots the course of the 6-year occupation of Korea at the end of the 16th century, and the brutal modes of warfare (Korea’s misfortune was to lie on Japan’s invasion route into China). Possibly a bit too much military history for my taste; but of course the fun begins when Admiral Yi’s turtle ships come into action. Hurrah for the underdog.

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