Compare And Contrast Japanese And Western Feudalism

562 words - 2 pages

Feudalism was very common political system that was used greatly in the postclassical era. There were significant differences between the Japanese form of feudalism and the western (European) form of feudalism. They were both developed around similar times between the 9th and 12th centuries; nevertheless, they developed into two very distinct forms which contained differences despite their few similarities. Why did they develop differently you might ask? Well, many factors could have influenced this including geography, but a main factor was the influences each civilization had access to.
Comparing these two types of feudalisms brings up many things they had in common. In both types of feudalism, the system was very involved with military. In both the West and Japan, the warrior class was held at the highest regard. Both went through long centuries of brutal internal warfare. These were somewhat based on the feudal loyalties and rivalries. The feudalism system in both of these civilizations had militaristic obligations and ritualized combat, called Bushido in Japan, and chivalry in the west. However, the Japanese and westerns had different opinions about knights committing suicide. In the Japanese culture, suicide was common, and even expected. This was a ritual suicide that had to be performed whenever the warrior, or samurai, was disgraced so they performed this suicide to prove their courage and restore their family’s honor. This suicide practice was called seppuku by the Japanese, but called hari-kari, or belly splitting by the disgusted Westerns. Obviously, Westerns found the process as inappropriate so they did not practice it. Military was a large portion of both Japanese and Western feudalism.
Feudalism wasn’t only based on the militaristic aspect of it, there was more to...

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