Why didn't Hideyoshi go through Taiwan?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,858
Republika Srpska
#1
The eventual goal of Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea was to get to China and to conquer it. Now, the Japanese were unable to do this and in fact were really unable to even get into Chinese territory (apart from maybe some of Kiyomasa's skirmishes against the Jurchens). Well, my question is: why didn't they consider getting to China through Taiwan? I mean, this is the end of the 16th century, so before any other colonial power took control of Taiwan and AFAIK there were no really strong kingdoms and states in Taiwan at the time. So, it's most likely that the Japanese would have faced much less resistance from the Taiwanese than from the Koreans, who had an organized state and army. Taiwan is not really that far from China and has throughout been used as a stronghold for a regime that eventually wanted to take entire China (the Kuomintang comes to mind and maybe even Koxinga, but I have read conflicting accounts on his motivations). So, why didn't the Japanese take that route? Was it because of their navy? Was it because they heard of diseases there? Or perhaps is it because they never considered it at all?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,697
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#2
Much, much too far. It's a voyage across open ocean to Taiwan. The Japanese could just about cross the strait of Tsushima, but transporting that many men and supplies to Taiwan is a recipe for disaster.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,415
#3
Taiwan in the 16th c. was also still quite a wild place, not quite part of any of the established empires, not even China. Precisely because there wasn't a lot to work with there in advance would be a hindrance. Hideyoshi would have had to first subdue it, and then spend a considerable amount of time and resources to make it a decent stepping-stone base for tackling mainland China.
 
Sep 2012
1,022
Tarkington, Texas
#7
What was there in Taiwan worth Hideyoshi 's attention? The Mongols tried to invade Japan twice and their boats (river craft) were sunk in Typhoons. Invading Korea was much easier, the rewards greater and the Koreans less of a threat than the Chinese. The Red Chinese invaded some offshore islands trying to kick out Chiang Kai Shek's troops. The Red Chinese used fishing boats as transport and the ROC troops had tanks. The People's Liberation Army has not tried it again.

Pruitt
 
Last edited:

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,858
Republika Srpska
#8
What was there in Taiwan worth Hideyoshi 's attention? The Mongols tried to invade Japan twice and their boats (river craft) were sunk in Typhoons. Invading Korea was much easier, the rewards greater and the Koreans less of a threat than the Chinese. The Red Chinese invaded some offshore islands trying to kick out Chiang Kai Shek's troops. The Red Chinese used fishing boats as transport and the ROC troops had tanks. The Red Army has not tried it again.

Pruitt
Hideyoshi was interested in China, Korea was supposed to be just a path to China, I just proposed Taiwan as an alternative path to reach China.
 
Sep 2012
1,022
Tarkington, Texas
#9
Korea is a stepping stone on the way to Peking. Japanese Pirates were so active off the coast of China that the Chinese banned all trade with Japan. This cut off Silk and other consumer goods. The Portuguese came along and became a middleman between the two countries. One other benefit of the Korean route to Peking was the Chinese would have a hard time hitting the Japanese Invaders in the Flank. The Western side of Korea is easier to travel through.

Pruitt
 
May 2017
278
China
#10
The eventual goal of Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea was to get to China and to conquer it. Now, the Japanese were unable to do this and in fact were really unable to even get into Chinese territory (apart from maybe some of Kiyomasa's skirmishes against the Jurchens). Well, my question is: why didn't they consider getting to China through Taiwan? I mean, this is the end of the 16th century, so before any other colonial power took control of Taiwan and AFAIK there were no really strong kingdoms and states in Taiwan at the time. So, it's most likely that the Japanese would have faced much less resistance from the Taiwanese than from the Koreans, who had an organized state and army. Taiwan is not really that far from China and has throughout been used as a stronghold for a regime that eventually wanted to take entire China (the Kuomintang comes to mind and maybe even Koxinga, but I have read conflicting accounts on his motivations). So, why didn't the Japanese take that route? Was it because of their navy? Was it because they heard of diseases there? Or perhaps is it because they never considered it at all?
toyotomi hideyoshi want foothold to attack china, and the best foothold and closest one are korea peninsula, taiwan was just island roughly 100 km away from mainland china, this is not exactly what hideyoshi wanted.

and may i remind you, during hideyoshi time, taiwan still was not part of china, only decade later after imjin war those taiwan island become part of china's ming dynasty.

taiwan during this time still owned by taiwanese aborigine.

maybe because hideyoshi never considered it, maybe hideyoshi did not know there is exist island in there. btw, during this time, southern japan still isn't part of japan yet, it is part of ryukyuan kingdom owned by ryukyuan people (okinawan).
 

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