Medieval Hakata - Genko and the Crisis of Hakata (Part 1)

Medieval Hakata - Genko and the Crisis of Hakata (Part 1)

Medieval Hakata - Genko and the Crisis of Hakata (Part 1)... The Battle of Bunei and the Crisis of Hakata

 

- More than 700 years ago, in the late Kamakura period (1185-1333), Hakata and other islands in the western part of Kyushu were the battlefields of two "Genko" wars. Hakata has suffered many wars in its long history, but the greatest crisis of medieval Hakata came at this time.

 

- It was in 1274 that the Yuan Dynasty, which had established a world empire on the Eurasian continent, first invaded Japan. The Yuan emperor (khubeli) strongly urged Japan to follow suit, but the Japanese refused to comply. Therefore, in October of the same year, Yuan finally sent about 30,000 men and 900 ships, consisting of the combined forces of Yuan and Goryeo, against Japan. (This is called " The Battle of Bunei".)

 

- Yuan's forces invaded Tsushima and Iki in Nagasaki and landed in Hakata on October 20. Fierce battles were fought on the west side of Hakata Bay, and they gradually invaded the city center. At this time, Hakozaki Shrine was destroyed by fire, and the city of Hakata suffered considerable damage in just one day. Until this time, the victory of the Yuan army was in sight. 

 

- That night, however, the Yuan fleet mysteriously disappeared from Hakata Bay. It is speculated that the strong monsoon that heralded winter in the new calendar month of November hit the fleet after they had decided to salvage their anchor. The Joseon history book "Dongguk Tonggam" states that more than 13,000 people were killed in the battle.

 

*The photo shows the site of the Genko fortifications at Imajuku, which were attacked by the Yuan. / 

 

中世博多-元寇と博多の危機(その1)…文永の役と博多の危機

 

- 今から700年以上も昔、鎌倉時代の後期に博多をはじめ九州西部の島々が戦場となった2度の「元寇」という戦役がありました。長い歴史の中で博多は幾度も戦火に見舞われましたが、中世博多の最大の危機がこのとき迫ってきたのです。

 

- ユーラシア大陸に世界帝国を築いていた元が、最初に日本に攻め入って来たのは1274年のことです。元の皇帝(フビライ)は日本に何度も追従するように求めたのですが、日本側が応じなかったため、同年10月、元はついに日本に、高麗との連合軍約3万人と900隻の船を差し向けたのです。(これを「文永の役」といいます。)

 

- 元軍は長崎の対馬・壱岐を侵攻し、1020日には博多に上陸しました。博多湾の西側で激しい戦いが繰り広げられ、次第に市内中心部へ侵攻してきました。このとき筥崎宮も焼失するなど、わずか1日で博多の市街地が相当な被害に遭ったようです。このときまで、元軍の勝利は目前にありました。 

 

- ところがその夜、不思議なことに元の船団の姿は博多湾から消えてしまったのです。引き揚げを決定し、いかりを揚げた船団を、新暦では11月の冬を告げる強い季節風が直撃したのではないかと推測されています。朝鮮の歴史書『東国通鑑』は13千人余が戦死したと記しています。

 

 

 

*写真は元が攻めてきた今宿の元寇防塁跡地です。