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China's HegemonyFour Hundred Years of East Asian Domination$
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Ji-Young Lee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231179744

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231179744.001.0001

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The Imjin War (1592–1598)

The Imjin War (1592–1598)

(p.104) 4 The Imjin War (1592–1598)
China's Hegemony

Ji-Young Lee

Columbia University Press

Chapter 4 explains the Imjin War of 1592-98, which marks a major international war in pre-nineteenth century Asia. Japan directly challenged the Ming empire and invaded Korea in an attempt to conquer the Ming. The chapter demonstrates that in addition to Japan’s growing military power vis-à-vis the Ming, Hideyoshi’s post-unification efforts for building a new domestic political order against his rivals explain why Japan challenged the Ming empire in the way that he did at that particular timing. Similarly, one must consider the internal crisis the Korean king found himself in after his failures in the war. Korea’s unusually high compliance with Ming hegemony should be understood in the context of the Korean king’s manipulation of the moral authority of the Ming emperor in an attempt to compensate for his lack of domestic legitimacy vis-à-vis his own domestic constituencies.

Keywords:   Toyotomi Hideyoshi, unification of Japan, Confucianization of Korea, Neo-Confucianism, the symbolic power, Ming emperor, the Japanese emperor

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