Having experienced numerous attacks by Japanese pirates from the early years of the dynasty, Joseon viewed that 'Japanese pirates troops were strong on water, but weak on land'. However, when the Imjin War, Japanese invasions of Korea (1952~8), took place, the Joseon Navy managed to win battles continuously from the beginning of the war, while the Joseon Army was defeated on land. Accordingly, there have been many researches examining why its navy could continue to win battles. However, as those researches have tended to focus on specific aspects of the battles, they have some limits in comprehensively understanding it.
Accordingly, this study comprehensively analyzed direct impacts of the attacks of Japanese pirates troops on the Joseon Navy. That is, using principles of maritime strategy of Julian S. Corbett, this study proved that the experiences of fighting with Japanese pirates troops in the early years of the Joseon dynasty helped the Joseon Navy win the maritime battles during the massive invasions of Japan Japanese invasions in the late 16th century called Imjin War. To achieve the research purposes, this study applied the historical social science methodology of Max Weber.
This study did not aim to discover new facts, but to prove that the excellency of the Joseon Navy in the Imjin War was the results of experiences of fighting Japanese pirates and troops in previous years. To achieve the research aim, this study comprehensively analyzed research findings which had been done in different areas.
This study found out that fighting experiences with Japanese pirates troops in the early years of the dynasty helped Joseon to strengthen its naval power to secure the command of the sea. Of course, Joseon did not consistently pursue such a maritime strategy in the early years of the dynasty. But, dealing with Japanese forces in Sampo Waeran, Saryangjin Waebyeon, Eulmyo Waebyeon, and Sonjukdo Waebyeon, etc., Joseon could clearly figure out shortages and defects of its maritime war capacities, and improve its naval structure, warships and weapons over time. As a result, the Joseon Navy could show its strong aspects during the Imjin War.
It is expected that this study will contribute to understanding of the causal relationship between Japanese attacks in the early years of Joseon and supremacy of the Joseon Navy during the Imjin War and understanding of history from the consilient perspective.