Knights vs Samurai

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Claudia Breazeale 2-27-15 1st Period WHAP Were the Samurai and Knights Really That Different? As they are both challenging and skilled warriors, a strong comparison can be made between the samurai and the knights. Each group had particular goals and characteristics, but were alike in many aspects. Both parties represented the “ideal” man of each society, the one every man wanted to be. Several similarities and differences can be shown between the knights and the samurai, including feudalism, being guided by a code of honor, education and religion, weapons and armor. Feudalism in both Europe and Japan was similarly structured, as seen in Document A, but there were a few differences. The Samurai would not fight anyone who was inferior to them, therefore making peasants safe, while knights very often attacked peasants and destroyed farms. It was very common, while on the Crusades, to ransack farms for provisions. Lords and Daimyo (basically the same status) built castles for protection, and both the Knights and Samurai were depended on for military service by great landowners. Feudalism in Europe lasted from 800 to 1400, while in Japan it started in 1192 and lasted till 1868. . The codes of honor for both Knights and Samurai are different in that breaking these codes have severely different outcomes, though ethically, both codes of honor are very similar. Both the Samurai and the Knights have a duty to remain loyal to their leaders and keep peace within their respective nations. A Knight’s loyalty to his leader was generally based on a legal contract rather than moral obligation, like a Samurai has. Document E shows that a Samurai devotes his entire life to his duty, while a Knight does not. If a Samurai should break their code, they will be punished or killed, while breaking the code of honor for a Knight will have them disgraced and rarely killed (unless it’s a

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