First Sino-Japanese War

First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
Sino Japanese war 1894.jpg
Japanese troops during the Sino-Japanese war
First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements
First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements
Date 1 August 1894 – 17 April 1895
Location Korea, Manchuria, Taiwan, Yellow Sea
Result Japanese victory; a significant loss of prestige for the Qing Dynasty.
Qing Empire cedes Taiwan, Penghu, and the Liaodong Peninsula to the Empire of Japan.
Qing Dynasty Qing Empire Empire of Japan Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Qing Dynasty Li Hongzhang

Qing Dynasty Ding Ruchang 
Qing Dynasty Deng Shichang 

Empire of Japan Itō Hirobumi
Empire of Japan Yamagata Aritomo
Empire of Japan Itō Sukeyuki
Empire of Japan Emperor Meiji
630,000 men
Beiyang Army
Beiyang Navy
240,000 men
Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Navy
Casualties and losses
35,000 dead or wounded 1,132 dead,
3,973 wounded
11,894 died of disease

The First Sino-Japanese War (1 August 1894 – 17 April 1895) was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea. After more than six months of continuous successes by Japanese army and naval forces and the loss of the Chinese port of Weihaiwei, the Qing leadership sued for peace in February 1895.

Direct results of the war showed that the military strength and sovereignty of the Qing Dynasty had been severely weakened during the nineteenth century; and it demonstrated that forced reform had modernized Japan significantly since the Meiji Restoration in 1867, especially as compared with the Self-Strengthening Movement in China.[1] For the first time in over 2,000 years of history, regional dominance in East Asia shifted from China to Japan; and the Qing Dynasty, along with the classical tradition in China, suffered a major blow. The humiliating loss of the Qing Dynasty sparked an unprecedented public outcry and also served as an impetus of a series of revolutions and political changes led by revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen and constitutional monarchist Kang Youwei.These trends would later manifest in the 1911 Revolution.


Background and causes

After two centuries, the Japanese Sakoku seclusion policy under the shoguns of the Edo period came to an end when the country was forced open to trade by American intervention in 1854. The years following the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the fall of the Shogunate had seen Japan transform itself from a feudal society to a modern industrial state. The Japanese had sent delegations and students around the world in order to learn and assimilate western arts and sciences; this was done not only to prevent Japan from falling under foreign domination but to enable Japan to compete equally with the Western powers.[2]

Conflict over Korea

Satirical drawing in Punch Magazine[3] (29 September 1894), showing the victory of "small" Japan over "large" China.

As a newly-emergent power, Japan turned its attention toward Korea. In order to protect its own interests and security, Japan wanted to either annex Korea before it was seized by another power, or at least ensure Korea's effective independence by developing its resources and reforming its administration. As Prussian advisor Major Klemens Meckel put it to the Meiji army, Korea was "a dagger pointed at the heart of Japan". Japan felt that another power having a military presence on the Korean peninsula would have been detrimental to Japanese national security, and so Japan resolved to end the centuries-old Chinese suzerainty over Korea. Moreover, Japan realized that having access to Korea’s coal and iron ore deposits would benefit Japan's growing industrial base.

On February 27, 1876, after certain incidents and confrontations involving Korean isolationists and the Japanese, Japan imposed the Treaty of Ganghwa on Korea; forcing Korea to open itself to Japanese and foreign trade and to proclaim its independence from China in its foreign relations.

Korea had traditionally been a tributary state and continued to be so under the influence of China's Qing dynasty, which exerted large influence over the conservative Korean officials gathered around the royal family of the Joseon Dynasty. Opinion in Korea itself was split; conservatives wanted to retain the traditional subservient relationship with China, while reformists wanted to establish closer ties with Japan and western nations. After two Opium Wars in 1839 and 1856 against the British Empire and the Sino-French War, China had become weak and was unable to resist political intervention and territorial encroachment by western powers (see Unequal Treaties). Japan saw this as an opportunity to replace Chinese influence in Korea with its own.

1882 Crisis

The flight of the Japanese Legation in 1882.

In 1882 the Korean peninsula experienced a severe drought which led to food shortages, causing much hardship and discord among the population. Korea was on the verge of bankruptcy; the government was not able to pay its debts, particularly to its military. There was deep resentment amongst the soldiers of the Korean army who had not been paid for months. On July 23 a military mutiny and riot broke out in Seoul; troops, assisted by the population, sacked the rice granaries there. The next morning the royal palace and barracks were attacked. The crowd then turned on the Japanese legation. The Japanese legation staff managed to escape to Chemulpo and then Nagasaki via the British survey ship Flying Fish.

