“Following the Footsteps of the Ancestors” expedition arrives in Japan - Kazakh TV

“Following the Footsteps of the Ancestors” expedition arrives in Japan. Members of the expedition are set to find new facts and data about the ancestors of the Kazakh people. In 1274, after Kublai, the grandson of Genghis Khan, conquered China and Korea, he sent thousands of troops to Japan by sea, some historians claim. Most commanders of the Mongolian army were Cumans or Desht-i-Kipchak. There is a theory that the invasion failed because of the natural forces.   

SAPAR ISKAKOV, HEAD, ‘FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANCESTORS’ EXPEDITION:

- Japan was an isolated country. They didn’t let anyone in and their citizens rarely left the country. They mostly had contacts with China, Korea and South Asian countries. Mongols and the Yuan dynasty were the first to invade the country. According to Yuanshi, the Chinese dynasty chronicles, the leaders of the Mongolian army were Mongols. Our ancestors became the army commanders later. For example, such commanders as Tutuk and Baytemir reached high positions and we can say that they were the emperor’s top commanders.   

In Tokyo, members of the “Following the Footsteps of Ancestors” exhibition held a meeting with local scientists. They wanted to know the details of the two invasions since many things remain unknown.

YOKKAICHI YASUHIRO, PROFESSOR, RIKKYO UNIVERSITY:

- We are now studying Kublai Khan’s campaign against Japan. And last year we found new data. 100 thousand troops participated in the invasion. However, after a storm about thirty thousand Mongol soldiers reached one of the Japanese islands. There was no information about them before. There are assumptions that some of them survived. That’s why we need to conduct a lot of work. We need to strengthen historic and cultural ties between our countries. 

Details of Mongol campaigns with Cuman commanders still cause arguments among historians from various countries. That’s why the members of the research expedition firstly conduct studies on Kazakh ancestors’ possible battlefields. Scientists believe that it is necessary to restore the accurate chronology of Kublai’s campaign against Japan.  

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