The Mongol invasions of Japan

The Mongol invasions of Japan of 1274 and 1281 were very big military actions undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the conquest of Goryeo (高麗:Korea) . The Mongol invasions are an early example of gunpowder warfare. One of the most notable technological innovations during the war was the use of explosive hand thrown bombs like bow. The invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, and are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze, or “divine wind”, is widely used. For exsample, the storm destroyed Mongolian fleets.
The first attack was performed in 1274. A force of Mongol, Chinese and Korean soldiers was numbering 23,000 with 800 ships (300 large vessels and 500 smaller craft). The second attack was performed in 1281. Two forces consisting of the Mongols, which numbering 100,000, and the Chinese and Korean soldiers, numbering 40,000, with 3,500 and 900 ships respectively.
It is said the casualties of the Mongol was 22,500 in 1272, and 130,500 in 1281.

Japanese invasions of Korea

The Japanese invasions of Korea comprised of two, initial invasion in 1592, a brief truce in 1596, and a second invasion in 1597. The conflict ended in 1598 with the withdrawal of the Japanese forces from the Korean Peninsula after a military stalemate on Korea’s southern coast.
The invasions were launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the intent of conquering Korea and China, which were ruled by the Joseon and Ming dynasties, respectively. Japan quickly succeeded in occupying large portions of the Korean Peninsula, but the contribution of reinforcements by the Ming Dynasty, as well as the Joseon Navy’s disruption of Japanese supply fleets  forced a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Pyongyang and the northern provinces into Seoul and the southern provinces. Afterwards, with supply difficulties hampering both the Japanese and the combined Ming and Joseon forces were not able to mount a successful offensive or gain any additional territory, resulting in a military stalemate. The first phase of the invasion lasted from 1592 until 1596, and was followed by ultimately unsuccessful peace negotiations between Japan and the Ming between 1596 and 1597.
In 1597, Japan renewed its offensive by invading Korea a second time. The pattern of the second invasion largely mirrored that of the first. The Japanese had initial successes on land, capturing several cities and fortresses. With Hideyoshi’s death in 1598, limited progress on land, and continued disruption of supply lines by the Joseon navy. The Japanese forces in Korea were ordered to withdraw back to Japan.  Final peace negotiations between the parties followed afterwards and continued for several years, finally resulting in the normalization of relations.

genkou-map korea-invasion