What was the Siege of Jinju (1593)?

Introduction

The Second Siege of Jinju was a battle during 1593 in Hideyoshi’s invasions of Korea at Jinju Fort. It occurred from 20 July to 27 July and ended in the massacre of the entire garrison and a substantial portion of the entire population. This became the origin of the Uwajima Ushi-oni Festival in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

Background

The Japanese arrived at Jinju on 20 July 1593 with 90,000 troops with reinforcements from Japan.

The Battle

The Japanese began on 20 July 1593. First they destroyed the edges of the dikes surrounding Jinju to drain the moat, then they advanced on the fortress with bamboo shields. The Koreans fired on them and repelled the attack.

On 22 July, the Japanese tried again with siege towers, but they were destroyed by cannon fire.

On 24 July, the Japanese were able to successfully mine a section of the outer wall under mobile shelters.

On 27 July, the Japanese attacked the weakened area of the wall, and with the aid of a rainstorm, were able to dislodge its foundations. The fortress was quickly taken.

Aftermath and Legacy

As with most Japanese victories in largely populated areas, there was a massacre. The Japanese reported more than 20,000 heads taken, more than all the combatants on the Korean side, while Korean records state 60,000 were killed, essentially the entire population. The Japanese then retreated to Busan.

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