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The Criticism against Admiral Lee Sun-sin depicted in 『A history of naval battles in the Imjin war』 by Arima Seiho

Kim, Joonbae 1

1해군사관학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper analyzes how Lee Sun-Sin is depicted in 『A history of naval battles in the Imjin war』, published in 1942, during the Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War, and what kind of authors' perceptions and backgrounds influenced these descriptions written in the book. This book was published by Arima Seiho, rear admiral, who was a war history expert already published various writings on war history. What he portrayed in his 『A history of naval battles in the Imjin war』 were Joseon's negative side for political system, individualistic Koreans, Lee Sun-sin, who lacked military spirit, comparing to courageous and brilliant Japanese. To make this more effective, he argues against existing theories. However, his evidence presented with it was not convincing. He argues that these detailed studies show that the impact of the naval battles on the whole phase of the war was not significant, and that the Korean navy did not block Japanese supply lines. However, this is not true that Joseon navy's efforts have made it impossible for Japanese army to eventually wage war as intended. He also justifies that Japanese admirals struggled for achievement and merits, eventually leading to defeat in battle. In this way, he finds the cause of the failure in the Imjin War by his detailed research, weakens his argument by defending it, and repeats the lack of evidence. In conclusion, he argues that the most essential element of war is the human element, as is the case in ground battles by army and diplomacy. Through this, he fails to draw lessons from the naval battle. In the end, his book focused on just enhancing the Japanese pride, which can be understood by the influence of Japanese centralism during the Pacific War.

Citation status

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