Feudal Hierarchy Essay

1047 Words5 Pages
While hierarchy is often seen as an ancient mode of survival, it has also permeated into many significant facets of the modern-day Asian lifestyle. This particular essay will explore the hierarchy that is the norm in both households and social situations in Japan, all the while also exploring the political and filial hierarchy as well as the significance of the hierarchical structure that is shared with Feudal Europe.
Warring European states adopted feudalism in order to introduce structure and efficiency into the lives of the people during the Middle Ages. It featured serfs, who were managed by the knights, who answered to the lords that were appointed by the kings. While the serfs worked for the knights, and the knights provided protection
…show more content…
Even a system as morally flawed as the Feudal one required a strict adherence of an individual to his borne title, specifically the serf who must always respect the knights, lords and the king simply for the sake of respect for all that they provide for him. This also extended towards higher classes, a Feudal structure would have been futile if the knights did not respect the lords and the king as they swear to protect him and his people. Similarly, the King had to respect his kingdom in order to sustain a prosperous and ever-flourishing kingdom that grew into many European countries that exist today: England, Germany, Belgium. A similar structure not only exists within multi-generational families for the elders in Japan (again highlighting the significant ties to Confucianism and the Confucian dialects) but also for one’s employer or professor (Natsuko, 376). One must have respect for those who provide him with knowledge or opportunity, as ones employer or elders often do. In fact, the necessity for respect has permeated the language itself of Japan, as there exist specific words for this sole purpose. These honorifics exist not only to show respect to one on a greater hierarchical level than oneself, but also to allow oneself to acknowledge their humble place in society (Hymes, 408). Honorifics, while polite, are not optional as they maintain the strict hierarchical structure Japan is built
Open Document