Feudalism in Europe and Japan

Topics: Feudalism, Shogun, Lord Pages: 2 (732 words) Published: April 15, 2007
Feudalism in Europe and Japan
Throughout history, the system of feudalism is used several times in different areas in the world. Because of this form of government, the European lifestyle changed dramatically as the Japanese culture began to form. Although feudalism in Europe had started earlier, the feudal systems of Japan and Europe are somewhat alike. However, they are much more different than they are comparable. It is surprising that the feudal system in Japan is similar to the feudalism in Europe because during feudal Japan, it was isolated from the rest of the world until later on, which meant that Japan was not influenced by the European feudal system. Both feudal systems were developed as a response to the need of security and stability. In Europe, the eastern part of the Roman Empire fell so the territories were opened to invaders, and people banded together in the countryside for protection and survival. In Japan, the feudal system formed because local warlords battled with each other for territory and power. Power and wealth were what made lords in both civilizations powerful and peasants vulnerable. Both kings and emperors of Japan and Europe remained as figureheads, but the people who really controlled the nations were the lords and their armies. The lord in Europe had lesser lords called vassals, who had knights to protect them. The shogun was the actual ruler in Japan and they gave out land to landowners called daimyo. Samurais protected them in exchange for land. Samurais and knights lived by similar codes of honor and had the occupation of protecting their lords. They were well-respected and considered nobles in Japan and Europe. In both feudal societies, peasants were looked down upon and served their lords for protection. They made up most of the population in both societies. Feudalism in Japan was positively different from feudalism in Europe in a way. The Japanese were isolated from the outside world since the Tokugawa shoguns restricted...
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