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Feudal Japan

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by

Brian Roberts

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of Feudal Japan

Noh plays were religious, historical and romantic.
They had male actors and a chorus.
Japanese Culture
Heian Japan
794-1185

Origins of Japanese Feudalism
Shinto
Samurai
Bushido
Shogun
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native religion of Japan.
Played the most distinctive role in Japanese political and military affairs.
strict code of behavior followed by samurai warriors in Japan.
supreme military commander who ruled in the name of the emperor.
A decentralized social and political order formed for reasons of protection.
Feudalism is defined by land ownership
One of the most important influences brought by Korean travelers was Buddhism.
Buddhist ideas and worship spread through Japanese society.
In Japan, noble birth remained the key to winning a powerful position.
Emperor became symbolic ruler
Cultural Borrowing
Chinese religion, philosophy and language
Lower classes more in favor of borrowing from the Chinese than the upper classes
Chinese Writing
Chinese Artistic Styles
Buddhism (Zen)
NOT Chinese civil service system
During the Heian period, Japan's central government was relatively strong.
After the end of the Heian period, the power of the emperor shifted to shogun (supreme general) who divided land to daimyo (great landlords) who acted more as independent local rulers. Each daimyo surrounded himself with loyal warriors called samurai (warriors). Emperor remained in power but was only symbolic.
For most of the Heian period, the rich Fujiwara family held the real power in Japan.
Rugged terrain made central authority difficult
The pattern of government in which Shoguns rule trough puppet emperors lasted in Japan until 1868.
What is Feudalism?
Zen Buddhism reinforced the Bushido values of mental and self discipline
Daimyo
landlords
judges
tax collectors
military leaders
Samurai
warriors
received land for military service
lived by bushido
rather commit suicide than live without honor
Bushido
Fidelity
Politeness
Virility
Simplicity
Japanese Economics
Japan was an agricultural society based on rice production.
Terraces were created to increase amount of arable land.
There was little trade.
Mostly local with little to no contact with Korea or China.
Japanese Society
Japanese peasants:
treated as property
75% of population
not allowed to ride a horse
not allowed to carry a sword
In times of war, peasants who fought well could rise up in society.
Native religion Shinto believed everything possessed a spirit-kami.
The Tale of Gengi
world's oldest novel written by Lady Murasaki.
a story of love, politics and intrigue in the royal court.
Full transcript