Europe and the World: Rise of Samurai & Japanese Unification (very scattered)

Japan: From Rise of Samurai to Tokugawa Japan 1185-1868. Samauri means to serve. Purpose, Part 1: discuss the rise of a military aristocracy in Japan. Part II: discuss the successful unification of japan by this militaristic aristocracy. Historical context: Before 794 Imperial government of Japan located in Nara. This changed in 794 with the Emperor Kanmu had an imperial city established way from Nara called Heian-Kyo. (kyoto was very badly damaged during WWII. This began the so-called, “Heian Period’ of Japanese history. (794-1185) like ancient Rome in terms of analogy- sometimes almost parallels British history-feudal, classical period) Get Court favorites and their families dominate ascendance of the Imperial Court. Taira; Fujivana, “If you want to be important become a Taira, everyone else is irrelevant. But social inequalities become even sharper. Between the aristrocts in Heian-kyo and the commoners.

Unification on Japan: Oda Nobunaga started it, the unification: he made the cake. Toyotom Hideyosi put together and organized the unification: baked it. Tokugawa: truly unified Japan & reaped the rewards…he got to eat the cake. Tokugawa ordered an Isolation Period for Japan. For 200 years no outers were allowed in. You can’t influence people if you aren’t anywhere near them.

(Smells were very important to Japanese. Why are the shower and bathroom in the same place = nasty thought.)

Social inequalities will undermine the system. (why am I surrounded by all these smelly peasants.)


Shoen: tax free land. what would be consequence: a lot of people will want it. no money will come in for government. Wealthiest people in Japan get tax free land. Rise of military, power shifts slowly away from Hein to military constables living outside of the city, what is the logic of this. Bankruptcy expand so they join military constables = Rise of Samurai. Getting more wealth and more numbers by attracting more men. Undermine by tax system. Joe farmer needs to work so he goes to people who have land and will give him money. Previously order maintained by court official. (a warrior is a person who fights for himself, a soldier fights for a group.) The violence had to have a code, said ninja.

Heian government. Seeds to rise of Samurai: Providing tax free land to Aristocrat Court favorites. Decreased revenues available. Tax burdens places on those unable to carry them. Heavily influenced by Buddhism. Bankruptcy, peasants forced into as result of tax burden, Heian government did nothing to relieve distress. Many forced to join private armies of constable in order to feed their family. (we are in classical period before collapse.)  Law & Order ‘Sub-Contracted out’ to these constables (Essentially privatized) Heian Government becomes more dependent on these constables. These constables begin to organize their retainer: Granting them shown in exchange for loyalty, developing codes to govern their relations with them, feudal obligations arise between constables and their retainers: Considered themselves servants, emergence of Samurai. Samaru= to serve. “I need to organize this violence, I need to organize this loyalty.” If your master says jump- you say in which direction & how high. You don’t take your sword out unless you are going to use it.”

Spark. The spark conflicts within the imperial family resulted in civil war. Otherwise known as Gampei War (1180-1185).

Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199) Whoever had most land and most retainers dominated. Supported one of the Imperial faction. Shogun: Japanese dictator…in case of disaster, that was the scenario which shogun would be called for. Japan new militaristic Aristrocracy. The minute his is given title= completion of Samaurai Revoluion- Shogun. Successful in the Civil War.

‘Tent Government’ or Bakufu to manage his relations. Three officials who will run his feudal territory (katana?) which just happens to be all of Japan. de facto (in reality, in fact) power in Japan. Imperial Court as puppets of the Bakufu and is Warlord? Simplistic.

The emperor had to die first before he got the title: Shogun. Then it became and inherited position. If you wanted power, create a town. Move to Kamakura- Kamakura Shogunate (11850-1333). Samuari Period (1185-1868) Undermining- Mongol Invasion, invaded Japan at least four times. Increasing dissatisfaction results in revolt. Revolt: Samurai warlord Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1358) sent to suppress result. He joins Rebels. Established Ashikagao Shogunate. Emperor is still in power. (1336-1467). Emperor/Shogun, titles are still there if the titles hold no power. 1467 Ashikag Shogunate begins to deteriorate. Real power is in warlords beginning to show up and power from Shogun disintegrates to them… to Samurai. These Samurai called: Daimyo, fought each other Sengoku- the era of these so called warring clans. From 1467-1600 is period of constant unrelenting warfare. There was a need to unify Japan. Ironic Synergy/Empty Suit.


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