Beginning in August of 1894, The MAJDAAA
Sino-Japanese War was a war JAJAJAJA
fought between The Qing Dynasty JAJAJAJhj
of China and Meiji Japan. Although hhghhAJA
there was smaller reasons the main Jfjfjfjfjfjffjfjfj
cause of the Sino-Japanese War f
was over control of Korea.
The war lasted less than a year
ending in April of 1895. Although the
physical war had ended it was not
but 40 years later that both
countries were at war again in the
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Tonghak Rebellion (1894-1895)
Japanese aggression toward Chinese in Korea
Japanese desire for a unified, and modern Asia
The Tonghak Rebellion (1894-1895)
The Tonghak Rebellion took it’s name from the teachings of
Ch’oe Che-u. A demonstration by 20,000 Tonghak in
1893, in front of the royal palace in Seoul gives the first
clues to peasant disapproval of the Korean
government, specifically the yangban’s involvement with
foreign powers. This sentiment against the government
allowed Chon Pong-jun, leader of the Tonghak Parish in
Kobu county, to take action. After the Korean
government reacted to the action taken by the rebels in
Kobu (dispersion of tax collected rice to
peasants, seizure of weapons, and the taking of the
county office) the Tonghaks released a call to arms
among the peasantry of Korea. The rebellion achieved
multiple early victories, and with each victory, their
numbers increased. The Korean government quickly
called for military aid from Yuan Shi-kai and the Chinese.
Via the Tientsin Convention of April 18, 1885, the
“recognition of an equal right for Japan with
China to send in troops in the case of
necessity,” was achieved. When China
informed Japan of her intention to aid in the
suppression of the Tonghak Rebellion, the Meiji
court offered Japanese assistance. China
declined, and the Japanese decided to send
their troops to the Korean peninsula anyway.
The Japanese chose to attack Chinese forces
without a formal declaration of war, thus starting
the first Sino-Japanese War.
Payson J. Treat, “China and Korea, 1885-1894,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol.
49, No. 4 (Dec., 1934): 506-543, JSTOR (accessed April 15, 2010).
The Japanese Agenda?
The Japanese absolutely had ulterior motives in taking part
in the first Sino-Japanese war. As a recently
modernized nation, they clearly desired to gain the
respect of the western powers, however, the reputation
of the East Asians was one of a weak and inferior
people who presented no threat to the western powers.
Perhaps the Japanese took it upon themselves to
civilize both China and Korea, through warfare, in an
effort to unify a modern East Asia, similar to Europe. To
further this argument, the Japanese feared foreign
control over Korea, which functioned as a “dagger
pointing at the heart of Japan.” If the fellow East Asian
nations were as weak as the foreigners viewed
them, then the western powers would have no trouble
taking the “dagger” and imposing their will upon Japan.
Tonghak, and indigenous Korean
religion, emerged in the 1860’s under the
guidance of Ch’oe Che-u. Che-u’s teachings
were based on “the main religious or
philosophical ideas of
Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Korean
spirit worship, plus some limited Christian
aspects.” These teachings were focused
toward the fair treatment of peasant farmers.
Robert A. Kinney, “Students, Intellectuals, and the Churches: Their Roles in Korean Politics,” Asian
Affairs, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Jan. - Feb., 1981): 180-195, JSTOR (accessed April 15, 2010).
Tonghak Call to Arms
The people are the root of the nation. If the root withers, the nation
will be enfeebled. Heedless of their responsibility for sustaining the
state and pro-viding for its people, the officials build lavish
residences in the countryside, scheming to ensure their own well-
being at the expense of the resources of the nation. How can this
be viewed as proper? We are wretched village people far from the
capital, yet we feed and clothe ourselves with the bounty from the
sovereign's land. We cannot sit by and watch our nation perish. The
whole nation is as one, its multitudes united in their determination to
raise the right-eous standard of revolt, and to pledge their lives to
sustain the state and provide for the livelihood of the people.
However startling the action we take today may seem, you must not
be troubled by it. For as we felicitously live out the tranquil years
ahead, each man secure in his occupation - when all the people can
enjoy the blessings of benevolent kingly rule, how immeasurably
joyful will we be!
Korean History.info, “The Tonghak (Donghak) Rebellion, 1894,”
http://koreanhistory.info/Tonghak.htm (accessed April 15, 2010).
