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Anita Voloshin

on 2 September 2014

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Thank you!
What is a Feudal System?


The medieval Japanese Social Structure was extremely advanced and had a huge influence on their country. Feudalism began when the government started to collapse, it did so because it was loosing authority over the Daimyo, Japanese land owners with large private samurai armies.The Daimyo also paid no taxes. Peasants and merchants began to pledge loyalty to the powerful Daimyos in exchange for their protection. These people were called Vassals and as more and more vassals began to join the Daimyo, this marked the start of feudalism in medieval Japan.

A Feudal System is a system of obligations
the community or population must follow, usually to benefit a king or leader. In theory, the king owned all or most of the land and gave it to his leading nobles in return for their loyalty and military service. Under feudalism,
people were born with a permanent
position in society.

Merchants were considered the lowest class in Medieval Japan unlike Medieval England. Their job was to trade/sell goods and shop-keep, they were looked down upon, because they were thought to be cheating in business; prospering from the money that was rightfully the farmers’
Peasants were farmers and fishermen. They were actually considered a higher class in Medieval Japan than in Medieval England because the Japanese believed that the peasants produced food, which was depended on by all classes, therefore, they worked harder.
A Ronin was a samurai warrior in feudal Japan without a master or lord (daimyo).
The term "Ronin" was used for outlaws and wanderers, men who had been expelled from their clans or had renounced their lords.
The Samurai were Japanese warriors (similar to the European knight). They served and protected their Daimyo with respect. They also fought for their people and protected them, bringing justice and order to the community. There followed a code of conduct called Bushido, meaning 'Way of the warrior' which told them how to live their lives.
The Daimyo was a very powerful figure who served the shogun. His job control a large area of land. He was also in charge of their samurai, whom he paid to work and protect him.
The Shogun was probably the most important figure in Japanese society. He was seen as 'second in line' but did the most work. He was a military leader, so he was in charge of many of decisions to do with their armies, battles etc..
The Emperor was looked up to by all of his people as the supreme ruler but held little political power and was seen as more of a 'puppet figure'.
I Will Now go through the hierarchy of Japan in order of lowest class to highest
The era of feudalism in Japan took place from the 12th through to the 19th century. During that period local rulers, either powerful families or military warlords, dominated the land, while the emperor was merely a figurehead and not a significant political presence.
Society was divided into two main classes in Feudal Japan, the nobility and the peasants. The noble class made up roughly twelve percent of the population whilst peasants made up eighty two percent of the population.

Feudalism in Japan
End of Feudalism
The development of commerce and cities, and pressure from the West to trade with Japan, changed the environment in which the Shoguns and Daimyo ruled. It was in this changed environment that the shogunate resigned and the emperor was restored to power in the Meiji Restoration of 1868. This marked the abolition of the feudal system and the adoption of numerous Western institutions, including a Western legal system and constitutional government.
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