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 for the lords, there also existed a sense of reciprocity in that the lord had to provide for the knights, who, in return, would give shelter and food to the peasants. While this system seems fair in theory, it placed the majority of the society in the “serf” category to provide for the kingdom while a select few decided the fate of nations.
Contemporary Japan is revered for its modern advances and its well-earned international standing as an economic and technological superpower. Keeping this in sight, it seems almost counter-intuitive that this nation holds the hierarchical structure of society in as great a regard as did the kings of feudal systems across Europe. However, the ideals adopted across most of Eastern Asia were heavily impacted by Confucius ideals, and hierarchy is no exception to them (Influence of Confucian values, 87). Tokugawa adopted these ideals for the same reason as feudal Europe: in order to instill structure into society. Therefore, the Confucian ideals implemented s...
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While Japan and Feudal Europe are not only distanced by great physical boundaries, but also a great time gap, it seems highly unlikely that two periods could hold much in common. Nonetheless, it must be noted that both Japan and the Middle ages held a great prosperity for the people and created great kingdoms. However, it was after the Middle Ages that free thought and great thinking began to gain momentum. Japan, while following the hierarchical structure it was built upon, has harbored great creativity as well as technological advancements. Simply, the preservance of a structure is dependent upon the people, as the kings hoped to keep the peasants in check, the Japanese hope to respect all who they must in order to preserve harmony and a structure that respects the great Confucian who brought about prosperity and greater respect for traditions in society.
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