Sino-Japanese War Prints, 1894-95May 11 2021
In 1894, Japan went to war with China over control of Korea. Since the middle of the 17th century, Korea had enjoyed close economic, political and cultural ties to China. The Meiji Japanese government resented those ties and wanted to advance its own interests in Korea, which was rich in natural resources that the Japanese coveted for their growing economy. Tensions came to a head in June 1894 when a pro-Japanese faction of Korea’s government seized power and invited Japan to expel Chinese military forces from the country. War was declared and the first major battles were fought on land near the city of Pyongyang and at sea near Haiyang Island off the coast of Korea. China’s military was larger than Japan’s, but the Japanese forces were better trained and better equipped. The war between Japan and China lasted for seven months until the Treaty of Shimonoseki finally brought hostilities to an end in April, 1895. Japan was declared the victor and won a large reparation payment from the Chinese government as well as functional control over Korea and the Chinese province of Taiwan.