How did Feudalism develop in Japan? • Before feudalism, Japan was inhabited by many different clans. The clans fought each other frequently. This meant their lives were lived in fear of attack. • Japan’s first emperor was established when he was able to unite the clans in the 6th century. • By the 9th century the emperor still existed and now kept himself safe by surrounding himself with loyal nobles (daimyo) and their warriors • As these nobles gained wealth, independence and strength they became rivals to the emperor as they wanted his position • By the 12th century there were lots of wars again as the fight for control raged
How did Feudalism develop in Japan? • The winner of these wars became Japan’s first shogun in 1192. The emperor lost his real powers to the shogun but remained an important figurehead for the Japanese people. • The Edo Period was a time in which one family, in fact 15 generations ruled for 264 years; the Tokugawa family. Tokugawa Ieyasu took the title of shogun in 1603 and ruled with strict controls.
Tokugawa Ieyasu and his rule• Ieyasu had 260 daimyo under him and he knew he needed to control them or he may lose his position. He divided them into 3 groups: his relatives, allies and former enemies.• Together he and his family owned one third of Japan’s land. His loyal followers and family were given land near the capital, Edo and regions that were important for trade or defence. Less trustworthy daimyo (lords) were placed at the fringes of Edo, surrounded by Ieyasu’s supporters.• He also made each swear loyalty to him and if they rebelled he would confiscate their land and give it to someone else!• Each daimyo had a certain amount of authority, they had registers of the peasant’s lands and collected taxes at a set rate – this provided farmer’s with security and protection in exchange for their taxes.
From 1653 Ieyasu enforced the daimyo to obey him in a cunning way…• The daimyo were ordered to spend every other year in Edo (the capital) and when they returned to their lands their wives and children stayed behind as hostages!• The expense of maintaining two homes and organising impressive processions to and fro meant that they did not have money spare to start rebellions.• They had to also give military service and supplies, in times of peace they had to provide labour and materials for the shogun’s building projects. The shogun had to give permission for them to marry off their daughters, extend their castles or build a ship!
Peace• Because of Ieyasu’s strict rules and controls Japan found itself in an extended period of peace.• The samurai continued to practice their military skills in theory but also began to focus on the arts such as the tea ceremony, literature and philosophy. They honoured bushido but many became fat, lazy and in debt as they gambled to pass the time!