The Goto troops in Japans Invasion of Korea (朝鮮出兵における五島勢)

Here is the article "The Goto troops in Japan's Invasion of Korea" about the activities of Goto Domain in Hizen Province (Fukue Domain, the present Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture) in the Bunroku and Keicho War led by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.

Preliminary preparations for Japan's Invasion of Korea
In July and August 1587, Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI conquered Kyushu. At that time, he acknowledged a 15,530 koku fief as belonging to Sumiharu UKU (the twentieth head of the Goto Domain).

Hideyoshi defeated Masamune DATE in Oshu (Northern Honshu, the region encompassing Mutsu and Dewa Provinces) in 1589.

The next year, he destroyed Ujinao HOJO by besieging Odawara, transferred Ieyasu TOKUGAWA to Kanto, and completed unifying the country.

Having finished unification inside the country, Hideyoshi turned his eyes overseas. First, he ordered that Korea pay tribute to him, threatening that if it did not obey his order, he would attack the country, and sent Yoshishige SO of Tsushima Province to conduct negotiations. He sent envoys to Luzon and Takasagun (Taiwan) as well.

In 1591, Hideyoshi ordered his subordinate warlords to gather their troops for military service.

He handed over the office of chancellor to his nephew Hidetsugu, Minister of the Palace, and he himself became Taiko (retired imperial regent).

Then he built a castle in Nagoya in Hizen Province, moving there. In October and November, he ordered the castellan of Hirado-jo Castle, Shigenobu MATSUURA (hoin), to have a castle constructed in Kazamoto in Iki Province. Shigenobu MATSUURA (hoin), the castellan of Hirado-jo Castle, Harunobu ARIMA, the castellan of Hinoe-jo Castle, Yoshiaki OMURA, the castellan of Kushima-jo Castle and Sumiharu GOTO, the castellan of Goto-jo Castle were in charge of building the castle. In this year, Sumiharu UKU changed his family name to Goto.

Yukinaga KONISHI and the son of Yoshishige SO, Yoshitoshi, advised Hideyoshi to proceed with peaceful policies towards Korea.

After their advice was approved, they went over to Korea to solve the problem by negotiation, but failed. During this period, Hideyoshi had warlords in Kyushu, such as Kiyomasa KATO, be on standby in Iki and Tsushima islands. On April 24, 1592, he had the first division including Yukinaga KONISHI, Yoshitoshi SO and 18,700 other soldiers cross the sea and land in the Korean Peninsula as scheduled. Then, he organized his army, over 158,000 men, in up to nine divisions, such as Kiyomasa KATO's second division and Nagamasa KURODA' s third division, with 9,200 soldiers making up the Funa-bugyo (Marshals of the Ships), such as Yoshitaka KUKI's (gradually becoming the formation of a navy). A reserve army of more than 100,000 soldiers, including those of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Toshiie MAEDA, Kagekatsu UESUGI and Masamune DATE, were on standby in Nagoya, in Hizen Province. Sumiharu GOTO, the lord of Goto, belonged to the first division led by Yukinaga KONISHI. Sumiharu sent 700 soldiers according to the military role allocated to him, and assigned Hachirobe Morinaga GOTO as Jodai (the keeper of castle) and rusuyaku (the proxy governor).

The composition of the first division to which the Goto troops belonged
Yukinaga KONISHI: 7,000 troops
Yoshitoshi SO : 5,000
Shigenobu MATSUURA (hoin): 3,000
Harunobu ARIMA: 2,000
Yoshiaki OMURA: 1,000
Sumiharu GOTO: 700

Total: 18,700

The Goto troops in the Bunroku campaign
The Goto troops, which advanced on Korea on May 23, 1592, fought hard as the vanguard of the first division on May 25, and occupied Busan Metropolitan City castle on the same day. The next day they took the Dongnae castle in Gyeongsang-do, and on 28th, they attacked Miryang and took it. They advanced further, and castles in Gyeongsang-do, Chungcheong-do and Gyeonggi-do surrendered without fighting. The invasion army of Hideyoshi took Seoul Special City, the capital of Korea, in only nineteen days. Before the capital Hansong was occupied, the King of Korea had given up the capital and run away. During the battle, Korean people who had been suffering under their tyrannical dynasty burned the Gyeongbokgung Palace and changnye won, which kept the register of slaves, and turned them into ashes.

The Korean navy with Yi Sun-sin attacked the Japanese army that was in the process of deploying to the west of Busan, and thousands of troops in the Japanese army and navy had to remain there to deal with it. In addition, as the transportation route from Busan to Hansong was attacked using guerrilla tactics, inland bases became concerned about their emergency provisions. In August and September, Zu Chengxun of Ming, the Vice Commander of Liaodong, who had answered Korea's request for help, dispatched reinforcements without waiting for orders from Beijing. Zu Chengxun advanced south from Uiju in Korea and attacked Pyongyang, but Yukinaga KONISHI fought hard and drove him back. However, Ming's intervention changed the one-sided progress of the war.

In February and March 1593, the Ming army, under the general Li Ru-song and his 43,000 men, besieged Yukinaga KONISHI in Pyongyang. 1600 soldiers of the first division were killed during this battle. Some of the Goto troops, such as Danjo OTA, Juro ko and Shinpachi AOKATA, also fell on the battlefield. Yukinaga was forced to withdraw and retreated to Hansong.

