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Shogunate Japan Overview

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Julie Pearson

on 20 May 2016

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Transcript of Shogunate Japan Overview

The Different Periods within the
Shogunate Japan Era
Nara Period 710 - 794

Heian Period 794 - 1185

Kamakura Period 1185 - 1336

Ashikaga Period 1336 - 1534

Sengoku-Jidai 1534 - 1615
(Period of War)

Tokugawa Period 1615 - 1868
Who were the important people of this time period?
What is Shogunate Japan?
Shogunate Japan is a significant era within History.

It was a time when the shoguns of Japan took over the government and they were often seen as more powerful than the emperors.

A shogun was a powerful military leader
An emperor was a man with more of a title than an actual leader
Some Important People
A Brief Overview
Shogunate Japan
Ancient Japan
710 - 1185
Emperors ruled Japan
Medieval Japan
1185 - 1868
Shoguns ruled Japan
Ancient Japan
Emperors Ruled Japan
Medieval Japan
Shoguns Ruled Japan
Shogunate Japan was a significant era in History.

It was a time when the shoguns overtook the government of Japan, which is why this era is often called 'Feudal Japan'.

A shogun was a powerful military leader.
An emperor was a man whose title was more important than him being an actual leader. E.g. mayor
Background Information of Ancient Japan
During the Nara Period and Heian Period, Japan was ruled by a series of emperors belonging to the Yamato clan (family).

The Japanese believed that these emperors were descendants of the gods who came down to Japan from Heaven.
The Nihon Shoki (a book on classical Japanese history) says that Jimmu Tenno, who is a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu's grandson, was the first human emperor and leader of the Yamato clan.
Background information Continued....
The myth of Jimmu Tenno was very important as it suggested the Yamato clan ruled by divine right (ruled on behalf of Heaven).
This made it hard for anyone to try and overthrow the Yamato clan as it would be a direct crime against both the emperors and Heaven.

The theory of divine right helped the emperors to retain their titles during the rule of the shoguns in the medieval period, even though the emperors did not have any real authority.
Taira Kiyomiri
Was a shogun of the late Heian Period

He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government of Japan

He ruled from 1153 - 1885
Minamoto Yoritomo
Was the first shogun of the Kamakura Period

He ruled from 1192 - 1199
Ashikaga Takauji
Was the first shogun of the Ashikaga Period.

He ruled from 1338 - 1358
Oda Nobunaga
Was a major daimyo during the Sengoku Period.

He was also the person to start uniting Japan under the rule of the shoguns.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Was born a peasant and rose to end the Sengoku Period.

He served Oda Nobunaga.

He was the best daimyo and warrior of the Sengoku Period
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Was the first shogun of the Tokugawa Period.

His clan ruled from 1600 - 1868
Map of Medieval Japan
Daimyo: Master of the Samurai
Samurai: Warrior
Peasant: Laborers or owners of small farms
Artisan: A skilled manual worker e.g. swordsman, weaver, cook etc.
Merchant: Lived off the work of others
Long before Buddhism's arrival in Japan, the people had their own system of spiritual beliefs and ritual practices. nature had a special place in the lives of the first inhabitants of Japan. Inspired by magnificent rivers, snow-covered mountains and mysterious forests, people began to believe in the kami (spirit beings) of these places.

Shinto is all about nature.
Zen Buddhism emphasises the importance of self discipline. They practice through meditation.
Until the 12th century Japan was ruled by an emperor, but there were also frequent periods during which competing armies fought for control of the government.

Out of these struggles, elaborate codes of behaviour arose for samurai as they fought for their particular daimyo or lord. The most powerful daimyo ruled as the shogun, whereas the emperor had only a symbolic role.
Important Roles
'Way of the gods'
Buddhism came to Japan from Korea and China in the sixth century and was soon adopted by the ruling families. The best known form of Buddhism is Zen Buddhism
Peasants were just below warriors in the social system.
They were
considered important
because they
produced the food that was essential to life
. Farmers brought their harvests and handmade articles to market to exchange for goods they needed, especially for items used on ceremonial occasions. Farming families grew most of their own food and made basic foodstuffs such as miso and soy sauce. They also made straw capes and hats to wear in wet weather, and straw sandals.

Farmers usually walked from place to place, but wealthy people such as daimyo were often carried in palanquins.
Farmers could not make everything themselves. They bought a range of items such as
wooden barrels
for storage,
metal tools
fine woven cloth
from craftspeople in the castle towns. Other artisans in the towns made
, beautiful
or magnificent
swords for samurai
. Although coins existed, people were more likely to pay for goods with rice. Rice was the main currency, and the standard measure was called the koku.
Merchants were considered the lowest of the four classes because they did not produce food like the peasants or useful items like the craftspeople
. They made their living from charging interest on money loaned to samurai and farmers.

People also paid merchants to ship rice to markets in castle towns
like Osaka. Most rice was shipped along rivers and by sea because Japanese roads were designed only for foot traffic and horse riders. The roads were unsuitable for the big-wheeled vehicles needed to transport large quantities of rice.
Samurai meant
‘those who serve (the daimyo)’
. The samurai sword, which only samurai could wear, became the
symbol of their military role
. In earlier times they were solely warriors; but, as Japan became more peaceful under the Tokugawa, their administrative role also became important. In their
, instruction in
ceremonial conduct
public service

were as important as skills in

horse riding
sword fighting

A true samurai followed bushido, the samurai code, or rules for correct behaviour.
His first duty was loyalty to his daimyo.
A warrior who betrayed this trust was expected to commit ritual suicide (

Samurai practised a form of Zen Buddhism to dispel all distracting thoughts and emotions and to give them full control over their minds and bodies. In this way, they could approach battle calmly and with a single purpose.
Samurai continued...
A shogun was a
powerful military leader
and (apart from the emperor), was the head of the social hierarchy. He had many daimyo following him, and therefore, had large armies filled with samurai who were ready for battle at any time. Shogun's put many laws in place, particularly laws for his daimyo.
Daimyo followed
strict codes
set in place by the shogun. Daimyo
were masters of training
, especially training their samurai, of which they had many. If a shogun decided to go to battle, he would summon all his daimyo, and all the daimyo would summon their samurai, and there would be hundreds (even thousands) of them ready for battle instantly.
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