Japanese Feudalism Dbq Essay

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Feudalism was a key component of life for those in both Western Europe and Japan. The two systems developed independently from each other yet still held a multitude of similarities. However, their many differences out shadow the unique parallels they shared. The major discrepancies between the two are found in each’s code, structure and regulations. Documents nine and ten, break down the feudal structures of Western Europe and Japan. The European structure is topped off with the ruling class of kings followed by lords then knights and ends with peasants. According to this social structure, the king is the highest ranking member of society. This hierarchy is a little bit vague as it categorized millions of people into but four categories.…show more content…
This basically says that a vassal should be without fail, faithful to his lord and offer all of his knowledge and resources to him. In addition, its is written that treason and murder and other acts of the Lord are dishonorable, “theft, however, and treason and murder and whatever things are against the Lord and the catholic faith are to be required of or performed by no one”. As these social codes are written in an official document addressed to a lord it is likely that they were meant to please the lord and glorify him, rather than displease him. This might be an over exaggeration of the lord’s power over vassals. Conversely, Document eight references the importance of feudal Japan’s attitudes towards war, “It should be the primary concern of everyone to train himself unceasingly in military accomplishment. Those who excel their fellows should be given additional income.” The decree shows just how important military accomplishment was to the Japanese, one was given a bonus if he proved to be skilled in combat. The promise of a bonus to those who worked to improve their warrior skills was included in an official document, The Hundred Article Code of Chosokabe, making it obvious that warfare was the priority of the higher stations. These social codes show the differing societal priorities of Feudal Japan and Western
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