March xx, 2009
Medieval Japanese Culture
Did you know that the Japanese feudal society actually lasted longer than feudalism in Europe? Japan was (and is) a small country with little natural resources to use to make their economy; however, they were very sponge like in their ability to absorb culture, resources, and practices from China. This does not mean they were just copycats, mimicking everything they saw though! They were very gifted in their ability to refine these practices into a way that was (and is) entirely their own. They have faced many wars, invasions, disturbances, etc over the many long years. Some have been civil, some glorious, some never even came to fruition, while others were terrible? But through it all they have lasted and become what they are today. The Eastern world is a place that is deeply soaked in culture and intellectual depth that few people truly understand, but those that do may find something amazing indeed. When most people think of a culture and/or a government, they think of things that are very general and broad-fielded. However, what would any society be without the little things holding it together., After all it is the common people that make up a nation, not the leaders. Due to their high Buddhist influence, the Japanese were mostly vegetarians. However, due to little land for agriculture, plus the abundance of sea, the Japanese diet was very heavy in the consumption of seafood (and even today they are the world's largest consumer of seafood, eating one sixth of all the fish consumed in the world.) During the middle ages the majority of common people in Japan were either farmers or fishermen (not everyone can be a samurai). Theses lives were hard because frequent storms would destroy crops and endanger fishermen. Both the farmer and the fisherman worked hard and yet they still had to pay heavy taxes to the nobles. To be a samurai or a monk one had to dedicate himself to the...