Born: November 12, 1866 Died: March 12, 1925 Nationality:
Dr. Sun Yatsen is best known as “The Father of the Republic.”*
Dr. Sun, at the age of 13, came to the United States to study; he then returned to
China at the age of 18 to finish his schooling. ** In 1905, he formed the
Tongmenghui, or Sworn Chinese Brotherhood. This group would help him in
1911. In 1911, Dr. Sun lead a revolution, based on nationalism, democracy, and
the peoples’ livelihood, to overthrow the Chinese emperor.* He succeeded , and was
declared provisional President of the Republic of China. This title was
revoked, however, after Yuan Shikai was able to seize control from him. ***
After Yuan gained power, Dr. Sun had to flee to Japan, where he joined the KMT.
He returned to China with the KMT and tried to gain the Western countries’
support, but to no avail. He then turned to the Russian government for help and
they agree.** The Russian involvement in China would forever change the course of
Chinese history. With the Russian government’s help, Dr . Sun was able to begin a
military conquest in Southern China, which he succeeded in gaining control of.
Although he started the 1912 revolution based on democracy, the Russians and Dr.
Sun believed that the Chinese people were not able to handle the responsibility to
vote yet. He decided to implement a three part plan in which the Chinese people
would learn how to use the power to vote.* Unfortunately, the plan never got past
the first stage in which Dr. Sun was the dictator. In 1925, Dr. Sun died due to liver
cancer. ****After his death, Dr. Sun’s ideas would become the basis of the
Nationalist government established by Chiang Kai-shek in 1928.
Since his death, Dr. Sun has evolved into a heroic symbol for modern China. ***
Born: September 16, 1859 Died: June 6, 1916 Nationality: Chinese
General Yuan Shi-kai is best known as the 1st President of the Republic of China.
During the 1st Sino-Japanese War, General Shi-kai was the leader of the Beiyang
Army, the first modern Chinese army, during the 1st Sino Japanese War. After the
War, he used the Army to take control of the Chinese government from Dr. Sun
Yatsen. From March 10, 1912 to January 1, 1916, General Shi-kai was the President
of China. During this time, however, he tried to turn the republican government into
an imperial one, which caused many Chinese to hate him. To futher hurt matters, on
the 1st of January 1916, he declared himself Emperor of China. On March
22, 1916, General Shi-kai decided to reinstate the republican government, after many
problems with both internal and external affairs. From this point on until his death in
June, he began losing political power.
Born: 1854 Died: 1895 Nationality: Korean
Chon Pong-jun was the leader of the Tonghak movement in Cholla-do province.
In 1984, the farmers of the Cholla-do province of Korea, protested against the unfair
treatment they were receiving from government officials. When the government ignored their
protest, the farmers turned to violence, which in turn led to government ordered executions.
In response to this, a group of farmers, which included Chon Pong-jun, led a large uprising
to Chonjo, where the Korean government army was defeated. Chon and the Korean
government tried to work out a solution.
Unfortunately, the Chinese responded to the plea the Korean government had issued, asking
for their help, days before by sending in their military. This rebellion caused the Sino-
Japanese War. Once the Japanese had control of Korea and had driven out China, the
Japanese went looking for Chon and found him. He was arrested and then sentenced to
death by beheading for his involvement and leadership role in the Tonahak unrising.
Creation: In the late 1800 by the Qing government
Leader During the Sino Japanese War: General Yuan Shi-kai
The Beiyang Army was the first modern military of China. It was the
prime army of the Chinese during the 1st Sino-Japanese War. After
the War, the army was used to modernized the rest of the Chinese
military. It would continue to control most of China until
1928, when it lost power due to warlordism.
Creation: in 1871 by Li Hongzhang
Leader During the Sino Japanese War: Admiral Ding Juchang,
The Beiyang Fleet came about due to the Chinese defeat during the
2nd Opium War, during which the Chinese were defeated. It was one
of the four modern Chinese navies. Each navy was in charge of a
certain area; the Beiyang Fleet was in charge of protecting Northern
China and Korea. Because this was the area the Fleet was to
control, the Fleet was the only navy to fight the Japanese during the
1st Sino-Japanese War.
Leader During the Sino Japanese War: Major-General Oshima
The Imperial Japanese Army was formed by Emperor Meiji, because
the emperor understood the need for Japan’s military to modernize.
The Army was modeled of the German Army. The fact that the
Japanese Army was modernized earlier than their Chinese
counterparts would play a large part in their success during the 1st
Leader During the Sino Japanese War: Itoh Sukeyuki
In 1869, Emperor Mejij formed the Imperial Japanese Navy. This
navy was the first modern navy of Japan. The INJ was modeled of
the British navies. It was responsible for the destruction of the
Beiyang Navy during the Sino-Japanese War.
