Kublai Khan – Kamikaze Save the Day

Live coverage of the the great typhoon that saved Japan from the invading armies of Kublai Khan.

This incredible story of Mongols beaten by meteorology is presented in a droll spoof of The Weather Channel. We also tune in to ancient Japanese commercials, editorials, game shows, and a phone-in program on ritual suicide.

Original Air Date: Jan 22, 2002

Transcript by YouTube

Welcome to History Bites I’m Rick Green.  For most people ancient Japan conjures up images of samurai warriors going at
each other with swords.
Hey that’s not so far off the mark, the Japanese spent a lot of time perfecting the art of killing each other, guess living on Islands they didn’t get many opportunities to try out their
skills on foreigners until four thousand
Mongol ships sailed into view the
Mongols led by Kublai Khan had been
taking a slay as you go to her across
Asia polishing off China with Korea for
dessert in 1274 they went after Japan
sending 30,000 soldiers to attack it
unfortunately for them a sudden storm
destroyed the Mongol ships seven years
later Kublai was ready for another try
an all-out invasion by 4,500 ships
carrying 140,000 Mongol soldiers the
Japanese prayed worried and watched the
skies hoping the weather would save them
a second time so let’s take a look back
at the Japanese weather in 1281 only
instead of the sky let’s turn to a more
reliable source for up-to-the-minute
forecasts television you’re watching the
Japan weather network as interesting as
staring at the sky I’m sure our suit or
should that be it sure is I don’t know
the answer to that one but yeah we’ve
got a huge battle friend over the sea
there to the southwest big Mongol army
out that way and Navy too I guess
and maybe too far across to sea without
a navy were there and we’ll be bringing
you up to date weather progress of the
invaders and the possible destruction of
Japan at eight minutes to the hour but
first let’s check our weather channel
beam forecast
and speaking of weather Michael Sam I
was just wondering whether that’s a new
robe you’re wearing yes
Izu yes it is indeed I picked it up on
my vacation very nice thank you
don’t go spilling tea on it though I’ll
tell you sue if it comes to a choice
between having my tea and keeping my
robe clean I’ll take the tea every time
oh I know what you mean like I can’t
start my morning without tea tea is
something isn’t it oh it sure is
something like Oh tea is something all
right it’s nothing if not something and
as you were saying like we have some big
weather stories in the news today I’d
say the future of the nation hangs in
the balance
sure does sue the possible destruction
of Japanese culture as we know it
on the one hand if they invade we get
free trade with Asia on the other hand
our wives and children get chopped into
pieces tough decision what do you think
about this wife and children chopping
thing oh well it’s not fair eh like if
they’re gonna come here and chop up our
wives and kids they should at least
bring over their wives and kids so we
can chop them up yeah but they won’t bet
you anything they won’t
thousands of Mongol and Korean troops
are landed tens of thousands more on
their way
what should Japan do well I say
surrender give up now oh I mean these
Mongols you I don’t mess with them I
think the safest scenario is to lay down
the weapons see what happens over the
best several things peacefully that’s a
pretty unusual attitude for a brave and
proud Japanese soldier yeah well
actually I’m I’m a Mongol I’m one of the
invaders those cruel bars you tried
talkin you tried cutting but nothing
stops those hard to arrows
well mr. Mongol now that’s an answer
arrow brand silk shirts Mongols were
silk not for the feel of truth but
because it offers 24-hour day protection
from arrows a strong soft flexible we’ve
been zwip the arrow covering the barbs
making arrows easy to remove so church
work with you coating the arrow covering
the hook so arrows don’t break through
arrow bran shirt stronger than skin so
take your best shot for a clean wound
depend on arrow shirts cuz you never
know when somebody’s gonna give you the
shot the invading Mongolian forty
thousand soldiers although some
historians believe this wouldn’t have
been enough to conquer all of Japan the
Mongols had a long history of defeating
much larger armies using their high-tech
weapons and unusual tactics of course
the Japanese had some unusual tactics of
their own well Mike it’s hot hazy and
humid out there in Kyushu a beautiful
day for a picnic or for fighting hordes
of invading barbarians on the beach for
sure well let’s go to Marlene who Zuzu
and see how that works
do you called it right we’ve got a
glorious day here in the Kyushu area
it’s hazy and humid there’s a slight
breeze in the air along with thousands
of Mongol arrows so we’re a bit back
from the beach we’re here with general
Otto who’s been down here for some waves
of his army general Marlene yeah this is
just a great place just a great warm
reception perfect fighting weather oh
great weather we’ve got a nice breeze
giving us a break from the community we
had earlier well I’m really proud of the
boys you know I think that they’re
making a great impression on the Mongols
they’ve certainly made an impression on
me I’ve got to tell you soon just a few
minutes ago we saw one brave warrior
walked towards an enemy to engage in
single combat only to be surrounded by a
mob of Mongols and hacked to pieces
under a partially overcast sky and balmy
temperatures there you go sue brave men
great weather making one heck of a war
thanks Marlene and we’re going shopping
report Tim yeah sure thing sue and there
we can just see the enemy fleet 1000
ships approaching the coast of Japan and
we have a tropical storm warning in
effect so better put on a raincoat over
that armor today in weather history is
