Differances Between Japan and Europe's Feudel Systems

The European system of Feudalism is King, and then the King gives power to Lords over specific lands.

Then the lords enlist the loyalties of knights. Then we have the peasants and the serfs. The differences between the peasants and the serfs are that the peasants have more freedoms then the serfs. The common peasants could theoretically the peasants could move anywhere as long as they had permission to settle in a village from the lord. The serfs no quite so much in medieval society.

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The serf is usually in a legal binding contract with a lord to work a field for say 10 years or so. Well the average life span for a peasant and serfs at the time was 35-40. So even if u still got the land most would die before they really had a chance to do anything with it. And who did it all go back to? Why the lord of course. So even in the event of having children your children would not inherit the land you worked for. Feudal Japan 1185-1603 Now to be a comparison between the Japanese feudalism system the comparison is that the emperor is the king.

the shogun is the lords. The samurai is the knights. And the peasants are still the peasants. There were many system of economies which I will only name a few; Han system, Ry? (Japanese coin), Koban (coin) (no longer in use), and finally Za (guilds). The Za; they grew out of protective cooperation between merchants and temples and shrines; merchants would travel and transport goods in groups, for protection from bandits and the vacillating whims of samurai and daimyo (feudal lords).

They would also enter into arrangements with temples and shrines to sell their goods on a pitch or platform in the temple’s (or shrine’s) grounds, placing themselves under the auspices and protection of the temple or shrine. The word Za, meaning seat, pitch, or platform, was thus applied to the guilds. The name may have also come, more simply, from the idea of merchants within a guild or association sharing a seat or platform in the marketplace. History The earliest Za came into being in the 12th century, consisting not only of trade guilds, but also guilds of performers and entertainers. Even today, performers of kabuki and Noh are in associations called Za (see Kabuki-Za). The Za trade guilds appeared as a major force in the 14th century, and lasted in their original forms through the end of the 16th, when other guilds and trade organizations arose and subsumed the Za.

While no longer powerful in their original forms, it could be argued that the basic concept of the Za, and most likely the same merchants running them, continued to exist as powerful agents in the market through to the 18th, going through many organizational and structural changes over the centuries, and eventually being eclipsed by other organizations like the i.e. trading houses. Though very powerful at times, and enjoying certain tax exemptions and other formal governmental benefits, it is important to note that the Za, at least in their original forms, were never as official or organized as the medieval guilds of Europe. Za in the Muromachi period. It was not until the Muromachi period (1336–1467) that the Za really came to be a significant presence in Japan’s economic world.

By this time, many more Za had appeared, and were larger, more organized, and more well-connected with temples, shrines, and nobles. While many associated themselves with temples and shrines, many other guilds allied themselves with noble families, gaining protection in exchange for a sharing of the profits. For example, Kyoto’s yeast-brewers were associated with the Kitano Tenman-g? shrine, and the oil brokers had the Tendai monastery of Enryakuji as their patron. The gold leaf makers of Kyoto placed themselves under the protection of the Konoe family, and the fishmongers under the Saionji, a particularly powerful and wealthy family, who earned two-thirds of the profits of Kyoto’s fish markets from the arrangement. During this period, agricultural and economic advancement and growth was quite rapid in the countryside, or “Home Provinces”, and Za began to conglomerate into groups organized by their locality, not by their trade.

These rural Za were generally associations of wealthier peasant farmers who combined to sell oil, bamboo, rice, or other agricultural products in bulk; they occasionally allowed urban brokers to join their guilds, to act as their proxy or guide in the city markets. However, in the large cities, where economic progress was occurring in a different way, Za formed up, as might be expected, by trade, and began to concentrate themselves in small sections of the city. Ginza, meaning “silver Za” (silver trade guild), in Tokyo, is one of the most famous place-names to reflect this activity, though the Guildhall area of London, on the other side of the world, is a perfect example of the equivalent English activity. Towards the end of the Muromachi period, the Za began to grow independent of the noble families, temples, and shrines they had placed themselves under, having grown large enough and powerful enough to protect them. This independence also allowed the Za to further its own interests, namely profit; the Za began to realize at this time that they had the power to alter market prices, and began to show signs of monopolistic activity. While most used their monopoly power only in retail sales of their particular trade well to consumers, some, such as the salt dealers of Yamato province, would purchase raw materials wholesale, entering arrangements by which they could deny other guilds and other merchants of these materials.

Though mostly independent from their former patrons, many guilds still engaged in agreements for protection with noble families on a one-time, rather than permanent, basis. However, their independence and increasing power earned many Za political enemies; some from their former patrons. As the Muromachi period came to an end, in the late 15th century, other forms of economic associations arose which were less monopolistic, and which challenged the supremacy of the Za. Now for the Han system: In the Sengoku period, Hideyoshi Toyotomi caused a transformation of the Han system. The feudal system based on land became an abstraction based on periodic cadastral surveys and projected agricultural yields.

In Japan, a feudal domain was defined in terms of projected annual income. This was different than the feudalism of the West. For example, early Japanologists like Appert and Papinot made a point of highlighting the annual koku yields which were allocated for the Shimazu clan at Satsuma Domain since the 12th century. In 1690, the richest Han was the Kaga Domain with slightly over 1 million koku. It was in Kaga, Etchu and Noto provinces.

Now for the Ry? system and its history: Origins The Ry? was originally a unit of weight from China, the tael. It came into use in Japan during the Kamakura period. By the Azuchi-Momoyama period it had become nearly uniform throughout Japan, about 4.4 monme as a unit of weight (about the same as 16.5 g).