The sinking of the Kowshing
The British-owned ship the Kowshing, transporting Chinese
troops to Korea, was stopped on July 25th, 1894 by the
Japanese ship Naniwa.
The captain of the Kowshing agreed to the capture, but the
Chinese on board eventually mutinied rather than be captured.
The Naniwa opened fire and sunk the Kowshing.
The battle of Seonghwan
Chinese took most of their forces to a location near
Seonghwan, and fortified it heavily
July 29, the Japanese forces attack shortly after midnight to
avoid being seen
The Chinese retreated at 5:30 AM
Casualties (according to the Japanese): Chinese had 500
killed or wounded, Japanese had 82 killed or wounded.
War was officially declared on August 1st, 1894.
Battle of Pyongyang
Chinese forces arrived in Pyongyang on August
4th and repaired the walls for fortifications.
On September 15 , the Japanese began an
attack in the morning from multiple directions
Eventually the Chinese were overwhelmed by an
attack from the rear
The Chinese sent up a white flag at 4:30
Casualties: Chinese had 2,700 killed, more than
14,000 wounded or captured. Japanese had 30
killed and 269 wounded.
The Japanese fleet, which was trying to prevent Chinese troops
from landing, had twelve ships, and the Chinese fleet had fourteen.
The Japanese had the advantage because of experience,
technology, and Chinese corruption.
Chinese shells were discovered to be duds because the charge had
been sold on the black market and replaced with sand or water.
The Japanese sank five of the Chinese ships and severely
damaged three more. The Chinese sank no Japanese ships and
severely damaged four.
The Chinese landing was successfully covered despite the heavy
Chinese forces retreated to their side of the Yalu river, and
Japanese forces soon followed, moving the conflict into Manchuria
Battle of Lushunkou (Port Arthur)
Chinese had retreated there after a series of minor battles in
the Liaodong Peninsula.
On November 21st, in the early morning.
By the night of November 22nd, Chinese forces had
abandoned their positions.
Port Arthur Massacre
After Lushunkou was captured, the Japanese reportedly
stormed the city and massacred thousands of Chinese military
men and civilians alike.
Reports vary widely
Some sources say it was prompted by the sight of the
mutilated bodies of captured Japanese soldiers, while
others say it had no prompting. Others even insist that it
did not happen at all
The Japanese army split in two and approached Weihai
A nine-hour battle on February 1st, 1895 resulted in the
Japanese capture of the town and its forts.
The Chinese forces had 15 warships as the Weihaiwei
naval base, and the Japanese had 25 warships and 16
The Japanese fleet began to attack on February 7 th,
which ultimately resulted in the sinking of eleven
Chinese vessels and the capture of seven more.
On February 12th, the fleet was surrendered.
Final large battle of the war
The Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed April
17th, 1895, formally ended the war with China’s
The war finally came to an end on April 17th, 1895 when China
was forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki concluding in
Japan’s victory. The aftermath of the war hit China hard. The
Chinese were defeated by a country they had always looked
down upon and virtually opened themselves to any foreign
exploitation. Contrary wise, the war obviously had a positive
effect on Japan, allowing them to be seen as a newer, greater
power. A key role in Japan’s success in this war was their
opening to western influence. It was because of all the new
technology and war tactics that Japan triumphed and China
failed. Through this, Japan hoped that other asian countries
would learn that modernization was not as bad as they thought;
and if they sought respect and status throughout the world,
they would need to accept western influence. Not only did the
war have a great effect on its main participants, but the
aftermath had International implications as well as it greatly
effected Korea and Russia.
The Sino-Japanese War brought about the end of the old Confucian order and its tributary system
when regulating far Eastern Relations. This war headed a new era in which Asian events would be
of greater influence in world politics and have a greater impact on Europe. 1
1 "Sino-Japanese War: Consequences." TheCorner. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.thecorner.org/hist/essays/china/sino-jap-war.htm>.
The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed on April 17th, 1895 deeming
Japan the winner of The Sino-Japanese War. This treaty held many
terms in which China was forced to agree too. For starters, China
was to acknowledge Korea’s independence, in which it had
previously held control over. China was then to cede Taiwan, the
Liaodong Peninsula, Port Arthur and the Pescadores Islands to
Japan. It was then to open the ports of Chongqing, Hangzhou,
Shashi, and Suzhou to Japanese trade. Finally, China was to pay an
indemnity of 200 million taels to Japan. 1
A week later, however, France, Germany, and Russia demanded
that Japan relinquish Port Arthur and the Liaodong Peninsula back
to China. Japan agreed and gave them back, but China had to pay
an additional indemnity for this to happen. 2
1. "Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895, China-Japan) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/540685/Treaty-of-Shimonoseki>.
