During Korea’s two Imjin Wars against Japanese invaders—in 1592 and 1597—the Korean people endured incompetent leadership, famine, the destruction of their villages and bloody assaults that resulted in a “mountain” of pickled noses and ears of 38,000 Koreans placed on display in Osaka, Japan. The Imjin invasions and earlier and later ones—chiefly the Mongolian in 1231–70, the Japanese of 1910–45, and the Korean War of 1950–53—have profoundly shaped Korean history and literature but the “most brutal” were the Imjin Wars. Diaries and memoirs of those who survived in Korea and those abducted to Japan provide the main documentation of Koreans’ efforts at self-definition in the Imjin period.View Source
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