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6th Grade UBD - Unit 5 – Japanese Society.  Under the Shogun- Japan was firmly organized under the Tokugawa shogunate. Under Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate,

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Presentation on theme: "6th Grade UBD - Unit 5 – Japanese Society.  Under the Shogun- Japan was firmly organized under the Tokugawa shogunate. Under Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate,"— Presentation transcript:

1 6th Grade UBD - Unit 5 – Japanese Society

2  Under the Shogun- Japan was firmly organized under the Tokugawa shogunate. Under Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate, social status was passed down through families. It was closely tied to military rank or way of earning a living. Members of one social class could not move up to another social class. A person’s social class affected all parts of life.  Japanese Cultural Treasures- Under the Tokugawa shogunate, several parts of Japanese culture grew and changed.

3  For hundreds of years, Japan developed its unique culture with influence from only its closest neighbors, China and Korea. Create a list of five facts you know about Japanese culture today. (5 minutes)

4  Work with a neighbor and compare your answer with theirs. What things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

5  The emperor was considered to be descended from the gods but had no political power.  The shogun, or supreme military dictator, was the real ruler of the country.  Large landowners, or daimyo, controlled local people through samurai warriors who were loyal to them.  Peasants made up most of the population and worked the land for the daimyo.

6  The Japanese people believed their emperor was descended from the gods, but by about 400 the emperor was little more than a religious symbol.

7 Key Term Emperor- A male leader of an empire or a ruler who has total power in a country or region.

8 Key Term Shogun- The highest-ranking samurai or general who received the title of Shogun for some great victory on behalf of the emperor.

9 Key Term Daimyo- Regional lords who controlled local territories and had their own group of loyal samurai. All daimyo shared an equal title, but some were more powerful than others.

10  Real power was in the hands of the noble families, who often fought each other to gain political control.

11  In 1185, Yoritomo of the Minamoto clan gained power against his rivals and claimed the title shogun: supreme military dictator.

12  The noble families and the shogun relied on the military support of armed warriors called samurai.  Samurai were loyal to the shogun or the family they served.

13  By the mid-1300s, when the shogun had lost much of his power, Japan developed a feudal system with no central power.  Regional lords called daimyo controlled local territories and had their own groups of loyal samurai.

14  The period of 1467– 1603 was one of civil war, as daimyo fought each other for wealth and power.

15  A samurai named Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeated his rivals and united all of Japan under his rule.  However, because he was of peasant birth, he could not become shogun.

16  Hideyoshi issued a law that made the classes of Japanese society permanent: Samurai were at the top; peasants, who were farmers, were below the samurai; artisans came next; and merchants were the lowest class of society.


18  After Hideyoshi’s death, Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun and won control of Japan.  He began the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan for 265 years.

19  Powerful landowners and samurai were required to live in Edo the capital city every other year.  In this way, the shogun ensured that the landowners would not gain regional power and become rivals of the Tokugawa family.

20 Key Term Samurai- A Japanese warrior who was a member of the military upper classes.

21 Key Term Bushido- Or the way of the warrior is the traditional code of the Japanese samurai, stressing honor, self-discipline, bravery, and simple living.

22  Although they had many privileges, the samurai had to live their lives according to a strict code called Bushido, or the way of the warrior.

23  This code required the samurai to be brave, skilled in battle, loyal, honest, and willing to sacrifice themselves in service of their lord.  Samurai were even expected to commit ritual suicide if their daimyo ordered them to.

24  The samurai owed loyalty to the emperor, his parents, his master, his teachers, and his friends.  By showing such obedience and loyalty, the samurai set an example of ideal citizenship for the lower orders.

25 Video- Creating a Samurai Sword

26 Reading Handout- Code of the Samurai

27  Families arranged marriages, and women had few rights in marriage.  The samurai practiced cultural activities, such as painting, flower arranging, calligraphy, and writing poetry.

28  Women who were related to samurai had their own strict rules to follow.  A woman of the samurai class was obligated to obey her parents as a child, her husband as a wife, and her sons when they were grown.

29  Peasants made up the great majority of the population. They had very little power in society.  For example, they were not free to leave their daimyo’s land and seek other work in the towns.

30  Because the peasants produced food, they were essential to the foundation of the state in feudal Japan.  As a result, the shogun and daimyo needed to keep the peasants happy but not allow them to gain too much power.

31  Although merchants occupied the bottom of the social structure, many of them became rich by shrewdly buying and selling rice.  For all classes, the economy of Japan was based on a rice standard.

32  As Japanese society became more urban, a money economy began to develop.  Because daimyo and their samurai needed cash to pay for goods, services, and their luxurious lifestyles, they often found themselves in debt to merchants.

33  Zen, a Japanese form of Buddhism, was the chosen religion of the samurai class.  Woodblock printmaking developed as an art form. It captured the lively city life of the merchant class.  Haiku, a traditional Japanese form of poetry, was at its height during the Tokugawa shogunate.

34 Video- Buddhism

35  The preferred religion of the samurai was Zen Buddhism, which was a branch of Buddhism.  Zen teachers guided their students in meditation through the use of stories, dialogues, and metaphors.

36  In Edo and other cities, wealthy merchants developed an art form called ukiyo-e, or “the floating world.”  In this form of art, the natural world is shown in brief moments of unreal beauty, such as a snowfall or the blossoming of cherry trees.

37  Japanese writers also developed new form of poetry called a haiku.  A haiku is a poem in 17 syllables, divided into three lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

38  The years of the Tokugawa shogunate were the “golden age” of haiku, but the form is still popular in Japan today.

39 Key Term Haiku- A three-line poem with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. These poems do not rhyme.

40 Video- How to Write a Haiku

41  Write a short one page story from the perspective of a samurai, a shogun, or a lord about life in feudal Japan.

42  What has been the “muddiest” point so far in this lesson? That is, what topic remains the least clear to you? (4 minutes)

43  Work with a neighbor and compare your muddiest point with theirs. Compare what things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

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