In response the Japanese sent four warships and a battalion of troops to Seoul to safeguard Japanese interests and demand reparations. The Chinese also deployed 4,500 troops to counter the Japanese. Tensions subsided, however, with the Treaty of Chemulpo which was signed on the evening of August 30, 1882. The agreement specified that the conspirators involved would be punished and 50,000 yen would be paid to the families of the Japanese killed. The Japanese government would also receive 500,000 yen, a formal apology, and permission to construct barracks and station troops at their diplomatic legation in Seoul.

Gapsin Coup

In 1884 a group of pro-Japanese reformers briefly overthrew the pro-Chinese conservative Korean government in a bloody coup d'état. However, the pro-Chinese faction, with assistance from Chinese troops under General Yuan Shikai, succeeded in regaining control with an equally bloody counter-coup. These coups resulted not only in the deaths of a number of reformers, but also in the burning of the Japanese legation and the deaths of several legation guards and citizens in the process. This caused an incident between Japan and China, but was eventually settled by the Sino-Japanese Convention of Tientsin of 1885 in which the two sides agreed to (a) pull their expeditionary forces out of Korea simultaneously; (b) not send military instructors for the training of the Korean military; and (c) notify the other side beforehand should one decide to send troops to Korea. The Japanese, however, were frustrated by repeated Chinese attempts to undermine their influence in Korea.

Kim Ok-gyun Affair

Kim Ok-gyun photographed in Nagasaki in 1882. His assassination in China would contribute to tensions leading to the First Sino-Japanese War.

On March 28, 1894, a pro-Japanese Korean revolutionary, Kim Ok-gyun, was assassinated in Shanghai. Kim had fled to Japan after his involvement in the 1884 coup; the Japanese had turned down Korean demands that he be extradited. He was lured to Shanghai where he was killed by a fellow Korean, Hong Jong-u, at a Japanese inn in the international settlement. His body was then taken aboard a Chinese warship and sent back to Korea, where it was quartered and displayed as a warning to other rebels. The Japanese government took this as a direct affront, and a setback for Japan's stature and dignity.[4]

The situation became increasingly tense later in the year when the Chinese government, at the request of the Korean emperor, sent troops to aid in suppressing the Tonghak Rebellion. The Chinese government informed the Japanese government of its decision to send troops to the Korean peninsula in accordance with the Convention of Tientsin, and sent General Yuan Shikai as its plenipotentiary at the head of 2,800 troops. The Japanese countered that they considered this action to be a violation of the convention, and sent their own expeditionary force (the Oshima Composite Brigade) of 8,000 troops to Korea. The Japanese force subsequently seized the emperor, occupied the Royal Palace in Seoul by 8 June 1894, and replaced the existing government with the members from the pro-Japanese faction. Though Chinese troops were already leaving Korea, finding themselves unwanted there, the new pro-Japanese Korean government granted Japan the right to expel the Chinese troops forcefully, while Japan shipped more troops to Korea. The legitimacy of the new government was rejected by China, and the stage was thus set for conflict.

Status of combatants


Japan's reforms under the Meiji emperor gave significant priority to naval construction, and the creation of an effective modern national army and navy. Japan sent numerous military officials abroad for training, and evaluation of the relative strengths and tactics of European armies and navies.

Imperial Japanese Navy

Major Combatants Japanese Navy Ensign
Protected Cruisers
Matsushima (flagship)
Armored Corvettes
Ironclad Warship
Itō Sukeyuki was the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet.
The French-built Matsushima, flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Sino-Japanese conflict.

The Imperial Japanese Navy was modeled after the British Royal Navy, which at the time was the foremost naval power in the world. British advisors were sent to Japan to train, advise and educate the naval establishment; while students were in turn sent to the United Kingdom to study and observe the Royal Navy. Through drilling and tuition by Royal Navy instructors, Japan was able to possess a navy expertly skilled in the arts of gunnery and seamanship.[5]

At the start of hostilities, the Imperial Japanese Navy contained a fleet of 12 modern warships, (Izumi being added during the war), one frigate (Takao), 22 torpedo boats, and numerous auxiliary/armed merchant cruisers and converted liners.

