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JAPAN

May/June 2015

World Roundup JapanJAPAN: Legend has it that Kublai Khan’s grand fleet, dispatched to conquer Japan, was destroyed by “kamikaze,” or divinely sent typhoons, in A.D. 1274 and 1281. The story has long been believed to involve some level of exaggeration, but a recent study of sediments in Lake Daija, near the invasion site, suggests that the Mongol era certainly saw some devastating storms. The results show that marine floods (caused by storm surges or tsunamis) were more severe between A.D. 250 and 1600 than they are today, and that there were at least two major such events in the late 13th century.—Samir S. Patel

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