Essay on Japanese Feudalism

610 Words Jan 1st, 2007 3 Pages
Compare and Contrast Japanese and Western European Feudal Systems
Both Western Europe and Japan used the feudal system from the 800s to the 1700s. The two regions show economic similarities, but differ greatly with respect to politics and society.
Economically, Western Europe and Japan were similar. Both economies had systems which regulated trade. The Guild Regulations for Sharers of Arras details the rules and regulations of the shearing trade in the Holy Roman Empire in 1236. Japanese governments also had strict regulations and codes of conduct for their markets, or ichi, as shown by the Regulations reguarding the Takama Market. Trade was regulated by guilds in Western Europe and governmental codes in Japan. Japanese and Western
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Socially, feudal Japan and Western Europe were different in the 800 to 1700 time frame. First off, Japan had more social classes than Western Europe. According to a conversation between Tokugawa Ieylasu and his ally Honda in the 1600s in Japan, there were separate classes for warriors, farmers, commoners, artisans, and merchants. In a poem by Adalberon, a Roman Catholic Bishiop from France in 945, he names three classes, the nobles, serfs and the holy peoples. Japanese records show greater segregation and differences between their many classes, whereas European writings show three basic classes. Serfs in the two different regions were also treated differently. Adalberon (a Roman Catholic Bishiop from France in 945) spoke about the inevitability and inability to improve the suffering of serfs in Western Europe. The Hundred Article Code of Chosokabe, which was the code of a feudal Japanese clan in 1597, emphasized compassion and hospitality towards the serfs by creating general guidelines in their protection. An interesting and effective extra document would be in the voice of a Japanese serf, showing if these regulations were truly obeyed. Western Europeans saw serfdom as some thing that could not be helped, while Japan tried to accommodate and assist the serfs in their culture. Japan and Western Europe differed socially in respect to the social…

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