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European and Japanese Feudalism (Final)

--compare and contrast feudalism in Europe and Japan, based on the warrior class and the role of kings/emperors
by

Sophia Liu

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of European and Japanese Feudalism (Final)

Compare and Contrast European and Japanese Feudalism In the Post Classical Era (750-1450 CE) Define
Feudalism: To be discussed by means of the Roles of Kings and a comparison of the respective warrior classes A system of Government in which
the King delegates power and land to
Lords who in return provide military
services and rule the land for the King. • Although there was a emperor, in reality, especially after the rise
of the Minamoto Shogunate, the Emperor held little actual power, and the real power was held by the shogun.
• Shogun/Emperor = Head Honcho (most powerful people in Japan)
• Daimyo =The lords of Japan, received power from the Shogun
• Samurai = The Warrior class of Japan
• Peasants = The working class of Japan
• Merchants = due to the Japanese acceptance of Confucianism, people saw merchants as those to try to get rich off the work of other people
Japanese Feudalism: *according to Bushido, women could hold the same honor as men in combat (although mostly restricted to home life) *in this time period,
Japan was a unified Kingdom • King- Held the official power of their domain.
• Lords- Given land and power from the king in exchange for sworn loyalty and Lords raising a army for the king.
• Knights- Served their lord. Were considered higher than the Serfs
• Merchants- Not bound to their land like the serfs, they had freedom of action, which made them more valuable and held more rights than the serfs.
• Serfs- Attached to the land which they worked (Peasant class) European Feudalism *during this time Europe was a factionalized
region of many competing kingdoms *according to the code of Chivalry, women were viewed as fragile and needed to be protected by their “knight in shining armor” -Followed a code of Honor called Bushido
-Held loyalty to their lord, the Daimyo
~expected to die rather than to let their Daimyo come to harm
+ to avenge their lord if harm has been done
-Received a living allowance from their Daimyo, often in rice
-Supposed to treat the peasants with respect as well, although that tenant was often ignored
~Lower classes were expected to show deference to Samurai, if not then the samurai held the right to kill the Peasant
-Outside of warfare, engaged in pastimes such as the Tea Ceremony and Poetry
-Honor was considered the highest ideal, and in order to preserve one’s honor, it was preferable to die, which was committed in a Ritual Suicide called Seppuku.
~Belief that the most honorable death was one on the field of battle
-Samurai did not expect any rewards after death, and accepted that due to their role in society, which involved the taking of lives
-Masterless Samurai were called Ronin, and would often become mercenaries for hire (loss of their master = lost their social class)
~although some would become folk heroes, such as Minamoto Musashi
The Samurai *Samurai women:
-expected to stay at home and educate the children + servants
-could also follow Bushido, were taught in the Nanigata (a type of Polearm) to defend themselves, and also had a form of Ritual Suicide (Example: story of the 47 Ronin; when an enemy Daimyo had the Daimyo of their lord killed and the Emperor had expressly forbidden revenge, they continued to carry out their revenge in the name of Honor and committed Seppuku afterwards.) Samurai armor consists of leather iron plates.
This example made in 1714 was for Lord of Akita. -Followed a code of Honor called Chivalry
-Held loyalty to their lord (Highest loyalty to the Church)
-Fought for their lord, and in return, they received a grant of land that they would control, called a Fief, as well as serfs to work on them
-Were forbidden from unprovoked killing, though they reasoned that due to peasants not following the code of Chivalry, they were fair game to be killed
~suppose to fight for the defenseless and the meek and give money to widows and orphans
-Engaged in pastimes to hone their skills for war, such as in Jousting Tournaments
-Lived life according to values of Courtly Manners, Chivalry, and Courtly love
-Believed in never showing fear, even if that meant fighting to death rather than being a coward
-Highly religious, and believed in some reward for faithful service in the afterlife
-Originally, knights would often get into many bloody wars. Later, at the urging of the church,
the mass-scale warfare would be scaled back, and replaced with sanctioned events called
“Tournaments”, in which the winner would gain rewards, such as horses, but the loser would be
captured and held for a ransom The Knights *Women were:
-regarded as strictly inferior to men
-expected to obey their father and husband, as well as any other male member of their family
~Disobedience was considered a crime against religion
Both:
-were considered the “warrior classes” in feudal society
-held a higher status in feudal society over the peasants
-held codes of honor, but regarded peasants as essentially
inhuman filth able to be killed at leisure Comparisons between the knight and the samurai: Knights:
•held loyalty to their lord, but they held higher
loyalty to the Church
•had a greater actual power/ruling actually controlled land The samurai:
-were fanatically loyal to the point of suicide over dishonor of capture
-had less authority only receiving an allowance Emperor:
-originally held the power, until the rise of the Minamoto Shogunate in 1100 A.D., the power of the Japanese Empire/Kingdom turned to the Shogun
-simply became a puppet figure
Shogun:
-did not appoint the Daimyos to power
-they were originally already the powerful warlords of the
provinces that they already controlled = Daimyo
-was actually just the Daimyo who had risen up to
form a alliance of all other Daimyos

