In Japan's feudal system, peasants made sure that there was always supplies in the upper class. They made food by farming; Peasants crafted and made clothing.
Although peasants were respected by the upper class, their life wasn't so luxurious like the Emperors. They lived in filth and were the opposite of wealthy.
Power: something that peasants didn't have much of. Peasants might have not gotten to be a shogun and have power over the lower class, but they did have power over merchants. When peasants and artisans worked they made products for the merchants to sell, so if they didn't work, merchants didn't get money from selling.
The peasants had a good relation ship with the upper class, they traded respect for protection. If peasants completed their tasks and pleased the emperor, the samurai would give protection in return and keep the peasant save from other samurai who were dangerous.