Japan did not yet have the resources to acquire battleships and so planned to employ the "Jeune Ecole" ("young school") doctrine which favoured small, fast warships, especially cruisers and torpedo boats, against bigger units.

Many of Japan’s major warships were built in British and French shipyards (eight British, three French and two Japanese-built) and 16 of the torpedo boats were known to have been built in France and assembled in Japan.

Imperial Japanese Army (IJA)

The Meiji era government at first modeled the army on the French Army. French advisers had been sent to Japan with two military missions (in 1872–1880 and 1884; these were the second and third missions respectively, the first having been under the shogunate). Nationwide conscription was enforced in 1873 and a western-style conscript army was established; military schools and arsenals were also built.

In 1886 Japan turned toward the German Army, specifically the Prussian model as the basis for its army. Its doctrines, military system and organisation were studied in detail and adopted by the IJA. In 1885 Jakob Meckel, a German adviser, implemented new measures, such as the reorganization of the command structure of the army into divisions and regiments; the strengthening of army logistics, transportation, and structures (thereby increasing mobility); and the establishment of artillery and engineering regiments as independent commands.

By the 1890s Japan had at its disposal a modern, professionally-trained western-style army which was relatively well equipped and supplied. Its officers had studied abroad and were well educated in the latest tactics and strategy. By the start of the war, the Imperial Japanese Army could field a total force of 120,000 men in two armies and five divisions.

Imperial Japanese Army Composition 1894–1895
1st Japanese Army
3rd Provincial Division (Nagoya)
5th Provincial Division (Hiroshima)
2nd Japanese Army
1st Provincial Division (Tokyo)
2nd Provincial Division (Sendai)
6th Provincial Division (Kumamoto)
In Reserve
4th Provincial Division (Osaka)
Invasion of Formosa (Taiwan)
Imperial Guards Division


Although the Beiyang Force – Beiyang Army and Beiyang Fleet – was the best equipped and symbolized the new modern Chinese military, corruption was a serious problem. Chinese politicians systematically embezzled funds, even during the war. As a result, the Beiyang Fleet did not purchase any battleships after its establishment in 1888. The purchase of ammunition stopped in 1891, with the funding being embezzled to build the Summer Palace in Beijing. Logistics were a huge problem, as construction of railroads in Manchuria had been discouraged. The morale of the Chinese armies was generally very low due to lack of pay and prestige, use of opium and poor leadership which contributed to some rather ignominious withdrawals, such as the abandonment of the very well-fortified and defensible Weihaiwei.

Beiyang Army

Qing Dynasty China did not have a national army. Following the Taiping Rebellion the army had been segregated into separate Manchu, Mongol, Hui (Muslim) and Han Chinese armies, which were further divided into largely independent regional commands. During the war, most of the fighting was done by the Beiyang Army and Beiyang Fleet; pleas calling for help from other Chinese armies and navies were completely ignored due to regional rivalry. The Huai and Anhwei armies made up the larger Beiyang Army.

In the war Chinese muslim Hui soldiers engaged in battle against Japan.[6]

Qing Muslim General Zuo Baogui (左寶貴) (1837–1894), from Shandong province, died in action in Pingyang in Korea from Japanese artillery in 1894 while securing the city. A memorial to him was constructed.[7]

Another General, Ma Yu-kun, who commanded a separate unit, was believed to be the son of the Muslim General Ma Rulong by the Europeans. Ma Yu-kun fought with some success against Japan at Pingyang during the war and after the war went on to fight in the Boxer Rebellion.[8][9]

Beiyang Fleet

The Beiyang Fleet was one of the four modernised Chinese navies in the late Qing Dynasty. The navies were heavily sponsored by Li Hongzhang, the Viceroy of Zhili. The Beiyang Fleet was the dominant navy in East Asia before the first Sino-Japanese War. However ships were not maintained properly and indiscipline was common.[10] Sentries spent their time gambling, watertight doors were left open, rubbish was dumped in gun barrels and shells' gunpowder was sold and replaced with cocoa. At the Yalu river, a battleship had one of its guns pawned by Admiral Ting .[11]

Dingyuan, the flagship of the Beiyang Fleet.
Beiyang Fleet Qing Dynasty Major combatants
Ironclad Battleships Dingyuan (flagship), Zhenyuan
Armoured Cruisers King Yuen, Lai Yuen
Protected Cruisers Chih Yuen, Ching Yuen
Cruisers Torpedo Cruisers – Tsi Yuen, Kuang Ping/Kwang Ping | Chaoyong, Yangwei
Coastal warship Pingyuan
Corvette Kwan Chia

13 or so Torpedo boats, numerous gunboats and chartered merchant vessels

Early stages of the war

Genesis of the war

1 June 1894 : The Tonghak Rebel Army moves toward Seoul. The Korean government requests help from the Chinese government to suppress the rebellion.

