By Stewart Lone (auth.)
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Additional resources for Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan: The Three Careers of General Katsura Tarō
Japan fielded two armies, one under Oyama, the other under Yamagata who, at fifty-six and last in the field nearly twenty years earlier, described the day he left for battle as the happiest of his life. General Katsura, then forty-seven, commanded the 3rd Division as part of Yamagata's 1st Army and entered the war at Uiju in north Korea late in October 1894. The main theatre of combat for them, as for the rest of the army, was the southwestern regions of Manchuriaj a separate expedition in january 1895 landed briefly in Shandong on China's upper east coast, and there were ongoing clashes behind the lines with Korean guerrillas from late 1894.
It was on this concrete matter of developing Taiwan that Katsura began to write more freely: All the ports of south China, particularly Amoy, face Taiwan. Taiwanese goods are collected in Amoy and then exported in all directions. .. In political and trade terms, Amoy will be our most important point, serving as a new channel for our ways and goods. With this, we can nurse our possibilities in the Fujian region and be ready when opportunity appears. .. For several centuries, Taiwanese have engaged in trade and diplomacy: the common people are serious businessmen and traders, while the successful enterprises understand the nature of Western civilisation and are sympathetic to us.
In framing reforms, the Japanese military played no obvious role as senior army figures spent little time in the country: Yamagata and Katsura, for example, sailed into Inch'on on 12 September, entered Seoul the next day, were at P'yongyang by month's end and, though delayed by poor supply lines, stood at Korea's northern border by 23 October. Consequently, Japan's diplomatic representatives and civilian advisers in Seoul enjoyed virtual autonomy in their attempt at socio-political reconstruction.
Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan: The Three Careers of General Katsura Tarō by Stewart Lone (auth.)