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Siam's participation in Imjin war

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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Siam's participation in Imjin war
    Posted: 24-Apr-2008 at 08:08
While reading a new book I bought recently about Imjin war I came across interesting information about participation of Ayutthaya in Imjin war.
 
The following is probably an oversimplification but...similarly as in 1950 communist invasion to the South Korea brought the challenge to the existent "world order" and was followed by the UN intervention, Japanese invasion to Korea in 1592 brought no lesser challenge to the Sinocentric order in East Asia. Loyal tributaries and allies didn't hesitate to send the Middle Kingdom at least a symbolic support. Among them was Ayutthaya that sent a small military detachment to fight the Japanese aggressors together with Ming army. Moreover, Thai king Naresuan even proposed the Chinese emperor to strike Japanese islands with his fleet while the main body of Japanese troops was fighting in Korea. For some reason, the emperor politely rejected this offer...
 
So, can anybody kindly share with us any account of these interesting events from the Thai perspective? Unfortunately, the information in my book was quite limited.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2008 at 18:11
This is very interesting indeed. I had absolutely no idea. What is the name of the book, so that I might keep an eye out for it (though there seem to be very few books on the Imjin War here)?

I imagine that the logistical difficulties involved with sending more than a token force from Ayutthaya to Korea would have been immense, however.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2008 at 22:51
The book is called "The Imjin War" and is written by Samuel Hawley.
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  Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2008 at 03:08
I read something about that recently as well.

At the time, Ayutthaya has recently been liberated from Burmese domination. Naresuan would want to reestablish Ayutthaya's power in the region. Ayutthaya still faces a still-strong Burma, as well as threats from Lanxang and Vietnam. Helping the Chinese (to whom Siam and other SE Asian kingdoms sends tribute) against the Japanese would be something that would strengten Siamese pristige and helps to build stronger relations with China.

At the time of the Imjin War, trade with Japan is limited and mostly conducted through the Ryukyu Kingdom (a tributary of both China and Japan), which is unlike the situation in the early 17th century when trading links between Ayutthaya and Japan were much stronger. Naresuan thus had little to lose if he attacks the Japanese. In the end though, since Siam is considerably far from Korea, the theatre of war, the Emperor decided the Siamese won't be much help in the war and declines the offer.
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