Mandchu Invasion of Korea

Publié le par Tiger LEE

First Manchu expedition to Korea : 정묘호란 丁卯胡亂

The Manchus under Hong Taiji made their first expedition to Korea in 1627. In Korea, this event is called Jeongmyo-Horan, which is insulting to the Manchus.


Joseon helped Ming China when she attacked Manchus' Later Jin under Nurhaci in 1619, but Korean General Gang Hong-rip surrendered to Nurhaci. Gang insisted that Korea did not hold anything against the Manchus and that she sent reinforcements only to repay an obligation to Ming. Nurhaci and his son Daišan were not interested in conquering Korea too. This antiwar policy lasted until Nurhaci's death.

In Korea the Westerners faction deposed the realist king Gwanghaegun and installed King Injo in 1623. This faction took explicit pro-Ming, anti-Manchu policies. In addition, Ming Mobile Corps Commander Mao Wenlong engaged in guerrilla warfare making an island of Korea his base.

The first Manchu expedition was triggered by Yi Gwal's rebellion against King Injo in 1624. The revolt was soon crushed but remnants fled to Manchuria. They recommended Hong Taiji to invade Korea.


In 1627, Hong Taiji dispatched Amin, Jirgalang, Ajige and Yoto to Korea guided by Gang Hong-rip and other Koreans. The Korean army was no match for Manchu one. The Manchu also defeated Mao Wenlong's troops but failed to capture the commander. When the Manchus advanced southward to Hwangju, King Injo fled from Hanseong (Seoul) to Ganghwa Island in astonishment.

Despite the dominant situation, the Manchus pushed peace negotiations, probably because Hong Taiji was concerned about the home defence. The following was the settlement in Gwanhwa Island:

  1. Korea abandons the Ming era name Tianqi (天啓).
  2. Korea offers Yi Gak as a hostage as a substitute for a royal prince.
  3. (Later) Jin and Korea will not violate each other's territory.

After three-day looting, Amin signed another settlement in Pyongyang which was more favorable to the Manchus. After the four month expedition, the Manchu army finally returned to Mukden.

Passage Afterwards

The two sides conducted postwar negotiations. The Manchus forced Korea to open markets near the borders because the long conflict with Ming brought economic hardship to the Manchus. Korea also returned the Warka tribe to Later Jin. The Manchus regularly exacted tribute from Korea.

The relationship between Later Jin and Joseon remained dark. Korean Confucians continually advocated unrealistic attacks to the Manchus to help the surezain state Ming. They did never enhance military power, however. The unstable peace was destroyed in 1636. See: Second Manchu expedition to Korea.

Second Manchu expedition to Korea

The Manchu Qing Empire made the second expedition to Korea in 1637 and brought her into submission. In Korea, this event is called Byeongja-Horan (丙子胡亂; 병자호란), which is insulting to the Manchus.


After the first Manchu expedition to Korea, the Joseon Dynasty remained unfaithful to the Manchus. Trade was in bad condition and Korea did not return fugitives from Later Jin, and on the top of that Korea took a defiant attitude when Hong Taiji declared the new dynasty of Qing. Korean delegates refused to kowtow to Hong Taiji at the ceremony and threw away the diplomatic correspondence where Hong Taiji was referred to as the emperor. The Manchu delegates Inggūldai and Mafuta got a cold reception in Hanseong (Seoul) where Korean soldiers stood in the shadow. The delegates were shocked and fled back to Qing.

The Korean court was dominated by the pro-war party. They were, however, so quixotic that they did not enhance military power. In addition, a warlike message to Pyong'ando was carelessly seized by Inggūldai.


In the winter, Hong Taiji himself led Manchu, Mongol, and Chinese Banners and Mongol army to Korea. Dodo rushed to Hanseong to prevent King Injo from fleeing to Ganghwa Island as Korean kings traditionally did. Failing to escape to the island, the king took refuge in the Namhansan fortress, which was immediately besieged by the Manchu army. The Korean army in the fortress suffered from scarcity of food and ammunition. While Korean officials had unrealistic debates, Dorgon occupied Ganghwa Island in a day and captured the second son and concubines of King Injo, which made him offer his submission. King Injo yielded up three pro-war officers to Qing.

The following was the conditions of peace:

  1. Korea becomes a dependency of the Qing Dynasty.
  2. Korea breaks away with the suzerain Ming.
  3. Korea offers the first and second sons of King Injo, and sons or brothers of ministers as hostages.
  4. Korea pays tribute to Qing as she has done to Ming.
  5. Korea will serve in the war against Ming.
  6. Korea offers army and ships to attack an island.
  7. Qing does not allow Korea to build castles without restraint.
  8. Qing allows Korea to trade with Japan.

Hong Taiji set up a platform in Samjeondo--the upper reach of the Han River. At the top of the platform he accepted King Injo's surrender. King Injo kowtowed to him and begged his forgiveness.


Northern and middle Korea was devastated by war. Although the Manchu army was strict in discipline, the Mongol soldiers plundered cities.

In accordance with the terms of surrender, Korea sent troops to attack Pi Island at the mouth of the Yalu River. The Koreans are said to have massacred Chinese there more brutally than the Manchus.

Hong Taiji ordered Korea to put up a monument in honor of the excellent virtues of the Manchu Emperor. In 1639 the monument was erected at Samjeondo, where the ceremony of surrender had been conducted.

Korea continued to take a defiant attitude, although privately, to the Qing Dynasty while she officially yielded obedience. Korean scholars secretly used Ming's era name even after her collapse. They thought that Korea was the legitimate successor of Chinese civilization instead of "barbaric" Qing. King Hyojong, who lived as a hostage for seven years in Mukden, planned an unrealistic expedition to Qing called Bukbeol (北伐).

Beginning in 1639 and continuing throughout the rest of the Joseon Dynasty, the Korean court trained a corps of professional Korean-Manchu translators. These replaced earlier interpreters of Jurchen, who had been trained using the Jurchen script. The official designation was changed from "Jurchen" to "Manchu" in 1667. The first textbooks for this purpose were drawn up by Shin Gye-Am, who had also been an interpreter of Jurchen and transliterated old Jurchen textbooks for the purpose.

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Publié dans War - Campaign

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