ASIA212Varley

The japanese forgot about handling their horses and

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Unformatted text preview: rly thirteenth century, the Mongols under Chingghis Khan assembled one of the greatest empires in the history of the world, conquering North China and extending their territorial control across Asia and into eastern Europe. After Chingghis’s death, the Chinese portion of his empire was inherited by his grandson Khubilai Khan. It took Khubilai until 1279 to destroy the Southern Sung and to unite all of China under the Yüan or “Original” dynasty (1270–1368). But even before this final achievement, Khubilai sought to bring Japan into a subservient, tributary relationship. The other countries of East Asia had long accepted as a matter of course such a relationship with the mighty Middle Kingdom of China, but the Japanese from at least the time of Prince Shòtoku in the early seventh century had steadfastly resisted being drawn into it. When the Japanese steadfastly refused to submit—indeed, even to respond—to Khubilai’s imperious and threatening demands, the Mongol leader launched two great armadas against them in 1274 and 1281. In the first invasion the Mongol force numbered some 90,000, and in the second nearly 140,000. Both invasions took place in northern Kyushu, which was defended by the samurai of that westernmost island, and both failed—the first after only one day and the second after nearly two months 106 The Canons of Medieval Taste —because of typhoons that forced the Mongols back onto their ships, out to open water, and subsequently, after severe losses (especially during the storm of 1281), back to the continent.17 In the second invasion, the Kyushu samurai were better able to defend themselves because they had built a protective stone wall (about three meters high) around Hakata Bay, where the Mongols had landed in the first invasion and were likely to tr y to land in the second, and because they had prepared a fleet of small boats that they sent out to harass and, in some cases, even board the larger Mongol troop ships. But in the first invasion the discrepancy in fighting methods and power in favor...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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