While emp in Heian courts, rival clans battled for cntrl of countryside – local warlords & Budd temp formed armed bands loyal to then rath than to central gov As armies struggled for pwr, japan evolved feudal syst – warrior aristocracy dom J society In theory, emp stood at head of J feudal society – actually pwrless tho revered figurehead Real pwr lay in hands of shogun (supreme milit command) – Minamoto Yoritomo appointed shogun Yoritomo set up Kamakura shogunate, 1st of 3 milit dyn that ruled J for approx 700 yrs A.The World of Warriors
Oft shogun cntrlled only smll prt of J – distributed lands to vassal lords who agreed to sup him w/ their armies in time of need (lords called daimyo) → Daimyo granted land to lesser warriors (samurai, fighting aristocracy of land) Samurai – heavily armed & trained in skills of fighting, delvp own code of values (bushido) : emph honor bravery & absolute loyalty to lord, no fear in death Samurai who betrayed bushido expected to commit seppuku/ritual suicide B. Status of Noblewomen
At 1st, some noblewomen in J feudal society trained in milit arts, few even became legendary warriors, some supervised fam’s estates As age of samurai progressed, position of women ↓ steadily – when feudal warfare ↑ inheritance ltd to sons Unlike Euro ideal of chivalry, samurai code didn’t set women on pedestal – wife of warrior had to accept same hardships as her hubby & owed same loyalty to his overlord C.Peasants, Artisans, and Merchants
Peas, artisans, & merch below samurai
Peas – 75% of popl, fam cult rice & oth crops in estates of samurai, some served as foot soldiers in feudal wars, one might become samurai Artisans (armorers & swordmakers) – prov necessary goods for samurai Merch – lowest rank in J feudal society, gradually improved status D.Mongol Invasions
During feudal age, most fighting took place btwn rival warlrds, but Mong conq of China &...