Kublai Khan was the 5th Grand Khan and founder of the yuan dynasty. He was the first Grand Khan who was not elected by a convocation of Kahns. When the previous Grand Kahn died in 1259, Kublai suspended his campaining against the Sung Dynasty in south China and headed to the capital at Karakorum to sieze the throne. He then embarked on a four-year war against a brother who chose to resist him.

Unlike previous Grand Khans, Kublai was not granted widespread recgonition as Grand Khan and spent much of his reign supressing dissent. In addition, his forceful method of taking the throne instead of the usual election disrupted the longstanding Pax Tatarica, which allowed trade and hospitality to peaceful strangers.

In 1274 and 1281, as part of his quest to dominate, Kubali sent a fleet to attack Japan. Both times the fleet met with disaster; namely the fierce Japanese resistance and a set of typhoons which severly battered the fleet. After the second attempt, he did not try again.

Kublai Khan died in 1290.

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