Time Series

1204...Normandy becomes a royal territory of France (Norman Conquest).
1215...King John approves the Magna Carta.
1216...King John dies. King Henry III ascends to the throne. (Age 9)
1225...Revised Magna Carta confirmed. 
1234...Mendicant monks actively recruited for the Crusades.
1239...Birth of Prince Edward.
1244...Birth of Roger, the most important retainer.
1245...Brother Walter born.
1248...Saint King Louis leaves for the Crusades (~1254).
1249...Alan is born.
1254...Sister Alice is born.
1257...Alan begins training to become a knight under the guidance of old knight Peter.
1263...Alan moves to the castle of the Earl of Pembroke and becomes an apprentice knight. He meets Roger and begins his training.

1265...The rebellion of Simon de Montfort is suppressed by Prince Edward. Roger is sent to war and dies. Alain and Roger move to Prince Edward's castle.
1268...Prince Edward takes oath of crusade (Northampton Parliament). Alan is knighted. Roger is made a squire and knighted.
Prince Edward accepts an invitation from Saint Louis to join the Crusade. Alain goes to war. Roger follows him.
1271...Prince Edward sailed for Palestine and landed at Acon on May 9.
1272...Edward escapes assassination and returns home. Alan and Roger failed to return home. With the help of Venetian merchants, they sailed from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.
1274...The Battle of Bunei in October.
1276...Alan and Roger drift to Ryukyu.
1277...Alan and Roger meet Hojo Tokimune.
1279...The Southern Song dynasty is destroyed.
1281: The Battle of Koan in July.
1284...Death of Hojo Tokimune (age 34)

Why the Imperial Court and the Samurai Are at Odds?

 Rice was for a long time the most important resource in Japan, as is evident in the Edo period's stone taxation system. The key words in Japanese history, such as the "Law for the Appropriation of Rice," the "Law for the Sansei-no-Ichi-no-Ho," the "Law for the Eternal Private Property of Kenten," and the "Right of Non-Transportation and Non-Entry," all relate to paddy fields and the distribution of products.
 In the early days, paddy fields were the property of the imperial court, but the heavy taxation soon led to a number of farmers abandoning their cultivation and fleeing. On the other hand, there were those who built paddy fields without permission and took private ownership. Since they had to excavate their own waterways, they needed to have moderate financial resources to become new landowners.
 Since it was enough to be able to pay taxes without owning land, the imperial court and the nobility allowed land reclamation and redevelopment of abandoned land in an uncontrolled manner. However, the arrogance of the tax collectors dispatched by the imperial court turned the new landowners, especially in the Kanto region, against them. Armed to defend their lands, they attacked court officials and samurai with close ties to the imperial court, carrying as their "chieftains" the descendants of the imperial family who had settled in the provinces as national governors.
 Minamoto no Yoritomo, one of the chieftains, devoted himself to the following two points: (1) granting land to the defeated enemy (i.e., the Taira clan, who were also chieftains, and their allies) for their merits in the Genpei War, and (2) fairly adjudicating inheritance disputes, boundary disputes, etc., and gained the trust of the Kanto samurai.
 The organization of the Kamakura shogunate initially included the offices of the samurai, the seat of government, and the inquisitorial office, of which the inquisitorial office was responsible for adjudicating inheritance and land disputes. The Masayosho documented the decisions, and Yoritomo was always involved in the decisions himself.

Why did the Hojo clan rise to power?

 When Yoritomo died, his surviving children did not have that much confidence in him, and Hojo Tokimasa (father of Hojo Masako), the grandfather of the surviving children, was appointed as the first regent. Masako's younger brother, Yasutoki, skillfully fended off the intrigues of other powerful feudal lords and became the second regent.
 The Jokyu Incident (1221) was triggered by a request from the shogunate to appoint one of the princes as the next shogun after the third shogun Sanetomo (assassinated in 1219), but Emperor Go-Toba imposed a condition. The conditions were the abolition of the shogunate's estate in the possession of the emperor's mistress and the withdrawal of the disposition of the Nishina clan, a subordinate samurai.
 Masako persuaded the retainers who hesitated to attack the Imperial Court, "Have you forgotten the debt of gratitude to the late Yoritomo? Masako persuaded them. This aroused the distrust of the Kamakura warriors toward the Imperial Court. In addition, the Shogunate had enough achievements to make them believe that there would be a reward this time as well (see the previous section).
 With Yasutoki's son, Yoshitoki, as its commander-in-chief, the shogunate responded swiftly and won a great victory, and was able to handle the post-war situation with precision. The manors confiscated from the emperors and nobles were divided among the samurai who sided with the shogunate, thus strengthening the feudal system of "gratitude and devotion. In particular, as a result of assigning Kamakura-ranked feudal lords to territories in the Kinki region, the rule of the Shogunate was spread over a wide area.

