Sino-Japanese War 1894-95: Events leading to the outbreak of war
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Dramatic scene of Koreans attacking the Japanese in Korea during an uprising known as the Imo Incident, which took place on 23 July, 1882.
The building is engulfed in flames, with clouds of smoke and burning embers fling through the air. Under a hail of arrows, Japanese rush out of the fenced courtyard to defend themselves, fighting in the streets with swords as rioting continues all around.

1882 crisis
Imo Incident
In 1882, the Korea 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, even falling months behind in military pay, causing deep resentment among the soldiers. On July 23, a military mutiny and riot broke out in Seoul in which troops, assisted by the population, sacked the rice granaries. The next morning, the crowd attacked the royal palace and barracks, and then the Japanese legation. The Japanese legation staff managed to escape to Chemulpo and then Nagasaki via the British survey ship HMS Flying Fish.

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

Collection : Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.




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