Battle of Sangju (1592)

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For the Korean War battle, see Battle of Sangju (1950).
Battle of Sangju
Part of the Imjin War
Date April 24 1592
Location Sangju, North Gyeongsang, Korea
Result Japanese victory
Japanese forces Korean forces
Commanders and leaders
Konishi Yukinaga Yi Il
18,700 men about 1000 men
Casualties and losses
unknown most killed

The Battle of Sangju was one of the first battles in the First phase of the Japanese Invasions of Korea (Imjin War). The Koreans attempted to stop the Japanese invasion and prevent the siege of Fort Ch'ungju. However, the superior technology of the Japanese forces, particularly the arquebuses, proved decisive. Similar to most Korean generals at the start of the war, Yi Il performed poorly. The Japanese were victorious and pushed on to Chungju.


Yi Il gathered 1,000 men from among the local peasantry in Sangju. Yi Il did not want to be annihilated inside Sangju so he arranged his men on a small hill nearby. When a messenger arrived, warning of the Japanese approach, Yi had him beheaded, so that his announcement would not lower his men's morale.

Yi Il then sent out a scout to locate the position of the Japanese army. Unfortunately, the scout was shot and killed by a Japanese sharpshooter. When the scout did not return, Yi Il assumed the Japanese were nearby. Soon, the Japanese soldiers under General Konishi Yukinaga appeared.

Konishi and his generals then ordered the ashigaru (foot soldiers) to fire upon the Koreans with arquebuses. Following a volley of fire, his infantry charged. As the Japanese began to advance up the hill, Yi ordered his men to return fire, but their arrows fell short. Konishi Yukinaga split his force and began to encircle the Korean emplacement. Yi Il turned his horse around, and retreated with his remaining army. Konishi's army was victorious, killing approximately 300 of the defending Korean force. Konishi continued to lead his men onto Chungju for another victory.

See also[edit]


  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). 'The Samurai Sourcebook'. London: Cassell & Co.