Takakage KOBAYAKAWA's troops in the sixth division also withdrew to Hansong, causing a serious shortage of food supplies. Taking encouragement from such circumstances, Li Ru-song advanced south and closed in on Hansong. Takakage, Hideie UKITA, Muneshige TACHIBANA and Hiroie KIKKAWA, engaged Li Ru-song at the Byeokjegwan and defeated him (the battle of Byeokjegwan). Sumiharu GOTO also took part in the battle.

However, the Japanese army withdrew from Hansong due to their provisions running short, and concentrated their troops in Busan and the surrounding areas. The time for both armies to make peace had come, and they engaged in peace negotiations with the arrival of an envoy from Ming. But it was quite difficult to reach an accommodation with the conditions requested by each party.

Under these circumstances, Goto's troops were faced with a serious situation. Sumiharu, who had become infected with smallpox in his base, died on August 24. Because Sumiharu did not have any children with his wife, the successor of the Goto family had to be determined in camp. OHAMA Magoemon Harumasa held talks with Jinkichi HIRATA and Zensuke AOKATA, and visited Yukinaga KONISHI and told him about Sumiharu's will. Yukinaga immediately sent a messenger to the Nagoya-jo Castle, but all the vassals were still anxious. So Yukinaga summoned Harumasa and advised him to succeed the Goto family according to the Sumiharu's last words. Since Harumasa rejected his advice, Yukinaga summoned Jinkichi to discuss the matter again. He summoned Harumasa again and advised him to succeed the Goto family after receiving the son of the proxy governor Hachirobe GOTO for adoption. Under that condition, Harumasa became the twenty-first head of the Goto family.

Ming's envoys came from Beijing.
On October 22, 1596, Hideyoshi had an interview with an envoy from Ming in Osaka-jo Castle, and he became furious when seeing the line of a diplomatic message dispatched by the sovereign in Ming, which said that 'We hereby especially recognize you and bestow upon you the title of King of Japan.'
He understood that the peace negotiations by Yukinaga KONISHI were a deception, and tried to punish him by killing him on the spot. However, Yukinaga narrowly escaped death thanks to Saisho Shotai's efforts to placate Hideyoshi and Yukinaga's own profuse apologies.

Hideyoshi ordered troops dispatched again.

The Goto troops in the Keicho campaign
In October 1596, Hideyoshi issued orders to invade Korea again. The army of over 141,500 men, including the defensive force of 20,000 soldiers who had been guarding the fortresses in Korea built by the Japanese army, landed on the Korean Peninsula for the second time. Harumasa GOTO belonged to Yukinaga KONISHI's troops, and they took part in the invasion of Hansan Island and defeated the enemy.

The Japanese army made a clean sweep of the enemy between Jeolla-do and Chungcheong-do and threatened the capital, Hansong. However, because the Ming army did not leave Hansong and showed a willingness to fight back, the Japanese army did not stay inland in winter but took up their position on the southern coast of Korea and stayed there over the winter.

In January and February 1598, the Ulsan Waeseong (Ulsan Japanese Castle), in which Kiyomasa KATO and Yoshinaga ASANO had been holed up, was surrounded by thousands of Ming soldiers led by Military Commissioner Yang Hao. Harumasa GOTO, lead his navy to the rescue of his friends, attacking the Ming army from behind. Seeing this, Kato and Asano's besieged army made a sortie and drove the Ming army away. This happened on February 6, 1598.

On February 22, Hideyoshi sent Terasawa Shima-no-Kami to award Harumasa a letter bearing his seal, along with a kimoto with short sleeves and a set of formal clothes; the letter told Harumasa that 今度大明人蔚山取還之由注進付 而為後巻雖押出候敵引退之由 既に自此方も安芸中納言 増田右衛門 因幡但馬大和紀伊九鬼父子等可取立旨雖被仰付候右之分候間不及是非候 云々
In addition, after Harumasa returned to Japan and presented himself at Osaka-jo Castle to express his gratitude for taking over as the head of the family in September, Hideyoshi granted the 'Toyotomi' name in reward for his distinguished military service.

In 1598, the Goto troops were guarding the Suncheon Waeseong (Suncheon Japanese Castle) on the coast of Kwangyang Bay, 10 kilometers southeast of Suncheon, with Yukinaga KONISHI, Shigenobu MATSUURA, Harunobu ARIMA and Yoshiaki OMURA. From October 31 to November 2, the Ming and Korean armies attacked the Suncheon Waeseong from both land and sea, but the Japanese army fought them off. Although Hideyoshi had already died on September 18 before this battle started, this was concealed from the Japanese army in Korea. On November 13, an order for the Japanese army in Korea to withdraw was issued in the name of the Gotairo (Five Elders), and they were to withdraw from Korea. However, the Ming and Korean navy's blockade impeded the withdrawal of Konishi's troops, including the Goto troops. To save Konishi's army including the Goto troops, Yoshihiro SHIMAZU, Yoshitoshi SO, Muneshige TACHIBANA, Munemasu TAKAHASHI and Masanari TERASAWA organized a naval force and went to their rescue. The Shimazu relief force was attacked by the Ming and Korean navy, and the battle of Noryang occurred. This enabled the vessels of Konishi's troops, including the Goto troops, to evacuate when the blockade was broken. With this, the dispatch of soldiers to Korea came to an end. The Goto troops and the Shimazu troops had been good friends through this war and it is said that Shimazu troops often stood by the Goto troops in battles.