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Transcript of Medieval Japan
What do you know about Medieval Japan?
What was the life style like?
Was it similar to Medieval Europe?
Samurai were the warriors. They were to protect their Daimyo and their territory.
Samurai had to follow strict rules including dress code, weapons, moral codes.
Servants - we don't have equals
During Medieval Era, Japan had a strict feudal system (social rank).
These ranks were inherited from the family and people could not change a rank they were given at birth.
In Japan, emperors used to be very powerful and were controlling the country but in Medieval time, they lost their political power. They were just advisers.
KATANA - SWORD
Katana, a sword, was a symbol of Samurai. Only Samurai were allowed to have a katana. Samurai boys ware given wooden katana to practise when they turned five, then when they were mature or strong enough, they got real metal katana.
Samurai treated Katana as the second important thing (what's first??) and carried katana everywhere. When they died, their katana were buried with them, as people believed katana had its owners spirit.
Apparently, those Samurai katana were stronger than knights' swords!
SHIRO - CASTLES
One of the Samurai's jobs was guarding a castle. A Daimyo (State leader) was living in a castle and they were often invaded.
Castles have a lot of tricks so that they weren't easily attacked; surrounded by wide and deep moat, tall and heavy gates, holes on walls to shoot arrows etc. Sometimes they used the arrows on fire.
Daimyo was living in a huge room with golden decorations. There were some secret paths to his room. Why was that ??
BUSHIDO - MORAL CODES
Bushido is translated as the way of Samurai. It was actually more than moral codes, but how they live.
Samurai never abused their social power but rather helped the weak and the poor. That's why they were respected by farmers and peasants.
- Serve their Daimyos
- If they failed to protect their Daimyos, they committed suicide
- Less of them, more of others
- Despite their strong weapons, they sought peace and bloodless resolution
- Samurai were taught not to be afraid of death
- Dying in a battle was regarded as honorable
- Detailed rules about bowing, walking, sitting down, and table manners
- Trained to handle different sort of weapons and riding a horse: these are played as sports today eg: Kendo, Kyudo
- Also studies ethics, literature, history and art
- Not to dishonour himself by neglecting one of those Bushido codes
Ninja's are the spies and assassins of the daimyo. Their job was to invade the enemy camps and steal military information.
Ninja could be male and female. They usually had double lives. The most common ninja disguises were entertainer, priest, merchant, farmer and even samurai. They had to know the role they were acting out. They had to practice dialects and slang.
The ninja lived in remote mountain villages. They carried on normal day to day lives keeping secret their true identities.
The ninja students had to practice underwater swimming, hiding and hanging from trees for long periods, long distance running, jumping across roofs and between trees. Ninja have to be skilled at breaking into buildings, climbing walls, crossing ceilings, tying the enemy, map reading and planning escape routes. A ninja had to be able to move in total silence.
Ninja houses had a lot of tricks.
Watch the video and discuss why they had to have these tricks.
Let's be a samurai
Samurai armour (yoroi) was used from the 12th century when iron manufacturing technology improved.
The design of the suit enabled samurai to fight, climb, run and move about while protecting almost every part of the body. The armour was much lighter than European armour.
The suit consists of many parts including underwear, shin pads, dress and hat.