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Japan And European Feudalism Compare And Contrast Essay

Japanese vs European feudalism

Feudalism may vaguely refer to the form of government made up of a decentralized socio-political system where a weak monarchy tries to take control of territories under it, but not physically part of its kingdom, using reciprocal agreements with the territorial leaders.

A classic definition of feudalism refers to the European political system of the middle ages, which comprised of a set of reciprocal military, as well as legal duties they were obliged to do among the nobles who were warriors. This centered around three concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs.

Although feudalism is largely considered a European invention, a type of feudalism was invented by the Japanese, at about the same period that European feudalism was at its peak, which was completely independent of the European system. It’s importantto note that the two feudalistic societies exhibited some shared practices and principles, but nonetheless differed in many important aspects.

The defining feature of a feudalistic society was land ownership, and both the Japanese and Europeans had land owning castes, as well as those that didn’t own land during the medieval time. Unlike European feudalism, Japanese feudalism had no true pyramidform, with a hierarchy of ‘inferior’ nobles being presided over by the monarch. This was mainly due to two facts: Firstly, Japanese authority was as centralized as the case was in the European nationstates. Even though the majority of local aristocrats paid the emperor lip-service, Japan’s rugged terrain made it hard for the emperor to have full control of the local aristocracy, making local aristocrats in Japanmuch more powerful than their European counterparts. Secondly, although Japan’s inferior nobility (samurai) were religiously loyal to their local lords, the lords didn’t give them land to own, while the European nobility got land in exchange for their time in the military. The samurai instead received an income from their local lords, depending on the produce from the lord’s land.

While the samurai may have had servants, they did not work on the lands in the same way as they did in Europe. Knights in Europe had serfs who would tend to their land that they had received from the lords.
The legal structures in the European and Japanese feudalistic governments were obviously radically different. The European system was based on Roman and Germanic law, as well as the Catholic Church, while the Japanese system was based on Chinese Confucian law and Buddhism. Due to these differences, the feudal systems in Europe and Japan developed at different times.

Feudalism was to a large extent established throughout Europe by the 9th century, but it wasn’t until the 12th century that it started to filter into Japanese territory.
Notably, one important similarity between the two systems, was that they were both hereditary caste feudal systems, where peasants had no chance at all of becoming part of the ‘ruling clan’.

European feudalism was quite older than the Japanese system, having beenestablished in the 9th and 12th centuries respectively.
The European system was more centralized than the Japanese system, because the Japanese emperor had no full control of the local aristocracy.
European feudalism was based on Germanic law, while Japanese feudalism was based on Chinese Confucian law.
Japanese samurais’ servants didn’t tend to their land like in the case of the serfs of European knights.

Kivumbi. "Difference Between Japanese and European feudalism." DifferenceBetween.net. March 30, 2010 < http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/politics/difference-between-japanese-and-european-feudalism/ >.

Feudal Europe And Japan Similarities And Differences

Feudal Japan and Feudal Europe had similarities and differences. Both Feudal Japan and Feudal Europe had professional warriors, for Japan it was the samurai, and for Europe the knights. They both had religious beliefs such as Buddhism and Christianity. Japan was an island and was isolated, whereas Europe wasn’t isolated nor an island. Feudal Japan lasted from 1185-1603, while Feudal Europe lasted from the 9th to the 15th centuries.

Japan lasted from 1185-1603. During that time Japan had emperors, shoguns, daimyos, samurai, and peasants who were all apart of a social class, and all together it was called the Samurai Society. The emperor was just a figurehead for the shogun. The shogun was a powerful military leader that ruled in the emperor’s name. Daimyo were powerful landlords. The daimyo often led armies of samurai. These samurai were trained professional warriors who served daimyo and shoguns. The samurai had to follow a certain code of rules for samurai called Bushido. One of their rules included to always have self-discipline to become a good samurai. The samurai warriors wore light armor, helmets (usually shaped like an animal), and had two swords around their waist. Their armor had a lot of detail and color to it, like their unique helmets. After the samurai comes the peasants, which included farmers and fishermen. They usually always work, then pay takes to the shogun. They usually gave the shogun what they earned from working like food or crops. What made their jobs a bit difficult was their topography. Japan’s topography included many mountains, undersea volcanoes, and barely any flat land to farm on. The Japanese didn’t only work they also practiced their religion. For example, they practiced Confucianism, Buddhism ( Zen and Pure Land Buddhism) and their traditional religion Shinto. They also put their religion in their daily lives too. For example, they put nature themes into their art and literature because their religion was based on these calming nature themes. The Japanese based their lives on the Samurai Society, and their religion.

Europe began through the 9th century all the way until the 15th centuries. They used a Feudal Society. They used the Feudal Society to separate the social classes, the highest rank to the lowest. The kings and queens were the highest ranking, and after the nobles. Then we have the knights, then peasants. The kings and queens, also known as the lords, had all the power. The noble sand knights were the lords vassal. A vassal was someone who promised to support a lord in exchange for land. This was what also caused...

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