Influence of the Samurai on Modern Japanese Society Essay

1730 Words 7 Pages
Introduction
Throughout History, there have been many different groups or events that are still widely known today. Groups of people such as the Indians or Vikings are popular groups which are referenced constantly in today’s society. However, none of these groups is more known or referenced than the Japanese Samurai. Originating in 646 AD, these Japanese warriors developed from a loose organization of farmers to the dominant social class in Feudal Japan. Along with their dominant military and political standing, the samurai brought with them a unique code or moral belief that became the core of Samurai culture. Because of this, the Samurai and their principles still affect modern day Japanese society with social customs today deriving
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By the 900’s, the Japanese government began losing control over rural areas due to its weak ruler and the samurai warrior class stepped in to take control. This was due to a civil war called the “Hogen Rebellion” in 1156. This rebellion was due to conflicts regarding Imperial Japanese succession and unexpectedly laid the groundwork for the samurai clans to gain dominance. With both “would-be emperors” losing the Hogen Rebellion, the imperial government of Japan lost all of its remaining power. This led to the Heiji Rebellion in 1160 which was fought between two samurai clans, the Minamoto and Taira. With the victory of the Taira clan, the first samurai-led government (Shogunate) was formed. This type of government was controlled by the samurai clans, and the Emperor of Japan was only used as a figurehead to the government.
With the new dominance of the samurai, it faced many problems relating to any government. Rebellion and civil unrest were not uncommon, and throughout the superiority of the Samurai, there were many different periods of rule, each facing their own dilemmas. Attacks from external threats such as the Mongols among other things, weakened samurai rule and at a certain point, Japanese imperial rule regained power. As samurai rule continued, internal problems such as disloyalty among officials caused instability in their government. Regional officials called Daimyo’s were ignoring orders from the Shogun (head of government) and supported…