ESPIRIT on Japan
  • Public works such as regulated tax collection is installed by Daimyos.
  • Major growth in the hemp, paper, silk, dye, and vegetable oil industries.
  • Guilds (Economic benefits to members)
  • Powerful merchants connected markets throughout the islands and China.
  • People were encouraged to settle unoccupied areas
  • Peasants turned to Buddhist monks for guidance and Buddhist magic for luck changes.
  • Aristocrats followed certain rules of etiquette; Beauty and social status were important
  • Members of the Imperial household lived in complex palaces with grand gardens: (sliding panel doors, wooden walkways, ponds and small lakes with waterfalls)
  • Poetry had a great impact on society; poems were written on scented paper
  • Lady Murasaki wrote The Tale of Genji
  • Women often wrote poems and played instruments since they were expected to be as “cultured” as males.
  • Bushi: administered law, supervised projects, collected revenue, and built their own armies
  • Samurai-protected their (lord) emperor- Loyal to local landlords
  • Seppuku- traditional samurai suicide; when a mission is failed or they show cowardice on the battlefield they must perform this ritual.
  • Japan was moving out of a civilized life and into barbarism
  • Peasants were often upset with their conditions, and revolted just as often.
  • Women could not own land or have an income throughout the period of the Daimyos. Women were given as brides in order to strengthen alliances.
  • If they dishonored their family, like by being raped, they had to commit suicide.
  • In theaters, men were trained to impersonate women when playing female parts because women weren't allowed out of the house. (No female’s could be “cultured”)
  • Taika reforms- Enforced by the emperor in 646 to reform Japan along China's guidelines.
  • Reforms were meant to build a professional bureaucracy and a large, peasant conscript army, like in Han and Tang China.
  • Changes were difficult to enforce as aristocratic families and Buddhist monastic orders resisted the reform.
  • Emperor Kammu built the new capital Kyoto in 794 CE
  • Buddhist monasteries were banned within the city; Monks built monasteries in the hills and eventually gained influence within anyway.
  • Monks broke the Taika reforms and restored the aristocrats to power; Reclaimed positions in the central government as advisors and high officials, etc.
  • Local leaders had to build up the military with their own individual militias.
  • Local lords and retainers lived inside their fortresses to protect themselves from attack
  • Lords had slowly gained power, eventually dominating the aristocrats and reducing their court’s power.
  • The Taira controlled the emperor and dominated the court.
  • The Minamoto established the bakufu: a military government that had more power than the emperor (shoguns = military leaders)
  • Hojo- dominated the Kamakuras; Left the Minamoto shoguns in power
  • Ashikaga Takuaji- Led a revolt to overthrow the Bushi and founded the Ashikaga Shogunate (1336 – 1573 CE)
  • War broke out from 1467 – 1477 CE and Japan fragmented into 300 kingdoms, each ruled by Daimyos. (War was still commonplace)
  • Japan development was based off of a adapted from Chinese culture
  • Confucianism was also borrowed, but played a far smaller role than Buddhism.
  • Trading with China provided major resources that were vital to the stability of Japan’s economy.
  • Gempei Wars forced peasants into battle or made them victims of it; often losing farmland.
  • Japan adopted many of the political and religious customs of Chinese Dynasties; specifically the Han and Tang.
  • Buddhism’s spread also allowed individual cultures to meld together; Japanese influence increased.
  • Kami, natural spirits of Japan, began to merge with Buddhism as more and more people began practicing and worshiping at Buddhist temples/shrines.
  • Buddhism’s spread could not be quelled due to its popularity amongst the people and it’s role in gov’t.
  • Zen Buddhism was revived
  • Renewed trade with China led to s revival of Chinese influence in Japan
  • Japanese artists masterfully captured Japan’s scenery.
  • Japanese scholars could not master Chinese characters
  • Chinese characters offered no resemblance to Japanese writing/language so the style was not adopted across the board.
  • Drafted animals
  • Elaborate and elegant Castles, Irrigation systems, and bridges
  • Ashikaga shoguns constructed Golden and Silver Pavilions to be used in Kyoto.

Comparing Feudalisms Summary
Feudalism was an influential system in Western Europe and Japan in which government developed from securing power through loyalties. Western Europe and Japan had aristocratic rulers who were the highest lords; who controlled the lesser lords who controlled the peasantry. Through control of the peasantry, the upper classes and monarchs had consolidated their power. All those who lived in a feudalistic society followed the socioeconomic hierarchy on the chain of classes. A monarch’s instructions went down the chain, while complaints moved in the opposite direction. Feudalism proved to be a stable system due to this ability for everyone to communicate. European feudal nations and Japan had militant attitudes, and because feudalism was land based, war would often break out between neighbors and rivals. Codes of honor – chivalry in Europe and bushido in Japan - rose because of this constant warfare. European landlord’s suffered and fought more because European Feudalism revolved around constant territorial feuds (haha). An obvious example of the former feudal lords’ power was the forced signing of the Magna Carta by King John. Military officials in Europe often fought wars to display their might and gain prestige. In Japan, warfare caused internal problems with control of the samurai class. Samurai were the warrior class whose duty was typically to protect their landlord from danger. Landlords could rest assured knowing his samurai would keep his property and himself safe. Without samurai, landlords were defenseless and those with more samurai warriors were more likely to win battles. The capitalist societies in Europe and Japan today may well have developed from the semi-centralized relationships during the feudal era.

Chinese Influences and Unique Developments

Borrowed From China
· Bureaucratic system
· Confucianism
· Simpler version of Chinese characters
· Zen Buddhism; shrines, temples, etc.
· Personal relationships
· More social mobility
· Potential not determined at birth
· Socioeconomic feudalism
· Shogun(military leaders)/Samurai (warrior class)
· Bushi
· Bushido – code of honor; virtue
· Seppuku – Samurai suicide ritual
· Art with a nature motif
· Metal working
· Buddhism +Confucianism
· Language/Alphabet (oral/written)
· The Bureaucracy
· Law Code of Han dynasty
· Tribute system
· Buddhism > Confucianism (popularity)
· Aristocracy held most power; high officials
· Chinese characters
· Bureaucracy
· Architecture
· Against Chinese control/influence
· Women’s rights; more personal freedom

China was vital to the development of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam and established their societies. Bureaucracies were modeled after the typically successful Chinese bureaucratic system. Japan borrowed the most from the Chinese, adapting a bureaucratic government, Confucianism and Buddhism, and their language. Buddhism was popular in Japan’s lower classes, while the aristocrats considered themselves Confucian scholars. Japan made efforts to mirror Chinese society, but still had unique attributes. Such as allowing more social mobility not based solely on your socioeconomic standings at birth. Feudalism in Japan nearly mirrored that of Western Europe in the Dark Ages except land contracts weren’t written. Bushi (military warriors) were used to establish law and supervise public works. Samurai defended feudal lords and/or waged war for them depending on the goal in mind. Korea took the bureaucratic system, Confucianism and Buddhism, and the Chinese alphabet. In Korea, Buddhism was far more popular than Confucianism. Unlike the Japanese, the Vietnamese made efforts to shun Chinese practices; their government (bureaucracy), architectural style, and language still found its’ way into the civilization. Vietnamese women enjoyed more common rights and freedoms than any of the other three societies. China’s influence is reflected in the development of Japn, Korea, and Vietnaam.