Political and Social Elements: Japanese vs European Feudalism

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Intro: Feudalism began in Europe during the ninth century, while in Japan developing a similar feudal structure in the eleventh century. European feudalism developed as a way to protect from outside invasions and the Japanese developed it to protect from internal attacks. Despite European and Japanese feudalism differing in the treatment of women during the post-classical era, they were similar in that their political structure of a hereditary caste system and following an honor code, such as the Japanese's code of Bushido and the European's code of chivalry. Body 1: European and Japanese feudalism were similar in that they had a similar political structure of a hereditary caste system. The Japanese classes were the shogun (similar to a king in Europe), who held all the power. Then the daimyo (samurai), who owned the land, (similar to the lords and nobles in Europe), divided their land to the lesser samurais (vassals), and the same to the peasants, artisans, farmers, and merchants (similar to the serfs in Europe). In both Europe and Japan, the hierachy was held together as a land-for-loyalty exchange. The land owned by the vassals were called fiefs, and later developed into manors. Both Japanese and European feudalism was based on mutual obligation, but the Japanese problems of internal attacks led to them begin using a feudal system for military aspects, while the Europeans foreign invasions led to them begin using a feudal system to protect and economically grow. Body 2: European and Japanese feudalism differed in their treatment of women. In Europe, women were given minor responsibilities and were treated respectfully, while in Japan, they were entirely subservient to men. The Europeans expected women to stay at home and be trained in household chores, such as sewing or farming, and did not have a say in who they marry. Unlike the Europeans, the Japanese
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