During the Sengoku period, various local daimyo began to mint their own money. One of the best known and most prestigious of these private coins was the koshukin issued by the warlord Takeda Shingen, who had substantial gold deposits within his territories. The value of the koshukin was based on its weight, with one koshukin equal to one Ry? of gold, and thus stamped with its weight (approximately 15 grams). During the Tensh? period (1573-1592), one Ry? was equal to four koku of rice, or 1000 brass coins. Now the Koban and it history in feudalistic japan The Koban was a Japanese oval gold coin in Edo period feudal Japan, equal to one Ry?, another early Japanese monetary unit.

It was a central part of Tokugawa coinage. The Keich? era Koban, a gold piece, contained about one Ry? of gold, so that Koban carried a face value of one Ry?. However, successive minting of the Koban had varying (usually diminishing) amounts of gold. As a result, the Ry? as a unit of weight of gold and the Ry? as the face value of the Koban were no longer synonymous. Now for the government of japan: The daimyo about this sound Pronunciation were the powerful territorial lords in pre-modern Japan who ruled most of the country from their vast, hereditary land holdings.

In the term, “dai” literally means “large”, and “my?” stands for my?den, meaning private land. Subordinate only to the shogun, daimyo were the most powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the middle 19th century in Japan. From the shugo of the Muromachi period through the Sengoku to the daimyo of the Edo period, the rank had a long and varied history. The term “daimyo” is also sometimes used to refer to the leading figures of such clans, also called “lord”. It was usually, though not exclusively, from these warlords that a shogun arose or a regent was chosen. Daimyo often hired samurai to guard their land and they paid the samurai in land or food.

Relatively few daimyo could afford to pay samurai in money. The daimyo era came to an end soon after the Meiji restoration when Japan adopted the prefecture system in 1871. Japanese feudalism was based on the ideas of the Chinese philosopher Kong Qiu or Confucius (551-479 BCE). Confucius stressed morality and filial piety, or respect for elders and other superiors. In Japan, this functioned as the moral duty of daimyo and samurai to protect the peasants and villagers in their region, and the duty of the peasants and villagers to honor the warriors and pay taxes to them in return.

European feudalism was based instead on Roman Imperial laws and customs, supplemented with Germanic traditions, and supported by the authority of the Catholic Church. The relationship between a lord and his vassals was seen as contractual; lords offered payment and protection, in return for which vassals offered complete loyalty. It is interesting that these two very different legal/moral systems ended up creating such similar socio-political structures. Another difference between these two feudal systems is their timing. Feudalism was well-established in Europe by the 800s CE, but appeared in Japan only in the 1100s as the Heian period drew to a close and the Kamakura Shogunate rose to power. European feudalism died out with the growth of stronger political states in the sixteenth century, but Japanese feudalism held on until the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

A key distinguishing factor between the two is land-ownership. European knights gained land from their lords as payment for their military service; they thus had direct control of the serfs who worked that land. In contrast, Japanese samurai did not own any land. Instead, the daimyo used a portion of their income from taxing the peasants to pay the samurai a salary, usually paid in rice. Samurai and knights differed in several other ways, including their gender interactions.

Samurai women, for example, were expected to be strong like the men, and to face death without flinching. European women were considered fragile flowers that had to be protected by chivalrous knights. In addition, samurai were supposed to be cultured and artistic, able to compose poetry or write in beautiful calligraphy. Knights were usually illiterate, and would likely have scorned such past-times in favor of hunting or jousting. Finally, knights and samurai had very different approaches to death. Knights were bound by Catholic Christian law against suicide, and strove to avoid death.

Samurai, on the other hand, had no religious reason to avoid death, and would commit suicide in the face of defeat in order to maintain their honor. This ritual suicide is known as seppuku (or “harikiri”). Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labor. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the medieval period. In its classic definition, by Francois-Louis Ganshof (1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs.

There is also a broader definition, as described by Marc Bloch (1939) that includes not only warrior nobility but all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clerics and the peasantry bonds of manorialism; this is sometimes referred to as a “feudal society”. Since 1974 with the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown’s The Tyranny of a Construct, and Susan Reynolds’ Fiefs and Vassals (1994), there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society. There is no broadly accepted modern definition of feudalism.

The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, and the noun feudalism, often used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century. By the mid-20th century, Francois Louis Ganshof’s Feudalism, 3rd ed. (1964; originally published in French, 1947), became a standard scholarly definition of feudalism. Since at least the 1960s, when Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society (1939) was first translated into English in 1961, many medieval historians have included a broader social aspect that includes not only the nobility but all three estates of the realm, adding the peasantry bonds of manorialism and the estates of the Church; this is sometimes referred to as “feudal society” since it encompasses all members of society into the feudal system. Since the 1970s, when Elizabeth A. R.

Brown published The Tyranny of a Construct (1974), many have re-examined the evidence and concluded that feudalism is an unworkable term and should be removed entirely from scholarly and educational discussion or at least used only with severe qualification and warning. Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is normally used only by analogy (called semi-feudal), most often in discussions of feudal Japan under the shoguns and sometimes medieval and Gondarine Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing it in places as diverse as ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South. The term feudalism has also been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society. Sources: Middle-ages.com, Wikipedia.com, http://www.ushistory.org/civ/10c.asp, http://feudalsociety.weebly.com/feudalism.html, http://asianhistory.about.com/od/japan/a/Feudalism-In-Japan-And-Europe.htm