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Japan’s Warrior Society

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1 Japan’s Warrior Society
By the 1100s, central government was losing control of the empire Local clans fighting for power and land, no law and order Bandits (ronin)roamed countryside, landowners hired armies of samurai, trained professional warriors

2 Feudalism and Samurai Use of samurai, trained professional warriors, developed into feudal warrior society in Japan Similar to feudal system in Europe In exchange for allegiance, military service, noble landowners gave property, payment to samurai

3 Payment for Samurai Unlike in Europe, where knights were usually paid with land grants, only most powerful samurai received land Most paid with food, usually rice

4 Payment for Samurai Those samurai who were given land did not work or live on the land. The samurai’s lands were worked by peasants, who gave the samurai food for payment each year.

5 Warrior Role Main role of samurai, that of a highly skilled warrior
Wore armor, were skilled with many weapons, often fought on horseback Expected to be in fighting form all the time, ready to do battle should need arise

6 Societal Privileges As time passed, samurai rose in status in society, enjoyed many privileges Crowds parted to let them pass when samurai walked down street People dropped eyes out of respect—and fear! Samurai had right to kill anyone who showed disrespect

7 Samurai Code of Ethics Samurai followed strict code of ethics, known as Bushido, “the way of the warrior” Bushido required samurai to be courageous, honorable, obedient and loyal.

8 Samurai Code of Ethics Word samurai means “those who serve;” each had to serve, obey his lord without hesitation, even if samurai, family suffered as result. Samurai who failed to obey, protect his lord was expected to commit seppuku—suicide by ritual disembowelment

9 Discipline Strove to live disciplined lives
Pursued activities requiring great focus, like writing poetry, arranging flowers, performing tea ceremonies

10 Zen Buddhism Many samurai accepted Zen Buddhism
Spread from China to Japan in 1100s Zen stressed discipline, meditation as ways to focus mind, gain wisdom

11 Role of Women Both men, women of samurai families learned to fight
Usually only men went to war. Female samurai had to follow Bushido. Were prepared to die to protect home, family honor.

12 Role of Women Both men, women of samurai families learned to fight
Samurai women honored in Japanese society Could inherit property Allowed to participate in business

13 Rise of the Shoguns For most of the 1100s, Japan had no strong central government. Local nobles, the heads of powerful clans, fought for power.

14 Yorimoto Minamoto family defeated rival clan to become Japan’s most powerful clan 1192, clan leader Minamoto Yoritomo forced emperor to name him shogun, “general,” Japan’s supreme military leader Shogun ruled in emperor’s name

15 Shogun Rule Emperor remained at top of society, but became mere figurehead For nearly 700 years shoguns ruled Japan Yoritomo allowed emperor to hold court at Heian, later known as Kyoto Shogun formed military government at Kamakura

16 Kamakura Shogunate Kamakura Shogunate, military dynasty, ruled Japan until 1333. 1200s, Kamakura Shogunate faced major threat—Mongols.

17 Kamakura Shogunate 1274, again in 1281, large Mongol fleets attacked Japan. Each time Japanese defeated them, with help of powerful storm that wiped out enemy fleet.

18 Weakened Shogunate Japanese referred to storms as kamikaze, “divine wind”; believed they showed that the gods favored Japan. Mongol invasions weakened Kamakura Shogunate.

19 Weakened Shogunate Many lords thought shogun had not rewarded them enough; loyalties broke down. 1338, Shogunate overthrown.

20 Rebellion and Order A new shogunate took power but was too weak to gain control of Japan. With the loss of centralized rule, Japan splintered into many competing factions.

21 Daimyo Numerous local daimyo, powerful warlords with large estates, gained control of territories, battled for power. Daimyo built large fortified castles to defend lands.

22 Fortifications Castles often on hills, protected by walls, surrounded by water. Towns often grew up around them. Daimyo began to use peasants as foot soldiers, samurai on horseback.

23 Firepower 1543, Portuguese introduced firearms.
Daimyo began to arm soldiers with guns. Some samurai refused to use them. Died wielding swords against superior firepower.

24 Ambitious Men Generals Take Control 1500s, three strong daimyo worked to take control of Japan. Oda Nobunaga, first to arm soldiers with guns, defeated opponents easily.