2. "Treaty of Shimonoseki Facts, Information, Pictures | Encyclopedia.com Articles about Treaty of Shimonoseki." Encyclopedia -
Online Dictionary | Encyclopedia.com: Get Facts, Articles, Pictures, Video. Web. 16 Apr. 2010.
The defeat of China by Japan sparked a new low for China, the Chinese
government’s weakness was now exposed to the world. China was unable to
resist anyone, no matter who demanded what. There was a mad scramble to
exploit China in any way possible in their weakened state. Knowing their great
country was in danger, the Chinese started many reforms to rebuild China. The
reform movements of K’ang Yu-Wei and Liang Ch’i-Ch’ao lead to the Hundred
Days Reform; which demanded a full reform of the Ch’ing Government and any
resistance to this change was considered detrimental to the Chinese society.
Sun Yat-Sen’s reforms also gained new momentum after the Sino-Japanese
War; demanding many reforms, most importantly the expunction of the
Manchus. The Sino-Japanese War head started this new revolutionary
movement and was crucial in determining the future of China.
Anti-Foreignism rapidly increased in China after the War which attributed to
the greater erosion of Chinese Sovereignty. Because Japan was now allowed to
build factories in China, their domestic industries were negatively affected due
to this new power in the market. As more foreign counterparts took part in
building new enterprises in the Chinese market, China’s own industries were
hampered due to the overwhelming strength of these new organizations.
Western powers had now begun creating spheres of influence within China.
Chinese anit-imperialism became more normal in their society and was a large
factor in any future development in Chinese nationalism. 1
1 "Sino-Japanese War: Consequences." TheCorner. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.thecorner.org/hist/essays/china/sino-jap-
The success of the Japanese was directly related to the
industrialization and modernization that had taken place decades
earlier. Their adoption of a western-style military resulted in new
tactics and training that simply over powered the old ways of the
With the defeat of China in the war, Japan became the leading
power in East Asia especially now with the new territories Japan
received in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Along with it’s new
territory, Japan was able to open factories in China which would be
tariff free, which would enhance Japan’s commercial position in the
However, some tensions arose from the Japanese victory. Japan, as
stated in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, was to gain control over
Taiwan, however the Taiwanese tried to resist their take over at
first. Taiwan’s attempts to become independent were stopped short
after a five month campaign after realizing they were no match for
Japan and surrendered in October 1895. There was also some
tension between Russia and Japan as Russia felt that Japan could
become too powerful from this victory. Russian expansion into
Manchuria and Japan’s growing power would eventually lead to the
Russo- Japanese War. 2
1 "The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 (SRC News No. 10)." Slavic Research News Center. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://src-
2 "Sino-Japanese War: Consequences." TheCorner. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.thecorner.org/hist/essays/china/sino-jap-war.htm>.
The Sino-Japanese War did not only have a great impact on China and Japan, but also on
the rest of the world. Most countries predicted China would come out victorious, but Japan
proved them other wise, and it was now a mad scramble to set up spheres of influence in a
now weak China. Russia reinforced it’s position in controlling Manchuria; France got a hold
of Kwangsi, Kwangtung, and Yunnan; Germany took control of Shangtung; and Britain set
up strong positions along the Yangtse River.
Korea was also greatly influenced by the war. While both China and Japan recognized
Korea’s new independence, Japan did attempt, and succeed a bit, in influencing Korea.
Japan initiated internal reforms in hopes of making Korea more westernized like itself.
Japan’s hopes were to show Korea that modernization and western influence were
beneficial in gaining global respect. Japan, then, began to take over the Korean
economy, starting with banking and shipping.1 Even with Japan’s supervision over
Korea, Korea did not submit to Japan; it instead sought assistance in Russia in hopes of
counterbalancing Japan’s influence. This then became a contest between Japan and Russia
in influencing Korea. This, along with Russia’s control over Manchuria, would eventually
lead to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. 2
1 "Sino-Japanese War: Consequences." TheCorner. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.thecorner.org/hist/essays/china/sino-jap-war.htm>.
2 "The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 (SRC News No. 10)." Slavic Research News Center. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://src-
600,000 China Japan
Army 630,000 240,000
500,000 Dead or Wounded 35,000 20,796
Percentage of Soldiers Lost 18 11.540681
Army Dead or Percentage of
Wounded Soldiers Lost