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Why did the Mongol invasions of Japan fail?   

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The most common answer to this question is probably to say that the Mongol invasions of Japan failed because of typhoons.  Most history texts emphasize that the Mongol invasions were repelled by massive typhoons.  These storms gave rise to the idea of the “kamikaze,” the divine wind that protected Japan.

The Mongols tried to invade Japan twice.  One invasion was in 1274 and one was in 1281.  According to most history books, these invasions were repelled when typhoons hit, scattering or destroying the Mongol fleets and causing the invasions to fail.  However, as you can see in the article in the link, some historians believe that the role of the typhoons is overstated, particularly in the repulse of the first invasion.  They emphasize that Japanese resistance to the attacks was important.  They argue that Japanese warriors played a major role in fighting the Mongols.  In fact, they point out that contemporary accounts of the first invasion do not even mention a typhoon.

However, most history texts still tell the story of the divine winds.  Therefore, it is likely that this is the answer that you are supposed to give.  You may want to check your textbook to make sure.


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