While excavations have in the past revealed ceramics and countless other artifacts related to the failed Mongol invasions of Japan of 1274 & 1281, archaeologists led by Ikeda Yoshifumi of the University of the Ryukyus have recently discovered a large section of the keel of a ship believed to be one of the 4,400 or so Mongol ships from the 1281 invasion. The fully intact ship is believed to have been roughly 20 meters long. This is the largest section of a Mongol ship from this event yet discovered, and so it is hoped that it can somehow reveal insights into what happened – conventional wisdom, passed down through the generations, speaks of a kamikaze, or “divine wind,” a typhoon which destroyed the fleet and miraculously saved Japan from invasion. But is there more to it? I have not read Prof. Conlan’s book Little Need of Divine Intervention, and don’t know the ins and outs of the current-most scholarship on the subject, but… hopefully, we can learn something new, or something more definitive from this find.
For now, however, efforts will not be made to excavate the wreck, but only to conserve it from further damage.