When Comparing Feudalism In Europe To Feudalism In Japan, It Should Be Mentioned That There Were Some Differences Too. Essay Sample
Compare Feudalism in Europe to Feudalism in Japan
It is an interesting historical fact that Japan and European countries have developed their political and economic systems very similarly despite the absence of any contact between these two geographical regions. During the medieval, Japan and European countries had a feudal socio-political system and there were many similarities between European and Japanese feudalism. Although there were peasants and landlords in both Japan and Europe, historians state that there were some differences in the political systems of Europe and Japan as well.
As it was previously mentioned, feudal political systems in Japan and Europe had many similarities. One of them is that the societies in these regions were built on the hereditary classes with noble people on the top of them. Other classes were warriors who protected the lands, and peasants who worked for their landlords.
In both Japan and Europe, there was almost no mobility in the society and children of farmers could become farmers only and children of lords inherited the positions of their parents. As there were numerous small wars between the lords in both Japan and Europe, warriors were a very significant and a very important class. Although, they were called ‘samurai’ in Japan and ‘knights’ in Europe. It is interesting that both samurai and knights had their own codes of ethics. The knights’ concept was the concept of chivalry, and the concept of samurai was ‘the way of the Warrior’, or ‘bushido’ concept.
Also, in both Europe and Japan, there was a decentralized rule of lords and they had other people who were tied to them by personal bonds of loyalty. Another similarity is that societies in Japan and Europe were dominated by men only and the feudal systems in these regions were based on agriculture.
The major difference was that there were different concepts that the feudal systems were built on different ideas. In Japan, feudalism was based on the ideas of Confucius and Kong Qiu, the Chinese philosopher. Built of these ideas, the beliefs of samurai were protection of peasants and the beliefs of peasant were honoring warriors and paying taxes.
At the same time, the European system was based on the Roman Imperial customs and laws and all relations between the landlords and the vassals were of a contractual nature. Vassals paid taxes and remained loyal to the landlords, and in return landlords provided protection.
It should also be mentioned that feudalism in Japan was established later than in Europe (in the 1100s in Japan and in the 800s in Europe) and disappeared later than in Europe also (in Europe it disappeared in the sixteenth century and it was not changed by another political system in Japan until 1868.
Another major difference is that land in Europe was owned by the kings, lords and lesser lords and knights could receive some land from their lords for their loyalty and years of protecting the lord. In Japan, samurai were not the owners of the land and were paid by daimyo.
As we can see, there were both similarities and differences between Japanese and European socio-political structures. Although there were many things that were common for both Japanese and European systems, there were some different things as well.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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