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Mongol invasion of Java

Mongol invasion of Java

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In 1293, Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

, sent a large invasion fleet to Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 with 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers. This was a punitive expedition
Punitive expedition
A punitive expedition is a military journey undertaken to punish a state or any group of persons outside the borders of the punishing state. It is usually undertaken in response to perceived disobedient or morally wrong behavior, but may be also be a covered revenge...

 against King Kertanegara of Singhasari
Singhasari
Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java.-Foundation:...

, who had refused to pay tribute to the Yuan and maimed one of its ministers.

Background


Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 ruler of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 and emperor of the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

, had sent envoys to many states to ask them to put themselves under his protection and pay tribute. Men Shi or Meng-qi (孟琪), one of his ministers who was sent to Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

, was not well received there. The king of Singhasari
Singhasari
Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java.-Foundation:...

, Kertanagara, was offended by his proposal and branded him in the face with a hot iron as was done to common thieves, cut his ears, and scornfully sent him on his way.

The Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 was shocked and ordered a punitive expedition against Kertanagara, whom he labeled a barbarian, in 1292. According to the Yuan shi, the history of the Yuan Dynasty, 20,000-30,000 men were collected from Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, Jiangxi
Jiangxi
' is a southern province in the People's Republic of China. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to...

 and Huguang
Huguang
Huguang was a province of China during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. It was partitioned in the late Qing Dynasty, becoming the provinces of Hubei and Hunan....

 in Southern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, along with 1,000 ships and enough provisions for a year. The officers were the Mongol Shi-bi, the Uyghur
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 Ike Mese, and the Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 Gaoxing. What kind of ships they used for the campaign is not mentioned in the Yuan shi, but they were apparently large since smaller boats had to be constructed for entering the rivers of Java.

Meanwhile, after defeating Srivijaya
Srivijaya
Srivijaya was a powerful ancient thalassocratic Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, modern day Indonesia, which influenced much of Southeast Asia. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6...

 in Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 in 1290, Singhasari became the most powerful kingdom in the area. But Jayakatwang
Jayakatwang
Jayakatwang was the king of short lived second Kingdom of Kediri of Java, after his overthrow of Kertanegara, the last king Singhasari. He was eventually defeated by Raden Wijaya, Kertanegara's son-in-law using Mongol troop that was invading Java...

, the Adipati of Kediri, a vassal state of Singhasari, usurped and killed Kertanagara. Most of his relatives and former royal family members hated him. Kertanegara's son-in-law, Raden Wijaya
Raden Wijaya
Raden Wijaya was a Javanese King, the founder and the first monarch of Majapahit empire. The history of his founding of Majapahit was written in several records, including Pararaton and Negarakertagama...

, was pardoned by Jayakatwang with the aid of Madura
Madura
Madura is an Indonesian island off the northeastern coast of Java. The island comprises an area of approximately 4,250 km². Madura is administered as part of the East Java province. It is separated from Java by the narrow Strait of Madura.-History:...

's regent, Arya Wiraraja. Wijaya was then given the Tarik timberland. He opened that vast timberland and built a new village there. The village was named Majapahit, which was taken from maja fruit
Bael
Bael Bael (Aegle marmelos) Bael (Aegle marmelos) (Bengal quince, stone apple, Sanskrit : विल्व, Malayalam: കൂവളം, Bengali: বেল, Hindi: बेल (Sirphal), Marathi: बेल or कवीठ (Kaveeth), , Sindhi: ڪاٺ گدرو , Sinhalese: beli, Tamil: வில்வம் is a species of tree native to India...

 that had a bitter taste in that timberland (maja is the fruit name and pahit means bitter).

Invasion


The Yuan forces departed from southern port of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, traveled along the coast of Dai Viet
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 and Champa
Champa
The kingdom of Champa was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832.The Cham people are remnants...

 along the way to their primary target. The small states of Malay
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

 and Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 submitted and sent envoys to them, and Yuan commanders left darughachi
Darughachi
Darughachi, which originally designated officials in the Mongol Empire in charge of taxes and administration in a certain province, is the plural form of the Mongolian word darugha. They were sometimes referred to as governors...

s there. It is known that the Yuan forces stopped at Ko-lan (Biliton). After arriving in Java, Shi-bi split their forces, sending one group ashore and another to proceed by boat. As noted in Kidung Panji-Wijayakrama, they probably looted the coastal village of Tuban
Tuban
Tuban is a town located on the north coast of Java, in Tuban Regency, approximately 100 km west of Surabaya, the capital of East Java. Tuban is surrounded by Lamongan in the east, Bojonegoro in the south and Rembang, Central Java in the west....

.

When the Yuan army arrived in Java, Wijaya allied himself with the army to fight against Jayakatwang and gave the Mongols a map of the country Kalang. According to the Yuan-shi, Wijaya attacked Jayakatwang without success when he heard of the arrival of the Yuan navy. Then he requested their aid. In return, Yuan generals demanded his submission to their emperor, and he gave it.

The account of the war which appears in the Yuan-shi (Books 210) is brief:
Once Jayakatwang was destroyed by the Mongols, Raden Wijaya returned to Majapahit, ostensibly to prepare his tribute settlement, leaving his allies to celebrate their victory. Shi-bi and Ike Mese allowed Raden Wijaya to go back to his country to prepare his tribute and a new letter of submission, but Gaoxing disliked the idea and he warned other two. Wijaya asked the Yuan forces to come to his country unarmed.

Two hundred unarmed Yuan soldiers led by two officers were sent to Raden Wijaya's country, but Raden Wijaya quickly mobilized his forces again and ambushed the Yuan convoy. After that Raden Wijaya marched his forces to the main Yuan camp and launched a surprise attack, killing many and sending the rest running back to their ships. The Yuan forces had to withdraw in confusion, as the monsoon winds to carry them home would soon end, leaving them to wait on a hostile island for six months. The Yuan army lost more than 3,000 of its best soldiers.

Aftermath


The three generals, demoralized by the considerable loss of their elite soldiers due to the ambush, went back to their empire with the surviving soldiers. Upon their arrival, Shi-bi was condemned to receive 70 lashes and have a third of his property confiscated for allowing the catastrophe. Ike Mese also was reprimanded and a third of his property taken away. But Gaoxing was awarded 50 taels of gold for protecting the soldiers from a total disaster. Later, Shi-bi and Ike Mese were shown mercy, and the emperor restored their reputation and property.

This failure was the last expedition in Kublai Khan's reign. Majapahit, in contrast, became the most powerful state of its era in the region which is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

.