6 June 1894: The Chinese government informs the Japanese government under the obligation of the Convention of Tientsin of its military operation. About 2,465 Chinese soldiers were transported to Korea within days.

8 June 1894: First of around 4,000 Japanese soldiers and 500 marines land at Jemulpo (Incheon) despite Korean and Chinese protests.

11 June 1894: End of Tonghak Rebellion.

13 June 1894: The Japanese government telegraphs the commander of the Japanese forces in Korea, Ōtori Keisuke, to remain in Korea for as long as possible despite the end of the rebellion.

16 June 1894: Japanese Foreign Minister Mutsu Munemitsu meets with Wang Fengzao, Chinese ambassador to Japan, to discuss the future status of Korea. Wang states that the Chinese government intends to pull out of Korea after the rebellion has been suppressed and expects Japan to do the same. However, China also appoints a resident to look after Chinese interests in Korea and to re-assert Korea’s traditional subservient status to China.

22 June 1894: Additional Japanese troops arrive in Korea. Japanese Prime Minister Itō Hirobumi tells Matsukata Masayoshi that he did not think that negotiations would work, and since the Qing appeared to be making military preparations, there was probably "no policy but to go to war." Mutsu Munemitsu tells Ōtori Keisuke to press the Korean government on the Japanese demands.

26 June 1894: Ōtori presents a set of reform proposals to Gojong, which the Korean government rejects, and in return insists on troop withdrawals.

7 July 1894: Mediation between China and Japan arranged by the British ambassador to China fails.

19 July 1894: Establishment of Japanese Joint Fleet, consisting of almost all vessels in the Imperial Japanese Navy, in preparation for upcoming war. Mutsu Munemitsu cables Ōtori to take whatever steps he thought necessary to compel the Korean government to carry out a reform program,.

23 July 1894: Japanese troops enter Seoul, seize the Korean emperor and establish a new pro-Japanese government, which terminates all Sino-Korean treaties and grants the Imperial Japanese Army the right to expel the Chinese Beiyang Army troops from Korea.

Events during the war

Footage of a naval battle during the First Sino-Japanese War (1894).

Opening moves

By July 1894 Chinese forces in Korea numbered 3000–3500 and could only be supplied by sea through the Bay of Asan. The Japanese objective was first to blockade the Chinese at Asan (south of Seoul, South Korea) and then encircle them with their land forces.

Sinking of the Kow-shing

Depiction from the French periodical Le Petit Journal (1894) of the sinking of the Kow-shing and the rescue of some of its crew by the French gunboat Le Lion.

On 25 July 1894, the cruisers Yoshino, Naniwa and Akitsushima of the Japanese flying squadron, which had been patrolling off Asan, encountered the Chinese cruiser Tsi-yuan and gunboat Kwang-yi. These vessels had steamed out of Asan in order to meet another Chinese gunboat, the Tsao-kiang, which was escorting a transport toward Asan. After a brief, hour-long engagement, the Tsi-yuan escaped while the Kwang-yi became stranded on rocks, where its powder-magazine exploded.

The Kow-shing was a 2,134-ton British merchant vessel owned by the Indochina Steam Navigation Company of London, commanded by Captain T. R. Galsworthy and crewed by 64 men. The ship was chartered by the Qing government to ferry troops to Korea; the Kow-shing was on her way to Asan to reinforce Chinese forces there: 1200 troops plus supplies and equipment were onboard the vessel. A German artillery officer, Major von Hanneken, acting as an advisor to the Chinese, was also aboard. The ship was due to arrive on 25 July.

