SECOND INVASION OF KOREA
 I HAVE told you before how the rich and powerful Buddhist monks opposed Nobunaga. To curtail their influence,
Nobunaga showed much favor to the Portuguese missionaries, and the greater part of the island of Kiushiu was
converted to Christianity. The missionaries also succeeded on the island of Hondo, and one of the most favored
captains of Hideyoshi was a Christian. The Lord of the Golden Water Gourds was indifferent. He did not care
whether a Japanese was a Christian or a Buddhist, so long as he obeyed the laws as laid down by him. But now
that Japan was pacified, the question arose as to what to do with the large number of soldiers whom his
successes had brought to his standard.
These soldiers were samurai, or knights. To them it seemed the greatest disgrace to learn a trade or to earn a
living. They were willing to defend their country or their lord, but they demanded to be supported in time of
peace, without being compelled to do any work, except to practice with their arms. The country, however, was
now too poor to support such a number of men in idleness. Besides this, these samurai were fond of fighting.
For some time Hideyoshi kept them quiet
 by introducing a ceremonious tea drinking, the rules of which were very complicated and caused much study. But
he knew that he must give them more serious work, or he would have to face awkward troubles at home.
CASTLE OF HIDEYOSHI'S TIME
While considering this question, the thought occurred to him to occupy his troops with the conquest of China.
He did not for a moment doubt that they could accomplish it. American boys sometimes use the expression, "It
is as easy as falling off a log." Hideyoshi thought the same thing when he said, "It is as easy as rolling up
a mat and carrying it off under the arm." When he finally made up his mind, it was decided that Korea should
first be captured.
Hideyoshi could not very well assume the title of regent, for that would have offended the whole of the
 Japanese nobility; but he secured the office of prime minister, which gave him more power than any regent had
ever possessed. He could declare war without consulting anybody. Soon it was speedily known that an expedition
against Korea was to be made.
When the poor Koreans heard what was in store for them, they did not like it at all. Between the Chinese on
one side, and the Japanese on the other, they had a hard time of it. The Chinese had forbidden them to send
tribute to Japan, and so they had not sent any for almost a hundred years. This was all very well so long as
the Ashikaga regents pretended to rule Japan; but now that there was a man at the head of the government who
knew how to make himself obeyed, the Koreans sent several embassies to settle the dispute in a peaceable
But Hideyoshi did not want peace. He had determined to conquer China, and nothing less than that would do.
Besides this, he firmly believed that the Japanese had conquered Korea under Empress Jingu, and that it really
belonged to Japan. Preparations were therefore made to send a strong army so that this conquest would not
occupy too much time, and so that China's turn might come as soon as possible. This took place near the close
of the sixteenth century.
INVASION OF KOREA
But who should command this expedition? Hideyoshi was too well acquainted with the history of Japan to trust
one general, who after being successful might declare himself independent; then it would be more difficult to
punish him than to conquer the peninsula. To go himself would be exceedingly
dan-  gerous, since his absence from Japan might lead to the rebellion of the nobles, who were not over fond of him.
At last he decided to divide the expedition into two armies, to be commanded by two of his best officers, who
were not only rivals, but hated each other; so that one would act as a check upon the other.
It may be that the introduction of the system of official spies dates from this time. It is a very curious
custom, and shows the distrust the samurai have toward each other. It is well worth reading about, and will be
explained more fully in another chapter.
When a large fleet had been assembled, Hideyoshi appointed to the command of one army, one of his captains who
had become a Christian; whereas the general in charge of the other army hated all the Christians, and
especially his rival. Now you might think that
 these two armies would not be apt to work very well together, and so it proved. At first they carried
everything before them. The Koreans were defeated, and Soül (sowl), the capital, was taken. The
Japanese acted very brutally wherever they went. But war is always conducted with more or less cruelty, and in
those days soldiers thought it their duty to shed as much blood as they could. The king of Korea left his
capital and withdrew to Ping-yang on the Tatung (tah-tongue) River, the same place where the
Japanese defeated the Chinese in September, 1894. But here also he was followed by his enemy, and. it looked
for some time as if Korea would really become a province of Japan. Meanwhile the two Japanese armies acted
independently, and the king of Korea sent an embassy to the emperor of China, asking for immediate assistance.
The ruler of this great empire was very well aware that if the Japanese succeeded in conquering Korea, he
would have brave and ambitious neighbors who would give him no rest. So he decided at once to help the
Koreans. To gain time, he first sent officers to the Japanese to order them to get out of the peninsula on
threat of punishment from their master. The Japanese only laughed, and they made it very uncomfortable for
these officers. But the emperor of China was now thoroughly alarmed, and, collecting a powerful army, sent it
If the two Japanese generals had acted in harmony, there is no doubt that they would have defeated the
Chinese. But they did not even help each other, and the consequence was that one army was defeated, and
 the other was besieged in the capital. The name Japanese had now grown so detested in Korea that the usually
gentle people would attack and kill any single Japanese, and it was dangerous for the samurai to walk in the
streets, unguarded. At last the Japanese were compelled to treat for peace, and the only trophy which
Hideyoshi's troops brought from China was a ghastly heap of ten thousand ears, cut off from the heads of
Koreans. A mound was built over them in the form of five tiers, and is still shown in Kyoto as a token of
Korea has never recovered from this Japanese invasion. Cities and fields were laid waste, and while the
Japanese are said to have lost a hundred thousand men, the loss of Korean lives must have been much greater.
When the remnant of Hideyoshi's army returned to Japan, they brought with them a number of skilled Korean
workmen, who instructed the Japanese in new and better ways of making porcelain and what is known as Satsuma
(sat-soo-mah) ware. That was all the benefit they derived from their expensive expedition.
Chinese ambassadors had arrived in Kyoto, and handed to Hideyoshi a letter in which their emperor offered to
make him king of Japan. But the Lord of the Golden Water Gourds was not like the Ashikaga regents. He was
furious, tore up the letter, and plainly told the messengers that Japan was an independent country concerning
which the Chinese emperor had nothing to say. He would no longer listen to them, but sent them away in
 Now, though this war was begun and maintained by Hideyoshi, still he had officially retired from public life
before the expedition had left, and had been succeeded by his baby son Hideyori (hid-ee-yoh-ree). But
so it had been for years in Japan. As soon as a good, strong man was established as the real head of the
government, he would resign in favor of some puppet, and from his retirement would wield more power than ever
before. Hideyoshi died seven years after he had resigned. He is best known among Japanese boys and girls by
the name of Taiko Sama (ti-koh sah-mah), or My Lord Taiko, a name assumed by him when his son became