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  • James Houser

Unknown Soldiers Podcast Episode 20-23, the Imjin War Series: Maps

For your assistance (and because there are virtually no good maps of this war to be found online), I, James Houser, have hand-drawn two maps of the Imjin War for your listening and viewing pleasure. If you can't tell, I worked pretty hard on them, mostly while listening to my audio for mistakes or, occasionally, watching Forged in Fire or Schitt's Creek.

The first map below is a representation of East Asia in 1592, showing the relative positions of China, Japan, and Korea in the 16th Century. Note that China does not extend quite as far north as it does today, since a lot of those northern areas were controlled by the steppe nomads; Korea is a unified nation, not North and South Korea; and islands like Taiwan and Hokkaido are not yet controlled by either China or Japan. Both these islands, in 1592, were still self-governing local or tribal communities that bowed to no higher authority. By the 1620s and 1630s, the Spanish and Portuguese would be taking advantage of the Ming collapse to occupy Taiwan, though the successor Manchu (Qing) Dynasty would drive them out in a few generations.

Also noted are various battles and wars that were NOT part of the Imjin War, but that I reference, either in the introduction and aftermath, or within the short rounds. Just to help establish some geographic scale.

The second map is a close-up of Korea, and this is where all the action is gonna take place. Korea was the battleground of the Imjin War, and there were a LOT of major engagements across the peninsula, enough that I had to include a sub-legend and numbers to make sure they were all annotated. This was a BIG ol' war, easily could've been a longer series, but I condensed. I had to trim some things and cut some others. You're welcome. If I don't include a battle name, it's just the city marked by the X. So Pyongyang had two separate battles in 1592 and 1593, for instance. Any further questions, I will be MORE than happy to clarify or answer. Just message me or shoot me an email! I am always available.

These maps will improve in the future. I may start using Inkscape or Vector Art very soon, using computer art to make better imagery, although I'm not sure if the homebrew atmosphere of these maps is better or worse. I guess we'll find out! The Crimean War is coming up, and oh boy, I might have to do THREE maps for that one. Check back and see how I do! If it looks like something a dog ate and spat back out, it'll be because I was at SLC in Fort Benning and I ran out of time. See you then!

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