25 Ambitious Men By death in 1582, controlled half of Japan.
Generals Take Control By death in 1582, controlled half of Japan. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Oda’s greatest general, continued efforts. By 1590, he controlled most of Japan

26 Ambitious Men Tokugawa Ieyasu 1600, Tokugawa won decisive battle.
Gained complete control of all Japan. 1603, emperor made Tokugawa shogun. Event began the Tokugawa Shogunate.

27 The Tokugawa Shogunate
Strong Central Government Tokugawa established capital at quiet fishing village, Edo, now Tokyo. Established strong central government. Tokugawa shoguns brought about period of relative unity, peace, stability.

28 The Tokugawa Shogunate
Tokugawa shoguns closely controlled daimyo, who still held local level power. To keep loyal, shoguns required daimyo to live in Edo periodically. Leave families there year-round as “hostages.” Forced daimyo to maintain two residences. Attempt to prevent rebellion.

29 The Tokugawa Shogunate
Prosperity Stability, peace of Tokugawa rule brought prosperity to Japan. Agricultural production rose, population and cities grew. Economic activity increased. New roads linked main cities, castle towns, improving trade.

30 Rigid Feudal System Top of Society:
Under Tokugawa rule, Japan’s strict feudal system became more rigid. At top of society, emperor - only a figurehead. Next was shogun, held real power as military ruler. Below shogun, daimyo—owed shogun loyalty.

31 Rigid Feudal System Ruling Warrior Class:
Under daimyo, samurai who served them. Emperor, shogun, daimyo, samurai made up ruling warrior class. Three Lower Classes: Below ruling warrior class were three classes. Peasants, artisans, merchants.

32 Lower Classes Rules Members of lower classes could not rise in social status. Could not serve in military or government. Could not hold government positions that might challenge power of warrior class.

33 Lower Classes Peasants
Peasants made up vast majority—about 80 percent—of Japan’s population. Forbidden to do anything but farming. Supported selves by growing rice, other crops on daimyo, samurai estates.

34 Lower Classes Honor and Some Status
In Japan, farming considered honorable trade. Peasants enjoyed relatively high status, just below samurai. However, peasants paid most of taxes, led hard lives.

35 Artisans and Merchants
Below peasants were artisans. Artisans often lived in castle towns; made goods like armor, swords. Merchants at bottom of society.

36 Artisans and Merchants
Not honored because did not produce anything. Merchants often grew wealthy. Could use wealth to improve social position.

37 Women During Tokugawa period, women’s status gradually declined
Many led restricted lives Had to obey male head of household absolutely Even samurai class women lost many rights, freedoms

38 Male Samurai Role of male samurai changed Peace put many out of work
Not allowed to engage in trade. Many ronin — masterless samurai — fell on hard times. Some became farmers, others warriors for hire, still others bandits.

39 Relations with the West
The prosperity of the Tokugawa Period went hand in hand with Japan’s increasing contact with Europeans. Initially the Japanese welcomed European traders and missionaries and the new ideas, products and technologies that they brought.

40 Changes Trade with Europe boosted Japan’s economy
Christian missionaries changed Japanese society Many Japanese became Christian; soon samurai could be heard chanting Christian prayers in battle

41 Period of Isolation Over time Tokugawa shoguns grew concerned with spread of Christianity. Began to persecute Christians, kill missionaries Also began to restrict foreign trade, travel.

42 Period of Isolation Banned building large ships.
By 1650, Japan had shut its doors to all Europeans except the Dutch. Japan continued this policy for more than 200 years.

43 Feudal Culture Japan’s growing cities became centers of culture during the feudal period.

44 Art and Literature In art, colorful woodblock prints called Ukiyo-e, “pictures of the floating world,” became popular In literature, realistic stories became popular, as well as form of poetry called haiku Three lines with 17 syllables; many haiku deal with themes of nature, harmony

45 Theater In theater, Noh drama developed, 1300s
Slow-moving Noh plays told stories through use of masks, stylized dance, music 1600s, new type of theatre with more action, plot, humor—kabuki Women initially performed kabuki, but later banned and replaced by men








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