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Comparing Japanese and Western European Feudalism

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Comparing Japanese and Western European Feudalism

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  • April 2008
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Comparing Japanese and Western European Feudalism

Feudalism, beginning in Western Europe and later appearing in Japan, is the system of government in which nobles have certain owed loyalties to the king, in return for grants of land which are run by the serfs. Three specific areas that share similarities and differences between these two are: why and when their feudalism began, agriculture and art during the time, and the ranking and status of the different Feudal statuses, particularly the military.

On almost completely separate sides of the earth, Feudalism began between the 9th-12th centuries. Both Japan and Europe made these governments separate from each other, at a time in which their governments could not uphold a stable central power, so they rearranged the government to fit their like. This allowed them control over landlords, and they could now prevent them from gaining power.

Despite minor differences, the bulk of the two governments were very similar politically and socially. Economics on the other hand, was much different between Japan and Western Europe, using a vast number of differing farming equipment and trade. Western Europe turned the Three- Field system while Japan did not. Knights and Shanghais were to protect and fight for both women and Christianity. Art of the time period was solely based on religion, though it was primarily Buddhist in Japan, western European art displayed the strength of Christianity in their society.

Perhaps the most major of similarities in these cultures is the way that they honored the military strongly. In both Europe and Japan, the warrior class was held at highest regard. They also were both taken for training from boyhood. Though there is one unmistakable difference between the two, the warrior code the Samurai of Japan went by, differed immensely from that of the European Knights. These codes were the code of ethics for their lifestyle. Knights in Europe were paid with money, while the...