Who would win Mongols or Ninjas



Attack by the Mongols

In the years 1274 and 1281, Japan succeeds under the leadership of the Hojo-Clan to repel two Mongol invasions.

became the leader of the mighty Mongol empire when Great Khan Möngke died in 1259. For the Mongols, the subjugation of Japan was more a matter of reputation than an economic interest.

As early as 1266, he has been sending messages to the Japanese leadership several times calling on the Japanese to voluntarily recognize Mongolian rule.
It is said that the Japanese initially did not react to the demands and thus provoked an increasingly hostile attitude on the part of the Mongols.
In 1274 orders the first attack on Japan. China and Korea are already largely under his control. This is the first real threat to Japan from a foreign power.
With 900 ships and around 40,000 warriors, the Mongols and their Korean-Chinese auxiliaries land after they have left the small islands Tsushima and lki have conquered on the Japanese coast to the north of Kyushu. Other sources report over 1,000 ships. However, it can be assumed that there were very many smaller ships and a few large warships.
In the bay of Hakata the invaders encounter bitter resistance. A strong samurai army, led by Shoni Kagesukestands in their way.
The samurai, who, according to their traditional rituals, more or less face their enemies in a duel, meet here for the first time on tightly organized units in orderly formations. The defenders and especially their horses are particularly shocked by the Mongolian gunpowder bombs that are hurled at them with catapults. Such weapons are unknown to the Japanese.

The Mongols are technically at the highest level, are led by experienced officers and have extremely powerful bows and even crossbows. The only thing the samurai have to counter their modern warfare is their death-defying heroism.

Under cover of darkness, particularly impetuous samurai sneak onto ships anchored close to the coast, kill as many Mongolians as possible and start fires. Although the Japanese defenders received reinforcements after a short time, the fight against the Mongol overwhelming power seemed hopeless. Since the last military acts in Japan were more than 50 years ago, the samurai have practically no battle-hardened leaders. After losing battles, the defenders finally have to hide behind an old fortification Mizuki withdraw.
But then, miraculously, the prayers of the Japanese priests are answered. A huge typhoon breaks out at night and smashes many Mongolian ships. A third of the attackers drowns and the few who can save themselves on the shore are gutted by the samurai.
The invaders eventually withdraw.

This saving storm goes as the "gods wind", the world famous kamikaze into the story.

Many details of the battle are recorded to us
of the samurai Takezaki Suenaga handed down.
He had his heroic deeds in the fight against the Mongols written down and illustrated by artists.

According to more recent findings, many historians assume that the storm only reached the attackers on their retreat and destroyed most of the Mongolian fleet. The exact reasons for the withdrawal of the Mongols are not yet clear, as no typhoon is mentioned in the old records made in the years shortly after the invasion.
Logistical difficulties certainly played a decisive role in the failure of the Mongols.

When Japan is asked to submit again in 1275, the Mongolian ambassadors are beheaded.

The second attack

After taking the Song Empire in southern China for good in 1279, Kublai Khan begins preparations for another invasion. The Japanese are better prepared this time and have built defenses at the possible landing sites.
For example, the military command has a stone wall 20 km long built around Hakata Bay, which offers protection for the defenders and makes it difficult for the invaders to set up formations. The remains of these ramparts can still be found in places today.

In 1281 the Mongols plan with the captured Song fleet and a Korean armada to settle on the Japanese island Iki to unite and conquer the main islands from there. But the southern Chinese fleet is delayed because their admiral dies shortly before. The Korean fleet did not wait, however, but unsuccessfully attacked the Bay of Hakata at.
Finally, the two fleets united and attacked together Hakata-Books at. But again a mighty storm rages. Shortly before the offensive, it destroys a large part of the ships and kills about 70% of the attackers.

We have gained a lot of knowledge from marine archaeologist Dr. Thanks to Kenzo Hayashida. He undertook numerous dives off the coast of Takashima and was able to secure numerous finds. Today's research also assumes that several factors played a role in the failure of the attacker for the second attack. It can therefore be assumed that the ships were not sufficiently seaworthy. Whether sabotage played a role or was simply planned and built too hastily is still an open question. Archaeological finds in the Bay of Hakata suggest that at least part of the Mongolian fleet were converted barges. These ships would not have been able to withstand a slight storm.
After all, Japan remains the only country in East Asia that does not have to submit to Mongolian-Chinese rule.

The consequences

The high cost of the defense war leads to a political weakening of the HojoClans. Lots Daimyo and their samurai make demands on the military government in Kamakura.
In 1275, 120 samurai who showed particular courage during the first invasion are rewarded.
Others, however, go away empty-handed.
Despite another reward program in 1286, there are still warriors who have not yet received any benefits. All too often the temples and shrines that had successfully prayed for victory are given preferential treatment.
In addition, the Bakufu did not have sufficient financial means, because in this war there were no country vacations or noteworthy spoils of war to distribute.
After all, many of the fighters see themselves treated unfairly and support a revolt by the former emperor Godaigo. In 1333 the renegade conquered Hojo-Vassal Ashikaga Takauji, the cities Kyoto and Kamakura.
The Hojo-Regent is forced to commit suicide and Ashikaga Takauji takes over that Shogunate.


Related Links:

You can find interesting information about archaeological finds off the Japanese coast at: www.archaeology.org

The complete picture scrolls for the experiences of the samurai Takezaki Suenaga can be viewed here: www.bowdoin.edu/mongol-scrolls/







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The map shows the possible routes of the Mongol invasion fleets