Compare and Contrast
Intro: Although the big empires, Europe and Japan were really successful feudalist empires and both had some similarities and differences during the 9th to 13th century, which made them unique empires in the world. Both of the empires have a similar concept of elite warriors, different treatment of women during the post-classical era, and a similar political structure of a hereditary caste system, which were the main reasons they became successful empires. Body Paragraph#1: Both the Europeans and the Japanese had successful warriors that helped them succeed.
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In both feudal Japan and Europe, constant warfare made warriors the most important class. Called the “Knights” in Europe and “Samurai” in Japan, the warriors served their local lords. In both cases, Knight and Samurais were bound by a code of ethics. Knights were supposed to agree to the concept of Chivalry, while the Samurai were bound by the Bushido, or “The way of the warrior. ” Both Knight and Samurai rode horses into battles, used swords, and wore armor.
The European armor, which was worn by the knights, was usually all metal, made of chain, or plate metal. Japanese armor was made out of leather, silk and metal plates. European Knights were limited to less movement due to their armors; for example, they needed help to get on their horses. Samurai, in contrast, went with lightweight armor that allowed them quickness and freedom to do more activities than the Knights, but the Samurai had much less protection than European knights.
Both had advantages and disadvantages that would make them a powerful force against other civilizations in combat. Body paragraph#2: European and Japanese feudalism differed in the way they treated their women. In Europe, women were responsible for certain activities and were also treated with respect, while in Japan, they were entirely serving men. The European women were expected to stay home and be trained in household chores, such as farming or sewing, and they didn’t have an option to chose who they want to marry.
On the other hand, the Japanese women held a more equal status as Japanese men. For example, the Japanese women were allowed to inherit part of their family’s estate and some women even became Samurais. The use of a feudal system in Japan affected their women by becoming more equal, while in Europe, they were only valued for their work and what they did. Women enjoyed a higher role and status in Japan at the time, due to the feudal system.
Body paragraph#3: European and Japanese feudalism was similar in that they had a parallel political structure of a hereditary caste system. The Japanese classes were the shogun, similar to a king in Europe, who held all the power in the empire. The daimyo (Samurai), who owned the land, were similar to the lords and nobles in Europe, who divided their land to the lesser Samurais (vassals), and the same to the peasants, artisans, farmers, and merchants, who were similar to the serfs in Europe.
In both Japan and Europe, the hierarchy was held together as a land-for-loyalty exchange. The land owned by the vassals were called fiefs, and later developed into manors. Both Japanese and European feudalism was based on mutual obligations, but the Japanese problems of internal attacks led the use the feudal system for military purposes, while the Europeans foreign invasions began using a feudal system to protect and make their economy stronger.
Conclusion: Both of the empires have a similar concept of elite warriors, different treatment of women during the post-classical era, and a similar political structure of a hereditary caste system, which were the main reasons they became successful empires. Europe and Japan were both powerful forces during the post-classical era due to their strong warrior class, which allowed domination in warfare against other countries. Overall, the feudal system helped both empires succeed during the postclassical period, 500-1450.