Japanese Feudalism

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Japanese Feudalism

Social class and military dictatorship were the foundations of the feudal structure of Japan. Each rank of the feudal hierarchy was allotted clearly defined limits above or below which it was impermissible to pass. The principle of knowing one's place was of paramount performance: it was the iron law of feudal ethics. In the 12th century samurais began to assume power. The feudal system seemed to revolve around the samurais. The samurais dominated feudal society. A feudal-style relationship existed between the lord and his samurai, and the samurai often served the same family for many years. At one time the samurai were farmers-warriors only going to war when needed, but with the increased warfare their responsibilities became distinct and they became an official class. The samurai lived by a strict code of conduct. They were held to a highly developed warrior ethic, which consisted of bravery, loyalty and honor. They were expected to face pain and even death. The code stressed family honor above all else. Emperors continued to reign, but no longer ruled. The civil wars and anarchy that Japan faced prior to 1192, set the stage for a new ruling system called SeiiTaishogun. (Shogun). Due to this type of military dictatorship the shogun, while second in power actually ruled all of Japan. They dictated the rules that the daimyos had to go by. The daimyos were next in the structure and they consisted of noble lords that represented various clans and controlled parts of Japan through their regiment of samurais. Each daimyo could control their own section as they saw fit as long as it was in accordance with the regulation handed down by the shogun. In order to insure the cooperation of the daimyo, and the willingness of them to follow the rules, their wives and children were required to live in the capital; while the daimyos themselves has to alternate their places to live. The daimyos were given no choice but to accept the system of alternate...
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