The power relationship between the Kamakura Shogunate and the Imperial Court became decisive. From then on, the Imperial Court would ask the Shogunate for all personnel and other matters.
 In addition, Yoshitoki enacted the "Goseishikimoku," which aimed to codify customary law and cut off the roots of disputes. The main contents of this document were specific examples of boundary disputes, inheritance, preservation of property, etc., and specified how to handle them.
 On the other hand, the Tokumune family, the legitimate branch of the Tokugawa Shogunate, steadily suppressed the branch families and other influential clans after Yoshitoki, and by the Battle of Hoji (1247), the Hojo Tokumune family had almost total control. After the death of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the major clans that the Tokumune family led the attack on and killed were the Kajiwara, Hiki, Hatakeyama, Wada, and Miura clans.
 The rule of the Tokumune family, which was originally supposed to be a collegial system of government, became a dictatorship of the Tokumune family by consolidating the councilors and hiki-tsukushusha in the family. This trend was given momentum by Gen's Kokusho (1268).

Why did Tokimune fight?

 In the beginning, samurai started out as local farmers or cultivators who armed themselves to protect their land. However, such a group was too dangerous to concentrate on fighting the Mongols. The shogunate had to concentrate its power on the Tokuso family. This was one of the reasons why Tokisuke, the eldest brother, was killed in the February riot (1272).
 It is natural that Tokisuke, the eldest son, harbored a grudge against the fact that he was forced to become the Rokuhara tentative governor when his younger brother assumed the post of Rensho, but the Imperial Court might take advantage of the situation and launch an anti-Shogunate movement with Tokisuke. In addition, the Nagoshi clan, the remaining anti-Tokumune force in the Shogunate, might take advantage of the situation. The Nagoshi clan is a member of the Hojo clan, but it has been active in the anti-Tokusune movement since the time of its founder, Asatoki. It is said that Asatoki was not happy that his brother Yoshitoki succeeded Yasutoki.
 Prince Muneyoshi, a shogun in name only, had been in Kamakura for more than ten years and had grown to the age of 25. In 1266, when the regent was in charge of the shogunate, the shogun's son, Prince Muneyoshi, was appointed to the post of shogun.
 In 1266, Tokimune, the regent, Masamura, Kanazawa Sanetoki, and Adachi Yasumori had a secret meeting to deport Prince Munetaka to Kyoto and install his son Prince Tadayasu as the 7th shogun. At this time, one of Munetaka's close aides, Nagoshi Noritoki, almost initiated a military action, but it did not turn out to be important.
 Six years later, Tokimune was involved in a rebellion against Tokisuke and defeated the Nagoshi clan. This was the February Disturbance.
 Kanazawa Sanetoki's son wrote about the situation in Kamakura from around 1269: "It is like treading on thin ice. It seems that the Nagoshi clan was in the dark.
 Nagoshi Tokiaki's governorship of Chikugo (Fukuoka), Higo (Kumamoto), and Okuma (Kagoshima) and Tokisuke's governorship of Hakki (Oigashira ni Hi) (Tottori) were confiscated and taken over by Adachi Yasumori and his followers. This was to solidify the post as a guardian of foreign lands.
 Tokimune and his men had heard of the tyranny of the Mongol army from the monks and merchants who had come to Japan. If they resisted, everything would be burned to the ground. If they obeyed, they would be forced to live like slaves. Tokimune knew that he had to protect his land at all costs. He did not want to be at the mercy of anyone else.
 The local lords had managed to get by by increasing their production capacity. In Kamakura, too, markets were set up, and products from various regions were sold and bought. Now, even in Kamakura, you can wear the beautiful silk of the capital and enjoy the sweetness of steamed buns and yokan. It is even possible to fetch snow from Mt. Coins from the Sung Dynasty are no longer rare.
 While the West is still infested with rogues, the atrocities of the Mongol armies that the Song people told me about were quite different.
 Tokimune, who read waka poetry, was familiar with Chinese classics, and studied under Zen monks from China, did not trust the Mongols.