sponsored by chickens and Buddhism
chickens and Buddhism all the religion
and a fraction of the time seven years
ago in 1274 mongols attacked on the
shores of key issue after heavy fighting
the mongols attempted a tactical
withdrawal in their ships a great storm
came up
devastating the Mongol feed more than 13
thousand Mongols died their hopes of
invasion and their ships were dashed by
the weather and a little piece of
weather history there that seems to
speak to us again sue with the Mongol it
sure doesn’t like I remember it well I
was working in radio at the time I still
had the weight problem now at this
Kublai Khan character his Mongol
invaders back it sure looks like history
repeats itself but not half as much as
we do so you know ladies and gentlemen
these Mongols they keep coming back for
more and I don’t know it looks like this
time they actually might do it I mean
they’re winning so far now the thing is
these Mongols they don’t fight by the
rules like our like our samurai do am i
right the warrior code they actually
actually read your code they team it’s
called the warrior code but here now
from the Home Office in Kyoto the top
ten Mongol rules of war
rules of war here we go number 10 carry
enough bags were all the heads you cut
off every night live fast die young
leave a swath of carnage a nice day to
walk among the cherry blossoms practice
your calligraphy or if you’re a soldier
get up there and fight the invaders
actually sue these Mongols don’t just
fight warriors they killed everyone yes
not honorable warriors are supposed to
fight warriors that’s the Japanese way
but these Mongol boys just don’t see it
that way so let’s take a look at our
rice planting forecast number seven
there’s no glory in killing thousands of
people the word out here for the globe
number six fight til you see the whites
of their eyes on your boots
number five women and children last but
not least number four Hulk smash
number three decapitation is the kindest
cut of all
number two let’s go out there and win
one for the Ginga
and the number one Mongol rule of war
village that rhymes with pillage when we
come back is the Sun about to set on the
Land of the Rising Sun
the Japanese situation in 1281 ad as
they defended themselves against the
Mongol invaders has often been compared
to England’s battle against the Spanish
Armada 300 years later Japan and Britain
were both small island nations both were
being attacked by a larger and more
powerful Empire both were depending on
the right weather and the Japanese and
British had another thing in common –
and I’ll be chewing on scalding tea
leaves like ink tea is available for
monastery supply houses everywhere order
yours today
the Japan weather Network all weather
all the time on and on and on and on
just like real weather is it pollen or
is this ragweed
no actually it’s arrows Mongol arrows so
we’re advising people without army to
stay indoors and away from open windows
good advice now sue you know that old
joke everybody talks about the weather
but nobody does anything about it well
it goes everybody talks about the
weather but nobody does anything about
it of course officials are not standing
idly by while foreigners invade in fact
at the great ESA shrine and the me a
Prefecture the priests have offered up
prayers to save the country from the
Mongol invaders let’s go to me a
Prefecture now and talk to we’ll Kenichi
at the weather shrine will I’m like
how’s the weather out there well it’s a
beautiful day here in my II prefecture
Mike a little bit of cloud overhead but
mainly sunny and bright here although we
may get some precip later in the day so
some concerns here for the organizers of
this afternoon’s outdoor koto music
well we’ve been hearing about the
priests out there in the military
meteorological department offering
prayers to stop the enemy what’s that
all about
well Mike that’s pretty much all the
day’s work here for the Shinto priests
at the great I say shrine as you know
they’re constantly looking out for the
weather needs of the people although
it’s usually the farmers those farmers
and the priests can deliver what the
farmers need whether it’s getting a bit
more rain or a nice warm spot or
stopping Mongol invaders from cutting
the farmers heads off yeah very true
Mike very true but you see what makes
this current prayer we’ve it unusual is
it this time the priests are asking a
matter a sue the Sun goddess for weather
that not even a farmer would ask for I
mean they want bad weather
typhoons maybe even a few tea boomers
you know they want to destroy them on
both fleets they want to divine wind a
kamikaze but of course the real question
here is will we get rain this afternoon
and will it spoil the koto music recital
why don’t we take a look at the clay
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you also get this second scroll listing
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these ghosts pick up the phone make the
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wealth isn’t just a matter of hard work
and skills its luck is Yoshi rank
collapse in 1279 highways the Song
Dynasty Shiro
what was banned as a spectator sport in
1185 but is still a part of military
training dirty dancing sumo wrestling
Sachi what manual skill do men find
attractive in a woman penmanship yes and
now a few minutes with and wrote a role
new cheese on last week on my birthday I
received some very nice gifts and one
gag gift from my brother-in-law at least
he thought it was a gag gift it was a
medical manual called the Ashim Pole I’m
probably not saying that right he told
me it’s Japan’s answer to the
best-selling book in India that Camus
Sutra I’m probably not saying that right
I never heard of the is shampoo or the
Camus Sutra so I didn’t get the joke
until much later when I opened the book
and read the chapter titles I thought it
