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Feudalism Comparison Japan and Europe

DBQ Feudalism Comparison: Japan and Europe During the Middle Ages
● Students create a Venn diagram with three categories.
● Students will then develop the introduction and 1st body paragraph
● Requirements
o Establish a thesis either stressing the similarities or differences.
o Use information from the documents provided
o Introduce and resolve competing theories. Specifically, provide a discussion for
either points of similarities if differences are being stressed or differences if
similarities are stressed.
Feudalism Documents
Document 1
A Poem by Adalberon, Bishop of Laon, CE 945
“The ecclesiastical order forms one body, but society is divided into three orders. The
nobles are the warriors and the protectors of churches. They defend all the people,
great or small, and as a matter of fact, they protect themselves. The unfree is the other
class. This unfortunate group possesses nothing without suffering. Therefore the City
of God, which is believed to be one, is divided into three: some pray, others fight, and
the others work. These three groups live together and could not endure separation.”
Document 2
The Hundred Article Code of Chosokabe, 1597
6. Lords and vassals, priests and laymen, noble and mean, high and low, must all keep
from allowing the rules of [Buddhism] to suffer disgrace.
7. It should be the primary concern of everyone to train himself unceasingly in military
accomplishment. Those who excel their fellows should be given additional income. The
military code [Bushido] is contained in a separate document.
47. As to fiefs throughout the realm: the crop yield should be apportioned two-thirds to
the vassal samurai and one-third to the farmer.
60. With regard to farmers, foster them solicitously in their official capacity. Do not
require extra taxes and work in addition to the regular exactions from them. But if [the
regular annual tax] comes even a little short, [village elders and landowners will receive
prompt and severe punishment.
Document 3.
Regulations regarding the Takama Market [ichi], 1415
1. The four boundaries of the ichi shall be within the confines of one cho.
2. Anyone who is not a member of this ichi cannot sell or purchase within the confines
of this one cho.
3. Within the marketplace, only samurai and officials connected with the temple shall
be permitted to receive orders and perform their duties.
4. Every year, fees for exhibiting merchandise, and rental for the houses and grounds
must be paid.
Document 4
Aragonese feudal oath of allegiance to the king, c. 12th century C.E.
“We who are as good as you and together are more powerful than you, make you our
king and lord, provided that you observe our fueros (rights) and liberties, if not, not.”
Document 5
Jinno Shotoki, (Chronicle of the Direct Descent of Gods and Sovereigns), by
Kitabatake Chikafusa, a samurai-historian, mid-14th century C.E.
“[After the civil war], it looked as though the emperor would truly rule over the country
again as he had in the past. But Yoritomo’s [first shogun] achievement was without
parallel in history, and it was in fact he who came to exercise total power as he saw fit.
Moreover, since the emperor delegated authority totally to Yoritomo, the emperor’s
own influence declined even more. When Yoritomo, assigned his own feudal
supporters to the various provinces, the authority of the emperor’s provincial governors
was thereby reduced and became merely an empty designation. In addition, the
appointment of the shogun’s stewards to all estates and the other private landholdings
virtually rendered the [centralized imperial] offices meaningless.”
Document 6
Pope Gregory VII, his Dictatus Papae, a papal bull, 1075
1. That the Roman church was founded by God alone.
2. That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal.
8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.
9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.
12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.
19. That he himself may be judged by no one.
25. That he may depose and reinstate bishops.
27. That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.
Document 7
Source: Class zone California
Introduction. Japanese and European feudalism shared a number of similarities—
both in political structure and in social values.
Two Feudal Systems Both the European and Japanese feudal systems developed
as a result of a weak central government. The Japanese emperor had no real power.
After the Frankish king Charlemagne died in 814, most European kings did not have
much power either. Because strong central governments did not exist, individual
landowners were able to gain power in both regions. In Europe, these landowners
were called lords. In Japan, they were called daimyo (DY•mee•OH).
Similar Structures Both lords and daimyo had many peasants working for them.
Farming was the main economic activity on both European and Japanese estates. In
addition, the governments and landowners of both regions relied on professionally
trained soldiers for protection. These soldiers were called knights in Europe. In Japan,
they were known as samurai. In addition, both Europe and Japan had strong military
leaders. As you recall, these military leaders were known as shoguns in Japan.
Similar Values In the feudal systems of both Japan and Europe, personal loyalty was
greatly valued. The military skills of both knights and samurai were also highly valued.
As you read in Lesson 2, knights were expected to follow a code of behavior known as
chivalry. According to this code, knights were kind to the weak, loyal to their lord, and
courageous in battle. The samurai code of behavior was known as bushido. According
to this code, samurai were generous, fearless in battle, and above all, loyal to their
daimyo, or lord.
Culture. Although the feudal systems of Japan and Europe had many similarities, they
also were different. Among the key differences were those involving religion, literature,
and the role of women.
Religion Both knights and samurai were expected to be deeply religious. However, the
two groups of warriors practiced different religions. Knights were Christians.
Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. As you read in Chapter
8, samurai practiced ancient Shintoism as well as a form of Buddhism known as Zen.
Buddhism is based on the teachings of the Buddha.
Literature The literature in feudal Europe and Japan also differed. Poetry thrived in
both Medieval Europe and Medieval Japan. However, the types of poetry that gained
popularity in each land were anything but similar. Poetry called haiku became popular
in feudal Japan. Haiku are short poems that follow a common pattern (three lines with
five, seven, and five syllables per line). Most haiku deal with nature. In Europe, the
epic poem became popular. An epic poem is a long poem usually about warriors or
heroes. The poems often include legends and myths and heroes with superhuman
qualities. Famous European epics include Beowulf and The Song of Roland. Lyric
poetry was also a significant part of European literature. These poems resemble
songs. Most lyric poetry praises women and ideal love. Poet-musicians called
troubadours usually wrote such poems.
Women in Europe While lyric poetry praised women, the role of women in feudal
Europe was limited. Medieval women, for example, often had no say in whom they
married. The woman’s father and future husband often made this decision. In addition,
women were expected to stay at home. They were trained in household chores, such
as sewing, spinning, weaving, and farming.
Women in Japan Women in feudal Japanese society enjoyed more equal status with
men. In samurai families, women were allowed to inherit part of the family’s estate.
Women could also join Buddhist convents. In addition, they were expected to live up to
the values of honor and courage. Often women were trained in the martial arts. In fact,
some women became samurai and fought alongside their husbands. Gradually,
however, the role of women became more restricted.