Hojo Tokimune

Buddhism and "Ji-Shu"

 Buddhism, which had been practiced by the aristocracy, was difficult to understand and did not spread to the common people. The beliefs of the common people were traditionally polytheistic, but around the time of the Genpei War, the common people also wanted emotional support, and some monks began to aspire to help the common people.
 Many people lost their lives not only in warfare but also in earthquakes, typhoons, and epidemics. As agricultural productivity developed and people were able to afford to live, their emotions and intellects prevailed over their inability to overlook the piles of rotting corpses being dumped by the roadside.
 People are attracted to the easy-to-understand teachings, which are different from difficult sutras and mountain retreats. There are three major systems.
(1) Recite the Nembutsu and you will be saved...Jodo-shu, Jodo Shinshu, and Jishu.
(2) If you recite the Nembutsu, you and society will be saved, but if you believe in other teachings, you will go to hell. If you believe in other teachings, you will go to hell.
(3) If you reach the state of nothingness through zazen, you will be saved...Rinzai and Soto sects
 (1) is easy to understand and easy to start. (2) is similar to (1), but differs in that it radically rejects other sects. (3) is an imported culture that came from the Sung Dynasty with tea ceremony and vegetarian food, which gave the impression of being fashionable and advanced.
 Both Tokimune and his father, Tokiyori, welcomed the monks who came to Japan with great respect and asked them to teach them. On the other hand, Nichiren predicted that the country would be invaded by foreign powers before the letter of state from Mongolia arrived, but this failed to sway the minds of Tokimune and his followers. Although the Zen of the Sung actively recognized and protected the rulers, Nichiren's argument was ultimately based on a logic that denied all power.
When Nichiren asks the Tokimasa and others to save Japan by chanting the Tathagata, dismissing other religions, this in itself is an acknowledgment of the power and influence of the Tokimasa and others.
 As a pioneer farmer from the Kanto region, Tokimune would have revered and respected Hachiman-daibosatsu and other indigenous deities, as well as the sun and moon. He would not have killed Nichiren, but he had no intention of taking refuge in him.

Qubilai Qa'an

Mongol Expedition 1: China

 In 1206, when Genghis Khan united the Mongol tribes, China was divided into three countries: Jin in the north, the Southern Song Dynasty south of the Yangtze River, and the Western Xia Dynasty near the Western Regions. First, Western Xia succumbed to the Mongols (1211), and then Kim sent an envoy to the Mongols to ask for their submission, only to have his capital invaded (1215). The King of Jin fled to the south and resisted in conjunction with the remnants of Western Xia, but he was destroyed in 1234.
 Genghis Khan had died in 1227, and his successors confirmed at a tribal council that the next targets for Kim were Goryeo and the Southern Song Dynasty. Goryeo, with nowhere to run (because of the sea behind it), was ravaged to the point of "covering a skeletal field" and surrendered to the Mongols, who paid tribute in money, resources, labor, and troops. In the meantime, the Southern Song Dynasty continued to resist by fleeing further south. In addition, the Mongols were unable to cross the Yangtze River on their own, and the fall of the Southern Song Dynasty (1279) took a long time (Mongol troops were weak against rivers and seas).
 Learning about the relationship between Japan and the Sung from the Koryo people who served the Mongols, the Mongols took an interest in Japan. The influx of Japanese resources, gold and silver into the Song Dynasty through the Japan-Song trade was the source of the Song Dynasty's national power, and Hubei Sweat tried to bring Japan under his control (the first national letter to Japan was 1268). However, the Song Dynasty brought Zen Buddhism, ink painting, and vermilion learning to Japan, and these were favorably accepted, especially by the samurai. The Kamakura Shogunate was wary of the Mongols, who attempted to make Japan a vassal state of the Goryeo and Song dynasties.

