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Military Study on SungwooKim’s Victory over Japanese pirates in Late Goryeo Dynast

Lee Jea-joon 1

1육군

Accredited

ABSTRACT

No historical record exists regarding Domanho Kim Seong-wu (1330∼1392) and his operations to repel Japanese Pirates in the late Goryeo Dynasty. Only his family and title is known from the words on the tomb stones of descendants and theplace-names around Boryeong region,originated from the battle against Japanese Pirates, can be found in local documents and geography books from the Joseon Dynasty. Despite the lack of historical data, the existence of Kim Seong-wu and his victory over Japanese pirates have been confirmed true through previous studies. This study, therefore, aims to cover the Goryeo Dynasty’s troop disposition and maneuver patterns during the fight against the Japanese Pirates. Prior to analyzing troop disposition and maneuver patterns at that time, this study explores the size of both Goryeo Dynasty and Japanese Pirates’ troops and the exact time of the battle. Kim is known to be Jeolchung General and Domanho of the east Jeonla Province. However, based on the military system and historical circumstances in late Goryeo Dynasty, it would be more plausible to say that Kim was a Manho assigned to the east Jeonla Province during the reign of King Wu in the late Goryeo Dynasty. The title Domanho seems to be given to him later on. The number ofKim’s troops is estimated to be around 140∼310 with 2∼3 fleets, while that of Japanese Pirates is to be around 340∼640 with about 20 fleets. It is also presumed that the time of the battle was around 1346 during the reign of King Gongyang on the basis of the invasion of Japanese Pirate to Boryeong region and circumstances at that time. Also, this study as certains whether he actually dispatched his troops around the area known to be Kim’s post, via geographic and regiona analysis. In terms of military action, the analysis has confirmed that most origins of the place-names would be true. Kim made the best use of the region strategically in that his troop disposition was similar to contemporary ones. Utilizing the concept of 3-zone defense. With this concept based by Kim, it is certain that Kim had military and tactical knowledge,and he leveraged geography in the battle. The maneuver patterns of Heukpo and Uipyeong-ri, the primary battlefields,have been examined by drawing the route of the troops from the place-names. These place-names have been selectively chosen not only from stories passed down mouth to mouth but also from Yeogidoseo and A Surve of Korean Geographical Names, books that deal with General Kim’s victory over Japanese Pirates. After geographical analysis of the selected battlefields, the possibility of the battles and their maneuver patterns are examined. Based on the examination, during Heukpo battle General Kim deployed bypass maneuver. In order to exterminate the Pirates, Kim’s army took a detourto Gunyip landing safely on Gundeuljae and successfully defeated them by approaching from inland. Also, in Uipyeong-ribattle, he employed maneuver tactic. During the fight, General Kim took advantage of geography to lure the Pirates into a trap while effectively mobilizing his troops to Bokbeongyi. From these two battles, it can be concluded the victory over Japanese Pirates around Boryeong in medieval times was a comprehensive one that combined successful attack, defence, and delaying tactics. In conclusion, in spite of the inferiority in numberand weapon, Kim Seong-wu protected Boryeong from the Japanese Pirates with military wisdom and ingenious strategy making the best use of geography.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.