Martell asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

When was "kami kazi" first signifiant in world history?

This phrase is a familiar one to Americans, but the original "kami kazi" was not an attack, but a rescue. When was that and what was it?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    In ancient Japan, the "Kamikaze" referred to the typhoons which destroyed invading Mongol ships and their troops on two occasions that an outside attack was made on Japan. These typhoons were attributed to be sent by the gods and were thus named the Divine Winds.

    The First Kamikaze

    Kublai Kahn establised the Mongol capital of what would bethe Yuan Dynasty in Beijing in 1264. In 1268 sent an embassy to Japan demanding submission. A declaration of war was made in 1272 and the Japanese began placing men on defensive positions in anticipation of the oncoming attack. Mongol preparations for war with Japan began soon after but were significantly delayed before an attack was made in 1274 by a force of about 25, 000 Mongols and Koreans (the Koreans were previously conquered by the Mongols).

    The first Mongol landings were on Hakata Bay in North Kyushu. Although the Mongols had the advantage of superior technologies and military skills such as catapults and heavy calvary, the lack of space for military maneuver and a desperate zeal to defend their homeland allowed the Japanese to hold off the Mongol invaders on the day of their first encounter. By night the Jpanese retreated a few miles inland and lay behind dikes erected as defences in earlier times. Bad weather was brewing and for some reason the Mongol commanders decided to retreat to their ships after just one day of fighting. By morning a number of ships were lost in the storm and a number of soldiers drowned.

    The Second Kamikaze

    Five years after the first attack, Kublai prepared for a second attack on Japan. The second fleet reached Japan in 1281. This time, the Mongol fleet consisted of 140, 000, of which 100, 000 were Chinese from South China. These Chinese soldiers had little will to fight for their Mongol masters and it can be said that morale on the Mongol side was low. The invaders made a series of landings along the coast of Kyushu but the most strategic location was still at Hakara Bay and a stone wall that the Japanese had erected earlier proved to be useful in the fight against the Mongol troops.

    The Japanese managed to hold the Mongols off at Hakata Bay for 2 months from June to August, before the Kamikaze gave the Japanese a winning break on August 15 and 16. A tremendous storm came into the bay and wreaked havoc on the Mongol fleet. With winds of up to 120 miles per hour in such tropical storms, the larger Chinese contingent received the most damage and the lost of lives was immense. Those on the Mongol side that made it to shore were killed by the Japanese troops.

    After this victory, the Bakufu government of Tokugawa (or Edo) Japan declared the typhoon as the result of a divine protection of Japan that was the result of prayers.

    Source(s): Morton, W. Scott; Japan: Its History and Culture; New York: Mc Graw Hill, 2005
  • 1 decade ago

    The Russians attempted to invade Japan on two occassions. Both times their attack was thwarted by a typhoon which the Japanese called a devine wind or Kami Kazi.

  • 1 decade ago

    Kamikaze is Japanese for divine wind - the typhoons that destroyed the 2 Mongolian invasion fleets, saving Japan during the reign of Kublai Khan in the Yuan dynasty.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It was the " rescue " of Japan by thwarting the Mongol invasion with the " Divine Wind ".

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