Why did China never invade Japan?

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,873
Considering all their strengths a vast empire in China should have easily made mincemeat of Japan yet they made Japan look like the most invincible army in the world. I am surprised Japan was never annexed by a Chinese empire. Why?
 
Jul 2013
940
Melbourne
Considering all their strengths a vast empire in China should have easily made mincemeat of Japan yet they made Japan look like the most invincible army in the world. I am surprised Japan was never annexed by a Chinese empire. Why?
First of all, what period are we talking here? Second of all, projecting an army across a reasonably large sea is very difficult, especially for pre industrial societies. Third of all, China has historically been a land empire with a strong focus upon mainland East Asia. Forth of all from 1850 through to 2000 Japan has been the greater power.
 

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,873
I mean throughout history. Why has Japan never been conquered by China. I find it hard to believe that there was no time in history when China did not have the resources for this.
 
Jul 2013
940
Melbourne
I mean throughout history. Why has Japan never been conquered by China. I find it hard to believe that there was no time in history when China did not have the resources for this.
Maybe it had the resources at some point, but was it worth the risk/cost? Why would they have needed to invade such a relatively large and prosperous group of islands? To what benefit?

The Mongols attempted it, and failed.
 

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,873
Mongols were a bunch of nomads who relied on terrestrial attacks with cavalries. You needed a naval power with modern weaoponry and China was probably one of the best amphibious military power that could fight both on water and land. Yet it never tried. If Japan was prosperous that makes it an even more lucarative adventure.
 
May 2014
696
Budapest
Also the chinese (and mongols later) were masters of the "we are the ONE empire" thought.

I remember reading about chinese giving out titles for foreign monarchs, which basically meant that they consider these monarchs far away vassals. (these monarchs didn't mind, as they wanted to trade with China, and were far away most of the time)

Why should a rhino bother with an ant?
 
Jan 2015
955
EARTH
I think the scholar bureaucrats after the Tang never liked the military types/warrior/soldier class, or any military adventures.
They really looked down on them. Most of the time, they wanted to just keep the cake (territory) - but never try to regain or get more cake.
Most of the expansions was conducted under adventurous new kings/Emperors or dynasties of foreign non-Han nature. Since many of the non-Han rulers were land-based militaries, the idea of naval warfare was completely daunting and foreign to them thus they never tried.

My impression.
 
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