Mongol ship sent by Genghis Khan’s grandson to invade Japan before it was destroyed by ‘kamikaze’ typhoon is discovered underwater after 700 YEARS
- Ship was part of Mongol armadas which sailed to Japan in 1274 and 1281
- But the 4,000 ships and 140,000 men were sunk by devastating typhoons
- Storm has gone down in Japanese history as ‘kamikaze’, or the divine wind
- It is the third sunken ship from failed invasion to be discovered in the water
Published: 16:29 GMT, 3 July 2015 | Updated: 03:07 GMT, 6 July 2015
The Mongolian ship which was sent to invade Japan in the 13th Century had been decaying underwater for over 700 years.
Dispatched by Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai, it formed part of two massive armadas – made up of 4,000 ships and 140,000 men – tasked with invading the island and expanding the legendary Yuan Dynasty in 1274 and 1281.
But both fleets were destroyed by destructive typhoon winds which have gone down in Japanese history as ‘kamikaze’ – or the divine wind – which saved the country from foreign invasion.
Historic: Archaeologists have discovered a Mongol ship which took part in a failed invasion on Japan over 700 years ago
Attack: Dispatched by Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai, it formed part of two massive armadas tasked with invading the island in 1274 and 1281.
Sunken: But both fleets were destroyed by destructive typhoon winds which have gone down in Japanese history as ‘kamikaze’ – or the divine wind
It was found in a bay close to the city of Matsuura on the west coast of Kyushu island – and archaeologists believe it was taking shelter from the storm when it sunk.
This is the third sunken ship from the armada to be discovered by archaeologists from the University of the Ryukyus, who found the last one around 200m from Takashima Island in October 2014.
The latest is estimated to be around 20m from bow to stern and up to seven metres wide – slightly smaller than the first ship.
The second ship to be discovered on the seabed yesterday is 12m long and 3m wide at its longest point.
The first Mongolian warship was discovered in 2011 around 1.7km west of the wreck found last year.
Shipwreck: This is the third sunken ship from the armada to be discovered by archaeologists from the University of the Ryukyus
Massive: The latest is estimated to be around 20m from bow to stern and up to seven metres wide
The structures of the ship, and the 13th Century ceramics on board, backed up their theory that it was part of the Mongol invasion fleet.
A professor of archaeology at the University of Ryukyus says his team have now found potential shipwrecks from the same invasion at three different locations.
Yoshifumi Ikeda told Asia and Japan Watch: ‘We have successfully confirmed the two ships from the Mongolian invasion and further research on them is expected to lead to the discovery of even more sunken Mongolian ships.’
Numerous artifacts have been found on the seabed in the Takashima Kozaki archaeology. They include a white porcelain bowl, brown glaze pottery vase, roof tiles and ironware, have been discovered in and around the wreck, the researchers said.