On This Day
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 from the Korean Peninsula after a military stalemate in Korea’s southern coastal provinces.
The invasions were launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the intent of conquering the Korean Peninsula and China, which were ruled by the Joseon and by the Ming dynasty, respectively. Japan quickly succeeded in occupying large portions of the Korean Peninsula, but the contribution of reinforcements by the Ming, as well as the disruption of Japanese supply fleets along the western and southern coasts by the Joseon Navy forced a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Pyongyang and the northern provinces to the south, where the Japanese continued to occupy Hanseong (now Seoul) and the southeastern regions. Afterwards, with guerrilla warfare waged against the Japanese with righteous armies (Joseon civilian militias) 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 in the areas between Hanseong and Kaesong. 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, 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.
Born On This Day
1788 – Carl Reichenbach, German chemist and philosopher (d. 1869)
Baron Dr. Carl (Karl) Ludwig von Reichenbach (full name: Karl Ludwig Freiherr von Reichenbach) (February 12, 1788 – January 1869) was a notable chemist, geologist, metallurgist, naturalist, industrialist and philosopher, and a member of the prestigious Prussian Academy of Sciences. He is best known for his discoveries of several chemical products of economic importance, extracted from tar, such as eupione, waxy paraffin, pittacal (the first synthetic dye) and phenol (an antiseptic). He also dedicated himself in his last years to research an unproved field of energy combining electricity, magnetism and heat, emanating from all living things, which he called the Odic force.
Reichenbach was educated at the University of Tübingen, where he obtained the degree of doctor of philosophy. At the age of 16 he conceived the idea of establishing a new German state in one of the South Sea Islands, and for five years he devoted himself to this project.
Afterwards, directing his attention to the application of science to the industrial arts, he visited manufacturing and metallurgical works in France and Germany, and established the first modern metallurgical company, with forges of his own in Villingen and Hausach in the Black Forest region of Southern Germany and later in Baden.
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Seth’s Blog: What motivates you to take action?
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School taught us to answer a simple question, “will this be on the test?” If the answer is no, we’ve got no time for it.
Work taught us to fear the boss and the review and our performance ranking. And we are motivated to do the work if we get paid for it, because, after all, that’s why we call it work. Do the least, because you’re always going to get asked to do more.
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