-was not a permanent ruler-->
~In times of peace, the Shogun would enjoy dominion over the Daimyos and be able to collect taxes
~In times of struggle, there were many competing Daimyos and alliances would be forged as to best fit the Daimyo
~In order to hold power over the Daimyos, the Shogun had the Daimyos live in the capital once every four years (prevent them from plotting against him)
--a hostage might be demanded from a Daimyo by the suspicious
Shogun, such as the Daimyo’s son to live in the Capital
The Emperor/Shogun (Example: story of the 47 Ronin; when an enemy Daimyo had the Daimyo of their lord killed and the Emperor had expressly forbidden revenge, they continued to carry out their revenge in the name of Honor and committed Seppuku afterwards.) The King:
-Was the unquestioned leader of the country, and held absolute power
-Rule was justified by religion
-->God had given the King the right to rule
-Had a major threat to their power, the Church Authorities
-->b/c his right to rule came from the Church
and of course besides that, Rival kingdoms
-Delegated land and the power to rule to lords in exchange for their pledging allegiance and military support
-Still had to show a certain degree of deference to the Pope and the Church
--->the Church was considered the highest power in Europe
~The church had the power to Excommunicate kings, effectively revoking their claim to rule
The Kings of Europe -In 1255, a group of Noblemen forced the King of England to sign the Magna Carta, what may be considered the first ever Bill of Rights and served to limit the absolutism of the power of the King Comparison between the King and the Shogun: King:
-appointed his lords and was fairly sure of their loyalty
-derived his power from the Church and religion
-less stable: fragmented political state of Europe
-worry about having their power revoked by the Church, but they also had to worry about external invasion Shoguns:
-appointed the Daimyos, who were the original rulers of their lands, and had loyalties to the Shogun that could change on a pin drop
-wielded power that was far more blunt
~controlled the army, and Japan was effectively a military dictatorship
-power of the Daimyo was more stable: unified, ruled the entirety of Japan
-had no fear as long as he kept the Daimyos content Differences: Loyalty of their “Lords” source of power stability Overall Comparison of Feudal Systems • Those in the lower classes were often oppressed and abused by
the those in the higher classes.
• In both societies, there was very little social mobility, with class
being determined by birth, not always merit. European Feudalism:
-gave land to the knights, leading to what may be considered a “mini-lordship”
-more structured: King’s power was more or less unquestioned outside of the Church
-Power in the Europe was justified by the Church Japanese Feudalism:
-Samurai were strictly servants of their Daimyos, receiving only the living expenses
-Shogun's was constantly in a precarious position with the various Daimyos scheming for power.
-Power in Japan was held by military force By: Sophia Liu
and Kevin Gao THE END
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