Battle of Chungju

Battle of Chungju (Choryang Pass)
Part of Imjin War
DateApril 28 1592
Result Decisive Japanese victory
Japanese army Korean army
Commanders and leaders
Konishi Yukinaga
So Yoshitoshi
Matsuura Shigenobu
Arima Harunobu
Omura Yoshiaki
Shin Rip
Byeon Gi
Kim Yeo-mul
Yi Il
Yi Jong-jang
First Division (ca. 18,700 men) 8,000~16,000[1][verification needed]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Annihilation[2]

The Battle of Chungju or the Battle of Tangeumdae was the last battle of the Chungju Campaign fought between the Koreans and Japanese during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. Chungju is located just south of the Han River and Seoul, Korea's capital. The failure to defend it led to the capture of the capital weeks later.

Chungju Battle[]

This story is an excerpt from The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty.

After having lost Busan, the Court in Hanseong (present-day Seoul) placed their hopes in a prominent general, Shin Rip, who had earned much recognition for his successes against the Jurchens in the North. The Korean King gave Shin Rip a sword and power to command so he was able to recruit the Royal Guards and many expert archers.

Although Shin Rip was a notable general, he failed to protect Mungyeong saejae mountain pass in a military blunder and retreated to Chungju castle where he believed he could stop the Japanese. When Shin Rip learned of the Japanese approach, he decided to meet the Japanese out on the flat plains near Chungju. Since much of his men were composed of cavalry, Shin Rip wanted a field battle where he could take advantage of the forces at his command.

Shin Rip lined up his cavalry division along the river. This classic Chinese strategy is known as bae-soo-jin (배수진, 背水陣 in Korean). Although fighting on a flat plain seemed a reasonable strategy, the various vegetation that grew there at the time actually hindered mounted troop movements. Another factor that might have impeded the Korean cavalry would be their weapons. Their main weapon was the Korean composite bow. Considering that the Japanese employed a considerable number of pikemen, combined with the unfavourable terrain, the Korean cavalry might have had great difficulty charging the Japanese.

April 27, a Korean soldier, search out the enemy. but Shin rip killed him. He thought it was a lie. Meantime, Japanese General Konishi Yukinaga was staying in Sangju, and scouting around. He found out the strategies of Koreans. He was planning to invade.

April 28, Konishi Yukinaga attacked Chungju. He occupied the castle in secret. Japanese Troops were ambushed in the mountains. Some units were moved along the river. Shin rip realized too late. Fire in town. Many people died. The Korean cavalry fought back but the castle was already lost. The trumpet sounded from the castle. Suddenly, the Japanese attacked. Koreans were killed on Japanese swords. The Koreans were defeated and while Shin Rip escaped, he later killed himself. The Japanese killed 3,000 Koreans and took Chungju with minimal losses.

There are records in a book by Luis Frois, but he is not seen war. It is imagined, only just heard from someone else. In his writings, Konishi Yukinaga defeated 80,000 Korean and 8000 cavalry and the ax-wielding knight. However, whether this claim is true or not, remains uncertain.

'Luis Frois' is the Jesuit scribe of 'Macau'. 'Macau' has gathered reports are written by Jesuit missionaries who work in the barracks of the Japanese and Konishi Yukinaga. 'Luis Frois' seems to be based on the reports. It does not matter whether 'Frois' participated in the battle directly or not. The records of the TanGeumDae battle of the Joseon side did not leave records for those who were at the battle site.

The Korean Record 'The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty' The army of Shin Rip were written to 10,0000 people. History of Korea 'Nanjung jab rok' army of Shin Rip were written to 60,000 people. Japan recorded 'DaikoKi' There are forces of Shin Rip were written by 60,000 to 70,000 people.

According to 'Jingbirok' written by 'Yoo Sung Ryong' When Shinrip arrived in Chungcheong province, it said that it had collected 8,000 troops in Chungcheong province.

'Sangchon jip' written by 'Shinheum' According to the 'seonjo sujeong silrok' written by the Chosun royal family captain 'Shinpyeong' is a collection of 80 officers and noble young men 8000 people who can shoot 8,000 bow in Seoul, and he took 8,000 soldiers near Seoul.

The 8,000 noble youths recruited by Shin Lip in Seoul are 'Hanryang', which is incorporated into the civil defense army of Joseon. When they go to battle It seems to have taken five of them per person (Their Personal slaves)

In 'Yongin Battle', the military of Korea was 18,000 but The total number of troops was 80000, which is mentioned in the annals of the Joseon Dynasty.

'Hanryang' also serve in the Korean naval base they also became an officer and was in charge of escorting the Chosun correspondent. they also worked in the palace.

In the records above(Sangchon Jip , Seongjo Sujeong Sillok), 'General Lee il' says that he brought 4000 ~ 6000 Gyoungsangdo people to Chungju


A messenger brought the news quickly to King Seonjo. The loss at the Battle of Chungju left no hope for him, and his entire family and court took flight to Pyongyang, where he hoped the remaining garrison could delay the capture of the capital of Hanseong (Seoul).