Battle of Busan (1592)

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Battle of Busan
Part of Imjin War
Date4 October 1592
Off coast of Busan, Korea
Result Tactical Korean victory[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
Joseon navy Japanese navy
Commanders and leaders
I Sunsin
Won Gyun
I Eokgi
Wakisaka Yasuharu
Kuki Yoshitaka
Tōdō Takatora
Kato Yoshiaki
166+ warships[10] ~500 warships[11]
Casualties and losses
30 killed[11]
25 wounded[11]
80 warships[11]

The Battle of Busan of 1592, or the Battle of Busanpo (Battle of Busan Bay) (釜山浦 海戰) was a naval bombardment of anchored Japanese ships at Busan. Yi Sun-sin managed to destroy over 100 Japanese ships and retreated with minimal casualties.[11]


Following the Battle of Hansan Island, the Japanese navy retreated to Busan and focused on protecting and rebuilding their positions.[10]

Meanwhile reconstruction of the Joseon fleet brought its strength up to 166 vessels. With this fleet Yi Sun-sin and Yi Eok-gi set sail from Yeosu on 29 September. Won Gyun's small flotilla joined them the following day and together they advanced towards Busan. They reached the estuary of Nakdong River on 4 October and received news of 500 Japanese vessels anchored at Busan.[12]


On 4 October, the Koreans caught a strong eastern wind and reached the waters of Busan, where they encountered some Japanese vessels. These were caught and destroyed, 24 in all.[11]

In Busan harbor they found 470 Japanese ships. As they approached them, the Japanese jumped from their ships and rushed to fortifications on the heights overlooking the shore. The Korean ships fired on the Japanese fleet and burned them using fire arrows while the Japanese fired on them from above in their forts. Even with cannons captured at Busan, the Japanese did little damage to the Korean warships. By the time the day had ended, 130 Japanese ships had been destroyed. I Sunsin gave orders to withdraw, ending the battle.[11]


Yi Sun Shin originally intended to destroy all the remaining Japanese ships, however, he realized that doing so would effectively trap the Japanese soldiers inside the Korean Peninsula, where they would travel inland and slaughter the natives. Therefore, Yi left a small number of Japanese ships unharmed and withdrew his navy to resupply. And just as Yi suspected, under the cover of darkness, the remaining Japanese soldiers boarded their remaining ships and retreated.[11]


  1. ^ James B. Lewis, The East Asian War, 1592-1598 ; International relations, violence, and memory, Routledge Press, 126p (2014)
  2. ^ "Routledge".
  3. ^ Samuel Hawley, The Imjin War, Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch ; Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 251p (2005)
  4. ^ "the National Assembly Library of Japan".
  5. ^ Yi Sun shin(translated by 北島万次) Nanjung Ilgi (乱中日記 : 壬辰倭乱の記錄), 平凡社 Press, Tokyo (2000)
  6. ^ 李舜臣, 李忠武公全書, 金屬活字本(丁酉字),內閣, 正祖 19(1795)
  7. ^ Stephen Turnbull, Samurai Invasion: Japan's Korean War 1592 -1598, Cassell; First edition(2002)
  8. ^ "Tokyo university's Library". Archived from the original on 2015-10-01.
  9. ^ "壬辰狀草 제 4차 부산포 승첩을 아뢰는 계본 (만력 20년(1592) 9월 17일)".
  10. ^ a b Hawley 2005, p. 246.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Hawley 2005, p. 250.
  12. ^ Hawley 2005, p. 249-250.


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See also[edit]