was a guide for bird watchers or pet
owners the pair dance of the female
phoenixes the happy butterfly in the cat
tail the dog in Otto the grinning donkey
doing push
with a snake then I looked at the
pictures after about three minutes I
finally figured out what I was looking
at I don’t remember much after that but
when I came to I was floating in Kyoto
Harbor wearing a woman’s kimono that was
six sizes too small I’m a samurai a
samurai who doesn’t know the difference
between a katana sword and a wakizashi
sword I got the names confused names
aren’t the only thing confused around
here you chose zero as the weakest link
what well you missed a couple of
questions brought disgrace and dishonor
to the team who do you think
statistically was the weakest link in
the last round it was me was you that’s
the count zero you are the weakest link
so the weather getting very much worse
out there and that’s going to be tough
on those Mongols Mike Vicki we’ve had
some calls from residents who are
concerned about this battlefront
spreading into their region is there
anything to worry about I’d say not Mike
of course many people are taking
precautionary measures by boarding up
their homes and evacuating the coastal
areas but right now with the weather
worsening this Mongol invasion has been
downgraded from a force 12 massive
invasion to a force nine severe Mongol
attack but of course there’s still a
huge army of volunteers as well as many
regular soldiers standing by ready to
deal with any conflict as it occurs and
I can tell you though that the koto
music recital in the myyy Prefecture has
been cancelled due to weather and
Mongols when we come back the invasion
takes a new twist thanks to a typhoon
you know what they say it’s an ill wind
that blows no good know how for well
however it goes the wind that had saved
Japan from the Mongol invasion of 1281
was good for the Japanese people but not
so good for the country’s leaders you
see defending Japan had cost a lot of
money but hadn’t brought in any of the
spoils you get from say conquering enemy
cities you know gold jewels heads on
sticks so the soldiers didn’t get their
usual post battle bonus and that meant a
lot of angry soldiers so once again
major storm activity out there in the
Kyushu area with those Mongo ships being
badly battered by the weather and this
really comes as no surprise the priests
prayed for storms to protect Japan gods
as usual delivered I just hope they can
do the same for our ratings later this
very true like and let’s go again to
Marlene who is honest
the heavy rain of Bonneville arrows had
Haven weights back heavy rain of heavy
rain imagine what’s going on those
Mongol ships strong winds a lot of
precip and a humidity reading of 100%
right now
maybe that’s because the fellow breeds
the humidity wisdom swept out to the
but you know good news for our side now
general general I was wondering if I
could get your reaction maybe to the
weather oh this this is the best
possible tournament for us you know
because we were holding room fighting
the bugs out of the beaches but well
they were running out of arrows we were
writing at a samurai and then they
decided to go out to sea to regroup and
that’s where the storm hit and we saw
most of their ships were smashed and M&E
would just carnage and human tragedy on
a vast scale was pretty much what we
were hoping for and I’m guessing that
this war as good as over there’s
something else you’re hoping for am i
right general yeah you know Marlene they
say that every cloud has a silver lining
into it when it comes to warfare it’s
it’s usually solid silver
you know well you have these boys have
fought long and hard huh
although you know they’ve been deaf so
there’s been injuries but we are
expected with solid cash payout but
bravely these boys have shown him
through the victories they’ve won in the
last few weeks right I think we should
have a good solid cheer for him from
Minamoto yoritomo
fantastic and we may have some news for
you in that regard Marlena we’ve just
had word from Kamakura where the Emperor
the Shogun Minamoto yoritomo has just
said that there will indeed be
substantial rewards for the weather
priests who have given us this victory
some big cash payments there for the
imperial family who have led us in this
victory huge rewards and for the
soldiers congratulations for a job well
done the fighting forces of Japan
they’re clearly very tired emotional but
jubilant a jubilant after the Mongols
retreated Japan United again to get rid
of another common enemy the Emperor then
filled with pride at their victory the
Japanese returned to their warrior
lifestyle of fighting and killing each
still the Mongol invasion had made a
mark on the Japanese it convinced them
that their nation was invincible that
the gods were protecting Japan from its
enemies that belief lasted a long time
so in 1944 when the country was faced
with invasion by Allied forces the
Japanese again called on the kamikaze
this new mechanical kamikaze was faster
than the wind
aircraft suicide squadrons of aircraft
these kamikazes were less successful
than the originals they took a heavy
toll of Allied ships but they couldn’t
prevent Japan from being defeated which
shows that history doesn’t always repeat
itself but it usually bites for the
unveiling of the new line of
the robes from mr. Ito the mr. IDO label
is exclusive Haute Couture for Nobles
and his new line of white silk maternity
wear so she she it’s apropos for the
birth of a future ever mr. Ito has
designed a line of outfits to dress
everyone who attends a big birth there’s
the mothers delivery dress gowns for The
Handmaid’s courtiers and ladies in
waiting ropes for exorcists and diviners
Buddhist bishops and archbishops and the
priests who chant the spells you’ll love
what he’s done for the archer ooh stands
outside the house to ward off evil
spirits it’s deuce