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Word Count: 543
Comparing European and Japanese Feudalism Originating in the seventh century feudalism was used as the primary source of political social and economic organization by both Europe and Japan Monarchs without money strength or power to rule their lands began giving portions of land to trustworthy retainers In return retainers guaranteed that smaller pieces of territory would be governed and the production of crops would go smoothly The retainers further divided the land to the commoners who worked it in return for their protection European feudalism and Japanese feudalism were very similar although one emerged earlier than the other Feudalism first emerged in the Early Middle Ages in the Frankish lands Japanese feudalism emerged in the 12th century This allows one to conclude that Japanese feudalism was highly influenced by European feudalism politically socially and economically The political aspects of these systems were similar because both systems were decentralized The king or emperor was merely a figurehead who had little political power Most of the power was in the hands of those that own the land Instead of any centralized government the lords dispensed their own justice minted their own money levied taxes and demanded military service The role of the commoners was to obey their lord They did not actively take part in society The social structures of feudalistic Japan and Europe are related At the top of the social pyramid was the king or emperor Immediately after him were the higher warriors or clergy who own most of the land Next were vassals or lower warriors that served the higher warriors At the very bottom were the commoners such as farmers serfs and artisans who served their leaders There were many similarities between the knights of Europe and the Samurai of Japan Being warriors both had a very high position in society Their style of fighting on horseback with swords was alike To become a great warrior each had to train from boyhood
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