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Japan and European Feudalism

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    Japan and Europe during the middle ages had both been affected by agriculture, social classes, and lack of power from the king/emperor. However, there had been major differences such as the role of women, and the different beliefs for a warrior between Chivalry (knights) and the Bushido code (samurais). Japan and Europe during the middle ages had both been affected by agriculture, social classes, and lack of power from the king/emperor. For example, in each place, peasants provided food for the manor/village in exchange for protection from invaders.

    Politics also played a large role for each because they both had their own social classes. In Europe the king was on top, followed by lords, knights, and finally serfs. Japan, the shogun was on top, then the emperor, daimyo, samurai, and finally the peasants. The king and emperor were supposed to be in full control, but each was overpowered by another. In Europe many people was highly religious, so they ended up following the church instead of the king. In Japan the emperor was weak so he would take orders from the shogun so he may be able to rule the country.

    Overall, both Europe and Japan depended on agriculture to feed each social class in the manor/village that was ruled by a weak leader that either can’t rule on his own or competes to rule against another. Despite their similarities medieval Europe and Japan had major differences such as the role of women, and the different beliefs for a warrior between Chivalry (knights) and the Bushido code (samurais). The role of women in Europe was thought of as weak and inferior unlike Japan who believed that women were supposed to be strong.

    So Europe’s knights (strong) and females (weak) were opposite, however, Japanese samurais (strong) and women (strong) were supposed to reflect of each other. Each warrior had their code of conduct to follow. European’s knights followed chivalry while samurais followed the bushido code. Knights only believed in protecting their country, but samurais believed in having honor as well. For example, in Europe knights physically abuse the peasants/serfs which would not be considered honorable in Japan.

    Overall knights and samurais have different beliefs toward their code of conduct and samurais unlike knights believe that their women should follow their code of conduct. The feudal system in both Japan and Europe both had economic and political similarities while having social differences. Although, the overall concept is that they each experienced different ways of life, considering the standards they were put up to such as chivalry and the bushido code. Also its surprising that Japan feels that any other culture other than its own is barbaric considering that Europe and Japan have many similarities despite their differences.

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