The cruiser Naniwa (under the command of Captain Tōgō Heihachirō) intercepted the two ships. The gunboat was eventually captured. The Japanese then ordered the Kow-shing to follow the Naniwa and requested that the Europeans onboard be transferred to the Naniwa. However the 1,200 Chinese on board desired to return to Taku, and threatened to kill the English captain, Galsworthy and his crew. After four hours of negotiations, Captain Togo gave the order to fire upon the vessel. A torpedo fired from the Naniwa missed the Kow Shing ; the Naniwa then fired a broadside which hit the Kow shing ; this was enough to distract the Chinese guarding the Europeans and allowed some of the Europeans to jump overboard only to be fired upon by the Chinese. The Japanese rescued three of the 43 crew (the captain, first officer and quartmaster) and a German passenger, and took them to Japan; the rest died in the sinking. The sinking of the Kow-shing almost caused a diplomatic incident between Japan and Great Britain, but the action was ruled in conformity with international law regarding the treatment of mutineers. Only three ships rescued any Chinese troops. The German gunboat Iltis rescued 150 Chinese soldiers. The French Gunboat Le Lion rescued 43 Chinese soldiers. The Royal Navy Torpedo Cruiser Porpoise also rescued an unknown number of troops. No Japanese ships rescued Chinese troops in the water and it is estimated over 900 died in the sinking.[12]

Conflict in Korea

Japanese soldiers of the Sino-Japanese War, Japan, 1895.
Korean soldiers and Chinese captives
The battle of the Yalu river

Commissioned by the new pro-Japanese Korean government to expel the Chinese forces from Korean territory by force, Major-General Ōshima Yoshimasa led mixed Japanese brigades numbering about 4,000 on a rapid forced march from Seoul south toward Asan Bay to face 3,500 Chinese troops garrisoned at Seonghwan Station east of Asan and Kongju.

On 28 July 1894, the two forces met just outside Asan in an engagement that lasted till 0730 hours the next morning. The Chinese gradually lost ground to the superior Japanese numbers, and finally broke and fled towards Pyongyang. Chinese casualties amounted to 500 killed and wounded, compared to 82 Japanese casualties.

War between China and Japan was officially declared on 1 August 1894.

The remaining Chinese forces in Korea, by August 4, retreated to the northern city of Pyongyang, where they eventually joined troops sent from China. The 13,000–15,000 defenders made extensive repairs and preparations to the city, hoping to check the Japanese advance.

The Imperial Japanese Army converged on Pyongyang from several directions on 15 September 1894. The Japanese assaulted the city and eventually defeated the Chinese by an attack from the rear; the defenders surrendered. By taking advantage of heavy rainfall and using the cover of darkness, the remaining troops marched out of Pyongyang and headed northeast toward the coast and the city of Uiju. Casualties were 2,000 killed and around 4,000 wounded for the Chinese, while the Japanese lost 102 men killed, 433 wounded and 33 missing. The entire Japanese army entered the city of Pyongyang on the early morning of 16 September 1894.

Defeat of the Beiyang fleet

The Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed 8 out of ten warships of the Chinese Beiyang Fleet off the mouth of the Yalu River on 17 September 1894. Japan's command of the sea was assured. The Chinese were able to land 4,500 troops near the Yalu River.

Invasion of Manchuria

Japanese illustration depicting the beheading of Chinese captives in October 1894.[citation needed](need more background – see talk page)

With the defeat at Pyongyang, the Chinese abandoned northern Korea and instead took up defensive positions in fortifications along their side of the Yalu River near Jiuliancheng. After receiving reinforcements by the 10 October, the Japanese quickly pushed north toward Manchuria.

On the night of 24 October 1894, the Japanese successfully crossed the Yalu River, undetected, by erecting a pontoon bridge. The following afternoon of 25 October at 5:00 pm, they assaulted the outpost of Hushan, east of Jiuliancheng. At 10:30 pm the defenders deserted their positions and by the next day they were in full retreat from Jiuliancheng. With the capture of Jiuliancheng, General Yamagata's 1st Army Corps occupied the nearby city of Dandong; while to the north, elements of the retreating Beiyang Army set fire to the city of Fengcheng. The Japanese had established a firm foothold on Chinese territory with the loss of only four killed and 140 wounded.

The Japanese 1st Army Corps then split into two groups with General Nozu Michitsura's 5th Provincial Division advancing toward the city of Mukden (now Shenyang, China) and Lieutenant General Katsura Tarō's 3rd Provincial Division pursuing fleeing Chinese forces west along toward the Liaodong Peninsula.

By December the 3rd Provincial Division had captured the towns of Ta-tung-kau, Ta-ku-shan, Xiuyan, Tomu-cheng, Hai-cheng and Kang-wa-seh. The 5th Provincial Division marched during a severe Manchurian winter towards Mukden.

