The Japanese invasion and occupation of Korea, which lasted from 1592 to 1598, was the only occasion in Japanese history when samurai aggression was turned against a foreign country. During the occupation of Korea the Japanese built 25 wajo or castles. Unlike the castles built in Japan, these castles were never developed or modernized after the Japanese departure meaning that the details of late 16th century castle construction are better preserved than at many other sites.
Written by Stephen Turnbull, an expert on the subject, this book examines the castles built by the Japanese in Korea, as well as the use the samurai made of existing Korean fortifications, particularly city walls. This resulted in curious hybrid fortifications which dominated the landscape until the Japanese were pushed out of the peninsula by a furious onslaught from the huge Chinese armies.
About the Author
Stephen Turnbull is recognized as one of the world's foremost military historians of the medieval and early modern periods. He first rose to prominence as a result of his 1977 book, The Samurai: A Military History. Since then he has achieved equal fame writing about European military subjects and has published over 50 books. He always tries to concentrate on the less familiar areas of military history, in particular such topics as Korea, Eastern Europe, the Baltic states and the Teutonic Knights.
"In all, the book is well written and most interesting, exposing Western readers to fortifications of a time and place with which they are unlikely to be familiar. I whole-heartedly recommend it." -Bolling Smith, The Coast Defense Journal (February 2008)
"Stephen Turnbull's Japanese Castles in Korea 1592-98 is a pick not just for military libraries but for any specializing in early Asian history. The focus on Japanese-built castles and Korean fortifications follows the design and use of key fortresses and joins the publishers' 'Fortress' series." -The Bookwatch (February 2008)
"The history of the Japanese in Korea at this time and the design and development of castles and fortifications is thoroughly investigated by author Stephen Turnbull, one of the world's leading experts on the Japanese of this period... All of this is additionally enhanced by photos of the current sites, period art work and the illustrations of Peter Dennis... In all, a superb addition to the Fortress series and a book that I believe you will find interesting." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (December 2007)
"The author details the defense of Pusan Harbor and covers other fortifications created by the Japanese and covers the major sieges. The book has a number of interesting illustrations, but in most cases there is not much left to see when it comes to recent photos. Those interested in the Far East will certainly find this a nice addition." -Joe Kauffman, SITEO Newsletter (November 2007)