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Nagasaki: Invaders’ anchor salvaged centuries after sinking

Nagasaki: Invaders’ anchor salvaged centuries after sinking

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The timber section of a 13th-century anchor is seen after being pulled up from the seabed in Matsuura, Nagasaki Prefecture.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

12:23 JST, October 22, 2022

MATSUURA, Nagasaki — A 13th-century anchor has been recovered from the seabed off the coast of northern Kyushu.

The anchor once belonged to a ship of a Mongolian force that attacked Japan, and was found lying on the seabed some 20 meters underwater, off Takashima Island in Matsuura, Nagasaki Prefecture.

The Mongol Empire, which conquered vast tracts of land from Asia to Europe, targeted Japan in the late 13th century when the Japanese political center was in Kamakura. The Mongolian force attacked northern Kyushu twice, but during the second attack, some 4,400 ships were destroyed in a storm off Takashima. Thanks to these “divine winds,” Japan is said to have escaped one of its most dangerous national crises.

The anchor consists of a 1.75-meter-long timber section and a 2.3-meter-long stone section. Both are displayed submerged in water at a municipal facility on the island. Two ships were also found near the anchor. The municipal authorities hope to salvage these vessels as well.

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