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Feudalism in Medieval Europe and Classical Japan

Here's an overview of feudalism in Medieval Europe and Classical Japan. Both shared many similarities but both are unique in their own way.

Punna Chowdhury

on 26 April 2014

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Transcript of Feudalism in Medieval Europe and Classical Japan



Similarities between European and Japanese feudal society
Feudalism developed as a response to the need for security and stability in both.
Many landowners were dependent on knights and samurai for military service in European and Japanese feudal society.
Feudalism helped preserve law and order.
Both had a Code of Conduct which a warrior like a knight or a samurai would have to follow.
Both kings and emperors of Europe and Japan remained as figureheads, but had little power.







Feudalism in Medieval Europe and Classical Japan

Are Warriors
Rode on horses
Wore armor
Followed codes on how to behave
Used swords
Got paid in land
Spent their entire lives preparing for war

Lived in Europe
Followed Code of Chivalry
Used Shields
Used crossbow
Practiced Christianity
Knights would not commit suicide but rather be captured or fight back.
Not as educated as the samurai
Knights would fight with their inferior
Armors weighed 40 to 60 pounds
A knight's loyalty was based on a legal contract, instead of moral obligations

Lived in Japan
Followed Code of Bushido
Used bow & arrow
Used two handed sword known as a katana,
Practiced Buddhism or Shintoism
Samurai would commit suicide rather than face defeat or capture
Samurai would not fight with their inferiors
Armors were less heavy
Wore a mask
Feudalism is political system in which land is exchanged for military service and loyalty.
A decentralized political system
Provided social stability and protection
Created a rigid social class
Why did Medieval Europe fall under Feudalism?
Feudalism in Medieval Europe started when the eastern part of the Roman Empire fell. Territories were opened to invaders and there was no strong central government get protections from. Many individuals had to give away their rights to local lords in return for protection and security.
Why did Classic Japan fall under Feudalism?
Feudalism in Japan started when central power declined and the rise of private armies formed by large landowners. Small landowners traded land to warlords in exchange for protection. As land started to increase, lords gained more power.
Why People/Countries turn to Feudalism?
People and Countries would turn to feudalism for security and stability when a strong central government was not in place to provide it.
A samurai most important possession was the two handed sword known as a katana, which was called the "soul of the samurai"
Samurai women received martial arts training as a way to defend their homes and children when their husbands were in combat. They carried small daggers and were always prepared to die to maintain their honor and family name.

The Code of Bushido teaches that a samurai must always live with honor.
A samurai taking his own life is more honorable than someone else killing him. A samurai who brought himself dishonor often committed suicide called seppuku, was a way to keep their

European Feudal
Castles in Medieval Europe were built as a way to shelter nobles, knights, and soldiers in a war. European castle roofs were very simple. There levels were straight up and down. The castles were around 4 floors high
A knight's loyalty was based on a legal contract, rather than moral obligations.
Knights would fight with their inferior.

Feudalism in Europe

Feudal society Europe practiced Christianity
Nobility were: kings, lords, lesser lords
Warriors were knights
Peasants were at the bottom of the hierarchy
How is Feudalism in Europe Ruled?

Feudalism in Europe was ruled by kings and nobles. Kings gave land, called fiefs, to a powerful lord in exchange for loyalty and military service. The lord is now a vassal, a person that holds the land. The lord would then divide his land into estates which are given to lessor lords. Lesser lords would then do the same thing by dividing their land but giving it to knights instead. The knights would pledged their loyalty to defend their lords’ lands in exchange for fiefs. Peasants were at the bottom and they are the ones that worked on the fields.

How is Feudalism in Japan Ruled?

Feudalism in Japan is very similar to feudalism in Europe.
Shoguns had real political and military power while emperors had little power. Shoguns gained power through force and by commanding an army. Shoguns distributed land to vassals called daimyo. The daimyo would then give land to their warriors, called the samurai, in return for loyalty and military service.
Feudalism in Japan

Feudal society in Japan practiced Buddhism or Shintoism
Nobility were: emperors, shogun, daimyo
Warriors were samurai
Peasants were not the only ones at the bottom, merchants and artisans were too.

Feudalism in Europe
Feudalism in Japan
Japanese Feudal
In Europe, there were many advancements in military technology like longbow and cannon. This made
knights less effective and necessary
Feudalism was a political system that protected people when a strong central government was unavailable to. Both Europe and Japan developed the feudal system as a response to the need of protection and stability. It formed a relationship between different people, for example a lord and a vassal. Feudalism gave everyone well-defined roles and created a rigid social class. Feudal society in Europe and Japan both shared many similarities like having warriors and a code of conduct for how one should behave. However Medieval Europe and Japan were both unique in their own way.
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