The Contrast of the Heian-Era Courtier and the Kamakura Samurai

2033 Words Apr 22nd, 2011 9 Pages
The Contrast of the Heian-Era Courtier and the Kamakura Samurai
April 29, 2011

The Contrast of the Heian-Era Courtier and the Kamakura Samurai
The major periods that shaped Japan’s history and future were the Heian-era of Aristocracy and the Kamakura period of Samurai. The Heian-era and the Kamakura period are interesting because of their differences in social structure, tradition, and culture. In the Heian era, the aristocrat’s social class was sought by many because of their social and cultural status. When the warrior rise in the Kamakura age the social classes change dramatically between aristocrat and warrior. The Heian-era (794-1191) was an age of self development in Japan’s culture and tradition. Before the Heian-era, Japan
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In 1159, Kiyomori of the Taira clan was victorious over the Minamoto clan. Kiyomori murdered all the adults of the Monamoto clan and forced the children into exile. The emperor rewarded Kiyomori victory by giving him an advisor position in the government. This event was significant because Kiyomori was the first warrior in Japan’s government. Like the Fujiwara family, Kiyomori desired a royal bloodline within the Taira clan. So the Taira clan consorted with the imperial family in efforts to secure an imperial bloodline. Later, Kiyomori obtain a higher government position and more importantly a grandson was born and is heir to the throne. Feeling cheated an imperial prince sought the exiled Minamoto to overthrow the Taria clan. In 1180, Yoritomo of the Minamoto clan formed an army and battled with Taira clan that is known as the Genpei War. Eventually, Kiyomori died and the Taria clan shortly declined after him. During these battles warriors ran amok pillaging the Japan’s cuntryside. To end the chaos and violence the imperial turned to Yoritomo. Yoritomo in return raise an army of samurais and took complete control of the government and transformed it into a military government. The Kamakura government consisted of the emperor, shogun, and the house men. The emperor served merely as a figurehead, he little to no control of his government. The shogun had