The Japanese 2nd Army Corps under Ōyama Iwao landed on the south coast of Liaodong Peninsula on 24 October and quicky moved to capture Kin-chow and Talienwan on 6–7 November. The Japanese laid siege to the strategic port of Lushunkou.

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements.

Fall of Lushunkou

By 21 November 1894, the Japanese had taken the city of Lüshunkou (Port Arthur). The Japanese army massacred thousands of the city's civilian Chinese inhabitants in an event that came to be called the Port Arthur Massacre (note that the scale and nature of the killing continues to be debated). By 10 December 1894, Kaipeng (modern-day Gaixian) fell to the Japanese 1st Army Corps.

Fall of Weihaiwei and Aftermath

The Chinese fleet subsequently retreated behind the Weihaiwei fortifications. However, they were then surprised by Japanese ground forces, who outflanked the harbor's defenses. The battle of Weihaiwei would be a 23-day siege with the major land and naval components taking place between 20 January and 12 February 1895.

After Weihaiwei's fall on 12 February 1895, and an easing of harsh winter conditions, Japanese troops pressed further into southern Manchuria and northern China. By March 1895 the Japanese had fortified posts that commanded the sea approaches to Beijing. This would be the last major battle to be fought; numerous skirmishes would follow. The Battle of Yinkou was fought outside the port town of Yingkou, Manchuria, on 5 March 1895.

Occupation of Pescadores Islands (Penghu Islands)

On 23 March 1895, Japanese forces attacked the Pescadores Islands, off the west coast of Taiwan. In a brief and almost bloodless campaign the Japanese defeated the islands' Qing garrison and occupied the main town of Makung. This operation effectively prevented Chinese forces in Taiwan from being reinforced, and allowed the Japanese to press their demand for the cession of Taiwan in the negotiations leading to the conclusion of the Treaty of Shimonoseki in April 1895.

End of the war

False depiction of Chinese delegation, led by Admiral Ding Ruchang and their foreign advisors, boarded the Japanese vessel to negotiate the surrender with Admiral Itō Sukeyuki after the Battle of Weihaiwei. In reality, Ding had committed suicide after his defeat and never surrendered.

The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed on 17 April 1895. China recognized the total independence of Korea and ceded the Liaodong Peninsula (in the south of the present day Liaoning Province), Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan "in perpetuity". Additionally, China was to pay Japan 200 million Kuping taels as reparation. China also signed a commercial treaty permitting Japanese ships to operate on the Yangtze River, to operate manufacturing factories in treaty ports and to open four more ports to foreign trade. The Triple Intervention, however, forced Japan to give up the Liaodong Peninsula in exchange for another 30 million Kuping taels (450 million yen).

Japanese invasion of Taiwan

Several Qing officials in Taiwan resolved to resist the cession of Taiwan to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and on 23 May declared the island to be an independent Republic of Formosa. On 29 May Japanese forces under Admiral Motonori Kabayama landed in northern Taiwan, and in a five-month campaign defeated the Republican forces and occupied the island's main towns. The campaign effectively ended on 21 October 1895, with the flight of Liu Yung-fu, the second Republican president, and the surrender of the Republican capital Tainan.

War reparations

After the war, according to the Chinese scholar, Jin Xide, the Qing government paid a total of 340,000,000 taels ( 13,600 tons ) of silver to Japan for both the reparations of war and war trophies. This was equivalent to (then) 510,000,000 Japanese yen, about 6.4 times the Japanese government revenue.


Japan-China Peace Treaty, 17 April 1895.

The Japanese success during the war was the result of the modernization and industrialization embarked upon two decades earlier. The war demonstrated the superiority of Japanese tactics and training as a result of the adoption of a Western-style military. The Imperial Japanese Army and navy were able to inflict a string of defeats on the Chinese through foresight, endurance, strategy and power of organization. Japanese prestige rose in the eyes of the world. The victory established Japan as a regional power (if not a great power) on equal terms with the West and as the dominant power in Asia.[13]

The war for China revealed the ineffectiveness of its government, its policies, the corruption of the administration system and the decaying state of the Qing dynasty (something that had been recognized for decades). Traditionally China viewed Japan as islander and a student of its culture. The Tang Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty had defeated Japan in the Battle of Baekgang and the Imjin War respectively, though the Mongol invasions of Japan by the Yuan Dynasty had been unsuccessful. Japan's victory against China was therefore a heavy blow to the self-respect and tradition of the Chinese people, as was the loss of Taiwan, which remained under Japanese control until 1945. The defeat of the Qing dynasty also served as an impetus of revolutions and political changes led by the revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen and the constitutional monarchist Kang Youwei. Anti-foreign sentiment and agitation grew and would later culminate in the form of the Boxer Rebellion five years later. Throughout the 19th century the Qing dynasty was unable to prevent foreign encroachment. This, together with calls for reform and the Boxer Rebellion, would be the key factors that would lead to the 1911 revolution and the downfall of the Qing dynasty in 1912.

