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  • The Mongol invasions of Japan of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Ultimately a failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance because they set a limit on Mongol expansion and rank as nation-defining events in Japanese history. The Mongol invasions are an early example of gunpowder warfare. One of the most notable technological innovations during the war was the use of explosive hand thrown bombs. The invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, and are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze, or "divine wind", is widely used. Prior to the American occupation of Japan at the end of World War II, these failed invasion attempts were the closest Japan had come to being conquered by a foreign power in the last 1,500 years.