Has Genghis Khan conquered Japan

Mongol storm

Mongol storm

Mongol storm
Reason for the discrepancy:

The Mongolian fleet did not get into the storm and reached Japan with a full crew.

Time of the deviation: 1274

Brief information about timeline:

Mongol ruler Kublai Khan calls for an invasion of Japan. Kublai Khan's army to subjugate Japan consists of Chinese, Koreans and Mongols. Japan's monks pray that this armada will never reach the Japanese islands. But the Mongols also prayed. When the khan's large fleet crossed over to Japan, the weather suited them. Only shortly after landing does a strong wind break out and hit the ships on the shore. Many of the transport ships have been destroyed, Kublai Khan and the Mongols see it as a divine sign, with a clear message: they will return from Japan as victor, or not at all. A little later, the Italian merchant Marco Polo arrives in China, where he learns from Kublai Khan, the greatest ruler of the Mongols and Emperor of Japan, that the Mongol Empire is blessed by all winds ...

Prehistory of the Mongol Empire and Japan:

The Mongol Empire was created through the unification of the tribes thanks to Temüdschin better known as Genghis Khan. At the end of the 12th century, the actually quite simple equestrian tribes of the Mongols became a cooperative army. These warriors from the steppe distinguished themselves as excellent cavalrymen for their riding skills combined with bows and arrows. Mongol robbers tried to force trade with China even before Chinggis Khan.

But the rather unorganized riders never really succeeded in forcing the Chinese to trade. Fortifications and walls were built over the centuries,

these various "Chinese walls" were supposed to stop these barbarians. In the 13th century, however, the situation is quite different. The nomads, formerly known as robbers and scoundrels, soon became powerful rulers. The capital of the Mongol Empire has been the Karakoram since 1220. In 1234, about 7 years after the death of Chinggis Khan, the Chinese Jin dynasty fell. From then on, the Mongols ruled northern China. Until 1260 the Mongol Empire continued to expand, stretching from Persia in the west to China in the far east. Eastern Russia was also Mongolian. Asian countries like Goryeo (today Korea) have also been dominated by Mongolians since 1238. In 1274, the year the Mongols attacked Japan, the Mongolian Empire was the largest empire of its time in terms of area, compared to Japan, Japan has been in the Kamakura period since 1150. This era is marked by competition from the warrior nobility (samurai). In the Kamakura period, power was in the hands of the monastery emperors. Since 1192 there has been the office of the Shogun "barbarian subjugating great general" in Japan. This military leader is thus also the commander in chief of Japan in the event of war. After the conquest of China by the Mongols (1264) in 1268 there are diplomatic demands that the Japanese also submit to the Great Khan Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. However, such demands were rejected or ignored by the Shogun. Japan's samurai defenders were also double-edged. Of course they served the emperor and the fatherland, but that came at a price. The samurai wanted to be paid, but the defense of the homeland brought little.

That is why the samurai preferred to hire themselves out in internal clan feuds to bring the booty. Kameyama has been Emperor of Japan since 1259.

Timeline Mongol Storm:

Kublai Khan's Conquest of Japan:

1274 - The Mongol storm over Japan:

"The Great Khan is the origin of all storms!"

Proverb, Japan

In 1274 the situation came to a head. The demands of the Mongols were ignored, so Kublai Khan decided to prepare a military strike. The invasion force of 40,000 men was supposed to cross over to Japan from the Kingdom of Goreyo. The invasion fleet consisted of about 1,000 Korean ships, and these ships were hastily built. That is why the Mongolian fleet was also less than ideal for heavy seas. The Mongols weren't really good seafarers either, but considering the situation, the fleet was sufficient. They have had gunpowder since the Mongols ruled China. The large army consisting of Mongols, Chinese and Koreans also has gunpowder, these weapons were mostly bombs that could be fired at opponents with slingshots. The army also carried mounted soldiers. Thanks to Chinese drilling, the troops were very disciplined. The islands of Tsushima and Iki were taken as the first stage.

