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Divine Wind: The Mongol Invasions

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Chapter Summary

Mongol warriors are noted for their celebrated riding skills than any tradition of seamanship, but on one occasion they had already prepared a vast fleet and set sail, targeting Hakata Bay in an attempt to gain a foothold on the coast of northern Kyushu. A conspicuous feature of provincial life in Japan under Kamakura rule was the escalation in legal disputes between jitō stewards and proprietors as they fought over the profits from their shōen estates. In 1204, a few years after Minamoto Yoritomo had set up his bakufu government in Kamakura, Genghis Khan established his position as leader of all the Mongols. The catastrophic failure of the Mongol invasions has sometimes been linked to Khubilai Khan's dependence on large numbers of troops from Koryo and on the second occasion from Song China. The cumulative burden these campaigns placed upon the bakufu in Honshu contributed directly to its long-term decline.

Keywords: bakufu government; Genghis Khan; Hakata Bay; Kamakura rule; Khubilai Khan; Koryo; Minamoto Yoritomo; Mongol invasions; northern Kyushu; Song China



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