Convention of retrocession of the Liaotung peninsula, 8 November 1895.

Although Japan had achieved what it had set out to accomplish, namely to end Chinese influence over Korea, Japan reluctantly had been forced to relinquish the Liaodong Peninsula, (Port Arthur), in exchange for an increased financial indemnity. The European powers (Russia especially), while having no objection to the other clauses of the treaty, did feel that Japan should not gain Port Arthur, for they had their own ambitions in that part of the world. Russia persuaded Germany and France to join her in applying diplomatic pressure on the Japanese, resulting in the Triple Intervention of 23 April 1895.

In 1898 Russia signed a 25-year lease on the Liaodong Peninsula and proceeded to set up a naval station at Port Arthur. Although this infuriated the Japanese, they were more concerned with Russian encroachment toward Korea than in Manchuria. Other powers, such as France, Germany and Great Britain, took advantage of the situation in China and gained port and trade concessions at the expense of the decaying Qing Empire. Tsingtao and Kiaochow was acquired by Germany, Kwang-Chou-Wan by France and Weihaiwei by Great Britain.

Tensions between Russia and Japan would increase in the years after the First Sino-Japanese war. During the Boxer Rebellion an eight-member international force was sent to suppress and quell the uprising; Russia sent troops into Manchuria as part of this force. After the suppression of the Boxers the Russian government agreed to vacate the area. However, by 1903 it had actually increased the size of its forces in Manchuria. Negotiations between the two nations (1901–1904) to establish mutual recognition of respective spheres of influence (Russia over Manchuria and Japan over Korea) were repeatedly and intentionally stalled by the Russians. They felt that they were strong and confident enough not to accept any compromise and believed Japan would not dare go to war against a European power. Russia also had intentions to use Manchuria as a springboard for further expansion of its interests in the Far East.

In 1902 Japan formed an alliance with Britain, the terms of which stated that if Japan went to war in the Far East and that a third power entered the fight against Japan, then Britain would come to the aid of the Japanese. This was a check to prevent either Germany or France from intervening militarily in any future war with Russia. British reasons for joining the alliance were also to check the spread of Russian expansion into the Pacific arena, which would have threatened British interests.

Increasing tensions between Japan and Russia as a result of Russia's unwillingness to enter into a compromise and the prospect of Korea falling under Russia's domination, therefore coming into conflict with and undermining Japan's interests, compelled Japan to take action. This would be the deciding factor and catalyst that would lead to the Russo-Japanese war of 1904–05.

See also


  •  This article incorporates text from The living age ..., Volume 226, by Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, Making of America Project, a publication from 1900 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Eclectic magazine: foreign literature, by John Holmes Agnew, Walter Hilliard Bidwell, a publication from 1900 now in the public domain in the United States.
  1. ^ "Japan Anxious for a Fight; The Chinese Are Slow and Not in Good Shape to Go to War," New York Times. July 30, 1894.
  2. ^ Jansen, p.335
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jansen, p.431
  5. ^ "The skills of the Japanese officers and men was [sic] astronomically higher those of their Chinese counterparts." [1]
  6. ^ Michael Dillon (1999). China's Muslim Hui community: Migration, settlement and sects. Richmond: Curzon Press. p. 72. ISBN 0700710264, 9780700710263. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  7. ^ Aliya Ma Lynn (2007) (in English). Muslims in China. Volume 3 of Asian Studies. University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0880938617. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  8. ^ The living age ..., Volume 226. BOSTON: The Living Age Co. Inc.. 1900. p. 757. Retrieved 2010-06-28. (Original from the University of Michigan)
  9. ^ The Eclectic magazine: foreign literature. Leavitt, Throw and Co.. 1900. p. 620. Retrieved 2010-06-28. (Original from the University of Michigan)
  10. ^ Naval Warfare, 1815–1914, Lawrence Sondhaus, p.168/170
  11. ^ Geoffrey Regan, Naval Blunders, page 28
  12. ^ Sequence of events, and numbers of rescued and dead taken from several articles from The Times of London from 2 August 1894-25 October 1894
  13. ^ "A new balance of power had emerged. China's millennia-long regional dominance had abruptly ended. Japan had become the dominant power of Asia, a position it would retain throughout the first half of twentieth century". Paine, The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895: Perception, Power, and Primacy.