Invasion of Japan



North China,



Kamakura Shogunate,

Hōjō clan,

So clan,

Shōni clan,

Sashi Klan,

Taira clan,

Kikuchi Klan,

Ōtomo Klan,

Shimazu clan,

Matsura Klan

November 20, 1274; The Mongols landed on the Japanese island of Kyūshū near Hakata Bay. First battle between the armed forces (Battle of Bun'ei). In this battle, the invaders, acting in formation, succeed in defeating around 10,000 very obstinate samurai. The Mongols owe this victory to their solidarity and good war tactics such as massively used poison arrows or firecrackers. The defenders could also be kept at a distance with shields. Japan's armed forces consisted of the samurai warriors of various noble houses, some of which were previously warring. In the course of the battle, the Japanese clans managed to weaken the invaders. During the embarkation in the bay the weather seemed to be quite acceptable. Only during the heavy turmoil did thunderclouds move in, which ultimately led to a huge storm tearing away the majority of the Mongolian fleet from the shore and destroying it. The Japanese saw the storm from Hakata Bay as a good sign, but when the Mongolian commanders made the decision to advance into the interior of the country, this changed. The Mongolian military leaders feared for their lives, because in the current situation it was hardly possible to return home. That is why they decided to take apart the last remaining transport ships. Parts of the ship's materials were to be used for the construction of siege engines during the invasion. The army command issued the slogan "It is better to die for the Khan than to live a cowardly." That is why there was now a weakened but very motivated Mongol army in Japan, this "horde" now marched through the province of Chikuzen, pillaging and pillaging. There the Japanese wanted to hide in the defenses near Dazaifu. Japanese fortifications were considered safe, but the defenders had no idea of ​​the intruders' weapon technology. Here, the weapon masters used their expertise and forged a large bombarde (cannon). To do this, they used some of the materials they had brought with them from the abandoned ships. On December 2nd, the gun was fired for the first time. For the Japanese castle garrison, the bombardment was like a thunderstorm, the morale of the samurai sank to zero because it was feared that the "Mongol storm" had now also reached the fortress. Aided by well-placed explosives on the foundations of the defenses, the bombing attack was devastating. Hundreds of Japanese warriors fell over the walls or were buried by the collapsing structures. After the siege, thousands of samurai chose ritual suicide (seppuku). The Mongols were white because they respected Japanese idiosyncrasies and allowed suicides. This was mainly due to the fact that the invading power could not take care of prisoners anyway, even if slaves promised profit, the decision was made against it. This was a traumatic event for the Japanese. The Shikken (regent), Hōjō Tokimune who led the Japanese, also committed suicide. The victory at Dazaifu caused fear and horror at the imperial court in Kyoto. The Kamakura shogunate was almost at an end, and Emperor Kamyama only had a few samurai left. He now also had a peasant army raised. The rest of the Japanese sword nobility was now seething. The emperor was blamed for the failure. Of course, none of the samurai dared to raise their hands against the god-emperor, because the emperor's face had to be preserved. Nevertheless, the samurai dared to face the emperor and take him under "protection". The emperor was compelled not to leave his rooms. On December 14, 1274 negotiations took place between the Japanese and the Mongols. The talks came to a consensus. It was decided to regard the emperor as deposed, and the "divinity" of the great khan was recognized by the Japanese. The noble houses of Japan recognized Kublai Khan as the divine lord of the world, this lord deserved his divinity just like a Japanese emperor and was thus a representative of heaven. With this declaration, the nobility did not lose face, since Kublai Khan's Mongol storms were ascribed the same divinity as the emperors of Japan. Of course, the whole thing was just an attempt by a few opportunists to stay in power. Some nobles strictly rejected the divinity of Kublai Khan and organized further resistance.

