Tag Archives: University of the Ryukyus

Mongol Invasion Ship Discovered by Japanese Researchers

Kublai Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empi...
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In 1281 Kulbai Khan (he of the pleasure dome), tried to invade Japan and failed miserably, his fleet being destroyed by the divine wind (kamikaze). The attempted invasion by 100,000 Mongols and its defeat is a legend in Japanese history, so I’m sure the news of the discovery of a Mongol shipwreck from this era must have been big news in Japan.

More news over at the Time website, but in short:

The scientists from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa say they’ve found a 12-meter-long section of a ship’s keel, which could have been as long as 20 meters. Though some 4,000 artifacts allegedly belonging to the smashed fleets have been recovered from the sea, this is the most complete archaeological find related to the invasions.

And some lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s fantastic poem, Kubla Khan:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea. (lines 1-5)

And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war! (lines 29-30)

Was Coleridge alluding to the war against Japan?

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