  • Jansen, Marius B. (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 10-ISBN 0674003349/13-ISBN 9780674003347; OCLC 44090600
  • Chamberlin, William Henry. Japan Over Asia, 1937, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston.
  • Colliers (Ed.), The Russo-Japanese War, 1904, P.F. Collier & Son, New York.
  • Kodansha Japan An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1993, Kodansha Press, Tokyo ISBN 4-06-205938-X
  • Lone, Stewart. Japan's First Modern War: Army and Society in the Conflict with China, 1894–1895, 1994, St. Martin's Press, New York.
  • Mutsu, Munemitsu. (1982). Kenkenroku (trans. Gordon Mark Berger). Tokyo: University of Toyko Press. 10-ISBN 0860083063/13-ISBN 9780860083061; OCLC 252084846
  • Paine, S.C.M. The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895: Perception, Power, and Primacy, 2003, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA, 412 pp.
  • Sedwick, F.R. (R.F.A.). The Russo-Japanese War, 1909, The Macmillan Company, NY, 192 pp.
  • Theiss, Frank. The Voyage of Forgotten Men, 1937, Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1st Ed., Indianapolis & New York.
  • Warner, Dennis and Peggy. The Tide At Sunrise, 1974, Charterhouse, New York.
  • Urdang, Laurence/Flexner, Stuart, Berg. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, College Edition. Random House, New York, (1969).

Further reading

  • Military Heritage did an editorial on the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 (Brooke C. Stoddard, Military Heritage, December 2001, Volume 3, No. 3).

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sino-Japanese War — There were two wars known as the Sino Japanese War : The First Sino Japanese War (1894 1895) between China (the Qing Dynasty) and Japan (the Empire of Japan), primarily over control of Korea. The Second Sino Japanese War (1937 1945) between… …   Wikipedia

  • Second Sino-Japanese War — Part of the Pacific War of World War II (from 1941) …   Wikipedia

  • Japanese war crimes — occurred during the period of Japanese imperialism. Some of the incidents have also been described as an Asian Holocaustcite news| first=Ralph |last=Blumenthal |title=The World: Revisiting World War II Atrocities; Comparing the Unspeakable to the …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese armies in the Second Sino-Japanese War — The Second Sino Japanese War was fought between the Chinese and Japanese armies, mostly on Chinese soil, during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Western historians generally view the Second Sino Japanese War as a theater of World War II. During… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Japanese campaigns of the Second Sino-Japanese War — This is a list of the campaigns and military conflicts of the Japanese during the Second Sino Japanese War. It is not comprehensive.Prior operations and events*Shantung Incident (1927 ndash;1928) *Mukden Incident (July 1931) *Harbin Incident… …   Wikipedia

  • Motives of the Second Sino-Japanese War — The Second Sino Japanese War was not just a war between Japan and China, but involved many nations that had different vested interests that influenced their positions and actions taken during different phases of this war. It is clear that China… …   Wikipedia

  • Sino-Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty — Sino Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty, 13 September 1871. The treaty was signed in Tientsin, by Date Munenari and Li Hongzhang. The Sino Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty (Nisshin shukō jōki (日清修好条規 …   Wikipedia

  • Sino-Japanese — is often used to mean:* Sino Japanese vocabulary: That portion of the Japanese vocabulary that is of Chinese origin or makes use of morphemes of Chinese origin (similar to the use of Latin/Greek in English). * Kanbun: A Japanese method of reading …   Wikipedia

  • Sino-Japanese War — /suy noh jap euh neez , nees , jap euh neez , nees / 1. the war (1894 95) between China and Japan over the control of Korea that resulted in the nominal independence of Korea and the Chinese cession to Japan of Formosa and the Pescadores. 2. the… …   Universalium

  • Aerial Engagements of the Second Sino-Japanese War — 1937 1940Fighting in China, the Hawk 75 took an active part in combat but did not achieve any special success. The 16th Squadron of the 6th Bomber Air Group, having earlier flown the V 92 Corsair light bomber, was changed to a fighter squadron on …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”