1275/1280 - Ronin Resistance:

“Shimazu, Lord of Hosts! Lord of all Ronin! Lord of all resistances! Shimazu, last of the samurai! "

Saying about Shimazu

After the Mongol storm, Japan was subject to major changes. Emperor Kameyama had resigned and lived as a monk in a monastery. In the present it is often said of the Mongols that they led Japan from its brief feudal period into the modern age. The Japanese feudal period from 1185 to the beginning of the 14th century ended with the reforms of the new Japanese military dictatorship. The Kyoto Shogunate, which ruled Japan from around 1275, was of course Japanese, but the regents and shoguns had Mongolian advisors who often spoke to them. Despite the fact that Kublai Khan accepted most of the customs and traditions of the island people, the samurai were a thorn in his side. The sword nobility was not so well established in the 13th century, samurai in the form we know existed for less than 100 years. Up until now it was easy for a samurai to change the fiefdom, but the new "collaborator" shogunate was supposed to build a modern army based on the Chinese model on behalf of the emperor (Kublai Khan). Many samurai had lost their masters in the Mongol storm, had fled or otherwise dishonored themselves. The new Shogun announced an amnesty for all abandoned Samurai (Rōnin). This amnesty was of little use, however, as most of the abandoned samurai did not recognize the collaborators. Japan's power elites had their own reasons for remaining loyal to the Mongols, but some clans, such as Shimazu's, refused. Entire noble families were declared free of birds by the shogunate. Especially the house Shmiazu, which was based in the city of Kagoshima on the island, had to suffer badly. The Klan had participated in the defense of Japan and was now relegated after the defeat. Thousands of samurai died in December 1274, so the ronin only formed small groups that made the country unsafe. Some also became pirates. The conquest of Japan was therefore only partially completed and it took 5 years for the Shmiazu clan chief to be captured. Shmiazu hid in the woods with his men and made a living robbing money collectors. During this time the Shogun built up a mass army, the "Great Army", which, unlike the Ronin, was absolutely loyal and, above all, humble. This pacification army, consisting of Japanese peasants, was poorly trained but outnumbered. Another advantage of the new army was the heavily regulated use of gunpowder. The Mongols ran a real fuss around their secret weapon because they wanted to support the propaganda that they controlled thunder and lightning as divine powers. That is why there were many who recognized and even revered the new emperor in the West. The ronin of the Shimazu Klan were neither numerically the largest group nor particularly strong in combat, but they had contact with Kameyama, who now corresponded with Shimazu from the Zen Buddhist monastery Nanzen-Ji in Kyoto. Unfortunately, the letters between the clan leader and the former emperor have been lost, which is why the so-called Shimazu putsch is discussed again and again. It is believed that Shimazu and Kameyama forged plans to overthrow the shogunate in order to then establish the "real" Japanese empire with Shimazu as the shogun. However, Shimazu's dream of an independent Japan ended with the Battle of Satsuma in July 1280. Shimazu had raised an army of about 1000 ronin and several hundred serfs who were facing the great army at Satsuma. The ronin army was out of luck because some of the serfs had themselves paid by the shogun and reported locations to the ronin army. Shimazu was treated like a criminal by the Shogun's men and quartered shortly after the defeat. With that the organized resistance by the ronin was broken, there were still ronin gangs but they were soon put to an end. For patriotic Japanese, Shimazu and his clan are considered to be a shining example. Especially his fight against the modern world of invaders incited in the course of the next centuries again and again to stand against progress. For example Shimazu refused to use captured black powder because he considered it to be witchcraft. The term ronin got a slightly different meaning than in UZL, it also stands for freedom fighter. In the Mongolian / Chinese historiography there are also entries about Shimazu, but there he is to be found as a robbery and convicted criminal. The Mongol-friendly shoguns made early attempts to destroy Shimazu's reputation for posterity. Despite the fact that the government repeatedly destroyed writings that contained Shimazu, the Japanese remembered him as a freedom fighter until the 21st century. With the end of the Ronin revolts and the Great Army, the era of the samurai was not yet over it was drawing to a close. In the middle of the 14th century in the Tottori Shogunate there were only a few samurai, they only served as generals. Samurai armies no longer existed at this point. The world traveler Marco Polo also found out about the Ronin, which became famous as a legend even in Europe.