Abstract: Kamikaze: Discovering Kublai Khan's Lost Fleet


Since the 1970s, Japanese archaeologists have searched the waters off Japan’s southeast coast for remains of the fleets sent by Mongol emperor Kublai Khan to conquer Japan in 1274 and 1281. Lost both in battle and to a violent storm that wrecked the fleet in 1281 which Japanese legend insists was a heaven sent “divine wind,” known as the kamikaze in Japanese, the ships of the Khan were lost to history and largely forgotten until the events of World War II and the revival of the story of the kamikaze. The discovery of relics from the ships in the 1970s made world headlines, but the actual wreck of one of the Khan’s ships eluded discovery. In 2000, Japanese archaeologists finally located the broken wreck of one of the Khan’s fleet. In 2001, archaeologist James Delgado became the first western archaeologist to join the Japanese team as they excavated and recovered the remains of the wreck, which included armor, weapons, personal items and evidence of massive, sophisticated ships with catapults that fired explosive bombs. In this illustrated lecture, Delgado shares the story of the Mongol invasion, the legend of the kamikaze, and the amazing discoveries from the waters of Japan’s Imari Bay.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):
www.inadiscover.com, www.jamesdelgado.com

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