Mongol Invasions of Japan - 1274 and 1281

This web site is devoted to understanding the Mongol Invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281. The failure of the invasions gave rise to the notion of the "divine wind" or Kamikaze, although an exploration of the invasions reveals that the Japanese defeated the Mongols with little need of divine, or meteorological intervention.

Explore scrolls commissioned by Takezaki Suenaga, one of the warriors who fought against the Mongols in 1274 and 1281. Take a guided tour explaining how these Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions of Japan were altered, or read the scrolls in tandem with a translation (here the 19th century version is best). Interactive maps depicting the invasions of 1274, when the Mongols landed in Northern Kyushu, and the 1281 campaign, which was fought mostly on islands and the high seas.

Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions of JapanTakezaki Suenaga's Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions of Japan:
Interactive scroll viewer allowing comparisons of historical copies of the ancient invasion scrolls.


Mongol Invasions Interactive MapMongol Invasions of Japan - Interactive Maps:
A timeline and map detailing the invasions of the Mongol forces and the Japanese defense.


Mongol Invasions Interactive MapIn Little Need of Divine Intervention: Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions of Japan.
Cornell East Asia Series, August 2001 (Currently in third printing).

by Thomas D. Conlan, Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies.

In Little Need of Divine Intervention presents a fundamental revision of the thirteenth-century Mongol Invasions of Japan by revealing that the warriors of medieval Japan were capable of fighting the Mongols to a standstill without the aid of any "divine winds" or kamikaze.


yourprof.comA new talk by Tom Conlan is available at An excerpt from the site is below.

"In 1274 and again in 1281, Mongol fleets attempted to invade Japan -only to fail both times. Historian Tom Conlan shows that the Japanese could fight the Mongols to a standstill well before any storms, the famed Kamikaze, or Divine Wind, arose. Conlan provides a revision of the invasions, showing that they were of a much smaller scale than has commonly been assumed, and why the notion of a Kamikaze gained hold of the imagination in the aftermath of the Mongol invasions."