Feudal Systems

Topics: Feudalism, Samurai, Shogun Pages: 1 (323 words) Published: July 2, 2013
Essay
Compare and contrast the Japanese and European feudal systems.

The Japanese and European feudal systems were very much alike yet different in their own ways. Japan’s feudal system was composed of peasants, samurais, daimyos, shoguns and emperors. Then there was the European feudal system. It was composed of serfs, knights, church officials, nobles, kings and queens. In Japan, there was an emperor. The emperor did not do much, he was more like a figure head and he did not make any laws. He was just there to represent the country. The shogun was the person who not only make and pass laws, but controlled finances and the daimyos. The daimyos were lords that controlled samurai, which were warrior protectors for wealthy land owners. Samurai followed a code of behavior called the Bushido, or the “way of the warrior”. The Bushido stated that samurai were to be brave, loyal and honorable. The wouldn’t complain when they received physical hardship, they did not fear death. If a samurai was defeated or disobeyed their masters, they were to form a ceremonial suicide called Seppuku. It was a way to dishonor with defeat. Last but not least, there were the peasants. They were mostly farmers and traders.

Unlike Japan’s feudal system, in the European feudal system, the king and queen controlled nobles, the church and peasants. Nobles or lords owned land and they would grant part of their land to peasants. The grant was called a fief. These peasants would use about two thirds of the land for farming and they would give some of the crops to the lord. Nobles and lords also controlled the knights. Knights were just like samurai in Japan, also they follow something similar to the Bushido. It is called the chivalry and is a system of rules that told of how knights should behave towards others.

Both feudal systems were from different countries but they were very much alike.
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