Mongol Expedition 2: Eastern Europe and Russia

 In 1221, after destroying the state of Khwarizm (now the land of Iran), a group of Mongol troops crossed the Caucasus Mountains in the name of reconnaissance and defeated the Georgian legions that were gathering for the Fifth Crusade. They also advanced into the Ukraine, kicking off a raid by the Duke of Kiev with 80,000 troops and returning home.
 At a tribal council in 1235, a full-scale invasion of Eastern Europe and Russia was decided upon, and the campaign that began in 1236 went from Moscow to Kiev to Poland to Hungary, and then back to Vienna in 1242 due to the death of Ogotai Sweat.
 If they had continued the invasion, they would have eventually fought Saint Louis.
 The Mongols' goal was to conquer the whole world. They sent scouts into enemy territory to study the enemy's situation before attacking. To make it easier for their troops to pass through, they built roads and bridges over the rivers, taking years of careful preparation. 
 Residents of the cities who resisted were massacred. Farmers were forced to plant fields and give away their crops. People with useful skills (especially military) were forced to work for the Mongols.

Mongol Expedition 3: The Middle East

 In 1218, the Shah of Khwarizm executed a Mongol trade delegation for being spies. Genghis Khan used this as an excuse to invade and
He massacred the inhabitants of the major cities and left the fleeing Shah to die of consumption. This was his first invasion of the Muslim world.
 Genghis Khan continued to advance his army to Merv, Herat, and other cities, killing not only the inhabitants but also dogs and cats. As a Persian historian wrote, "There is no head left on a corpse, and no corpse with a head. This expedition lasted until 1221.
 The Mongols then attacked Goryeo and the Southern Song Dynasty until around 1250, when the fourth Mongol, Mongkhair, set out to destroy the Assassins, an Islamic heresy. The Mongols brought in 1,000 Chinese engineers to operate stone throwers and killed every last one of their enemies holed up in the mountains.
 The orthodox Muslims were happy about this, but they were now attacked themselves for their arrogant reply to the Mongol letter of state as equals. Baghdad fell quickly, and the Mongols gained enormous wealth in jewels, gold and silver.
(The fall of Baghdad is mentioned in the "Muhammad" section of the "Table of Personalities". Muhammad, a Muslim merchant, experienced the brutality of the Mongol army firsthand. (The draft I have seen says "Marco"...).
 The fall of Baghdad was welcomed by Christians who wanted to retake the Holy Land (enemy of enemy = friend), and at one point they allied to attack Muslim cities.
 The Mongol army retreated once Ogotai Sweat died in 1259. At this time, they were pursued by the Mamluk dynasty in Egypt and suffered their only defeat. Khubilai Khan ascended the throne in 1260.

Why do the Mongols go on expeditions?

 The nomads of the steppes had been fighting over grasslands, but Genghis Khan united them and became the Great Khan. The quickest way to control tribal conflicts is to prepare new lands and new targets for attack.
 Genghis Khan was a genius of war. He created an organization that was both peacetime and military, and established an army with undisturbed group leadership. When he invaded and established a vassal state, he took in its troops and gave them positions where they would be most exposed to danger. The preparations for war were meticulous, with soldiers for different purposes, such as engineers, archers, and stone throwers, as well as rapid transmission of information by horse.
 The harsh life of an army may not have been so different from the daily life of nomadic herding and hunting on horseback in their case.

His Goals

 If his grandfather Genghis Khan was the chieftain of a nomadic people, Hubilai wanted to be a powerful man who could settle on the land, profit from logistics, and set up Mongol cities (most of his brothers, cousins, and uncles did not like his line of thinking).
 (Many of his brothers, cousins, and uncles did not favor his line.) He brought in cultural figures and merchants from Islam, the Song dynasty, and the Goryeo dynasty, and did not hesitate to adopt anything he thought would be useful to the Mongols. As a result, Dadu (now Beijing) became an international city and was directly connected to the sea through a canal to Tianjin.
 He issued paper money convertible to silver and established horse-drawn messengers on major roads. At the same time, he adopted a traditional Chinese bureaucratic system to maintain and develop the vast territory that Genghis Khan had acquired.
 After the death of Hubei and the rise of the Ming Dynasty, the Mongols abandoned their great capital and returned to the northern steppes. In the west (Iran, Russia and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia), the countries built by Genghis' sons and grandsons remained.