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Battle of Ugeumchi
Part of Donghak Peasant Revolution
Date22 October to 10 November 1894
LocationUgeumchi, Gongju, Korea
Result Alliances victory
Donghak Peasant Army Korea Joseon Army
Japan Japanese Army
Commanders and leaders
Jeon Bong-jun
Son Byeong-hui
Korea Shin Jeong-hui
Korea Heo Jin
Korea Yi Du-hwang
Korea Yi Gyu-tae
Korea Yi Gi-dong
Korea Jo Byeong-hwan
Japan Minami
Japan Morio Masaichi
Approximately 200,000 Korea 3,200 Joseon Army
Japan 2,000 Japanese Army
Casualties and losses
500 survived minimal

The Battle of Ugeumchi was a decisive battle during the Donghak Peasant Revolution. Fought between the Donghak Korean peasants and the combined Japanese-Joseon Army, it resulted in the decline of the Donghak Rebellion and the growth of Japanese Imperialism in Korea.


As the Korean government had difficulty in suppressing the Donghak movement, an emissary was sent to the Qing empire to request an immediate troop dispatch. The Qing court replied by sending the necessary soldiers. Japan also sent troops on the pretext of protecting Japanese citizens in Korea. As the Chinese and Japanese armies poured into the peninsula, Jeon Bong-jun, the leader of Donghak peasants, rallied the Korean peasants and led them to once rebel against the Joseon court and drive out the foreign "devils".


In the early stage of the battle, the peasant force gained early successes against the Joseon army. However, they began to retire when the Japanese troops arrived to reinforce the government force. When the Donghak army advanced the second time, the Japanese, armed with the more modern rifles and cannons, easily defeated peasants, armed only with bamboo spears and outdated matchlocks. As the peasant casualties mounted, Jeon ordered a retreat and the Donghak army scattered.


After the battle, Donghak peasants fled south and battled in the consequent Battle of Taein. After defeat in Gumiran, Jeon Bongjun ordered the Donghak peasants to scatter. Jeon himself was hanged in March, 1895.

See also


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