Kingdom of Goryeo

First Mongol invasion of Japan
First Mongol invasion of Japan ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1274 Nov 2

First Mongol invasion of Japan

Fukuoka, Japan

In 1266, Kublai Khan dispatched emissaries to Japan demanding for Japan to become a vassal and send tribute under a threat of conflict. However, the emissaries returned empty-handed. The second set of emissaries were sent in 1268 and returned empty-handed like the first.

The Yuan invasion force set off from Korea on 2 November 1274. Two days later they began landing on Tsushima Island. The Yuan fleet crossed the sea and landed in Hakata Bay on 19 November. By morning, most of the Yuan ships had disappeared. According to a Japanese courtier in his diary entry for 6 November 1274, a sudden reverse wind from the east blew back the Yuan fleet. A few ships were beached and some 50 Yuan soldiers and sailors were captured and executed. According to the History of Yuan, "a great storm arose and many warships were dashed on the rocks and destroyed." It is not certain whether the storm occurred at Hakata or if the fleet had already set sail for Korea and encountered it on their way back. Some accounts offer casualty reports that suggest 200 ships were lost. Of the 30,000 strong invasion force, 13,500 did not return.

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Last Updated: : Tue Mar 07 2023