Japanese and European Feudalism similarities and differences?

So one of our homework assignments is to write an essay about the similarities and differences in Japanese and European feudalism. I don't have that much since Europe isnt exactly my best subject. Do you guys think you could help me out here? any input is appreciated; thanks a lot in advance guys im kinda stumped

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One Response to “Japanese and European Feudalism similarities and differences?”

  1. shtetl says:

    In Europe people fell into classes that were arranged in this order – Slaves, peasants, ladies and lords (knights) and other nobles, and the king and/or queen. For Japan it was almost the same, despite different names, and I believe one more class. Both feudalists in Japan and Europe hired warriors, either samurai or knights, to help protect a lord’s lands. However, in the west the Pope in Rome could sort of tell the other kings of Europe what to do. There really was no higher authority figure in Japan to look up to. “The legal foundations were, however, very different in the Japanese and European feudal systems: European feudalism was grounded in Roman legal structure while Japan feudalism had as its basis Chinese Confucian morality.” The system of feudalism also lasted longer in Japan than it did in Europe. “Problems with inheritance soon became a critical weakness. When a lord was no longer able to enter into an agreement with his vassal, freely accepted by both parties, then the personal nature of the feudal contract was seriously undermined”. “The centralization of strong lordships, whether as kings (as in England and France) or territorial rulers (as in the Holy Roman Empire), obviously undercut the localization of government so essential to feudalism”. Japanes warriors had to follow the code of Bushido which is similar to the Code of Chivalry which the knights of Europe followed. The Japanese saw their Emperor as a God whereas the Europeans saw their kings and queens as ruling via divine right (i.e. God gave them the right to rule but they are not gods themselves). That should help get you started.