The Rise of a Military Society
Japan developed a complex military using a philosophy known as feudalism, or the Lord-Vassal System. A Daimyo was a, "Japanese lord with large landholdings and a private samurai army, who paid no taxes to the government"(World History Textbook, Pg. 267). These Daimyo gifted samurai with land and protection in return for eternal loyalty. This was known qas feudalism.
The shogun was the commander-in-chief, and held a position similar to a general. The shogun was the strongest Daimyo and lead Japan's armies during battle. Due to feudalism, the amount of samurai increased, resulting in Japan having a large population of trained warriors. This helped develop Japan's powerful military.
Samurai Armor, Weapons, and Fighting
Samurai wore many layers of armor while fighting. As shown in the pictures below, a samurai's armor was made of metal plates, strong enough to block an enemy blow, but flexible enough to allow the samurai to fight back. Samurai often wore complex and scary maskes to try and intimidate their opponent.
A samurai's main weapon was their sword. Samurai usually carried two swords, a long, curved one for weakening his opponent, and a short sword for finishing the job. If a samurai lost his weapon in battle, he is trained to adapt, and could continue fighting with items he finds nearby.
Training in Writing, Literature, and Tea Ceremony
Around the year 400, the Japanese started using Chinese characters, to write Japanese words. Today, Japanese consists of a mixture of letter and characters. Japan is famous for the Haiku. A Haiku is a Japanese poem, containing 17 syllables, arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5. Matsuo Basho was a poet who is said to have mastered the art of Haiku. He wrote about nature and love, while his work can still be found today.
Samurai learned to write using calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing. Shown below is calligraphy. Calligraphy was made of actually words, but was sometimes written so fancy, that it was hard to read, and became a decoration.
A traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony was run by a Tea Master. To enter, one must crawl, because the door is only small enough. The tearoom was simple, decorated with scroll paintings, and flower arrangements. The Tea Master then made the Tea, and served to his guests one at a time. Everything about the Tea ceremony was perfect and precise
Amida Buddhism is a belief system in which everyone could reach paradise. Amid a was an Indian prince. Legend says that he set up a western paradise called the Pure Land. According to Amida Buddhism, you could enter the Pure Land by repeating Amida's name up to 70,000 times each day.
Zen Buddhism emphasized effort, and discipline. Unlike Amida, Zen Buddhism stressed salt-reliance and achieving enlightenment through meditation. According to Zen Buddhism, becoming enlightened required giving up everyday, logical thinking. Samurai pondered puzzling questions known as koans.
Samurai especially like Zen Buddhism, because it focused on inner peace, rather than salvation. Many believed that reaching a state of inner peace would result in better luck, or help in battle.
Women in Samurai Society
Around the 12th century, women were praised for all the work that they did. Why one their husbands were away, wives learned to be samurai, in order to protect their families. Women were highly respected for all the work they did.
However, at time went on, the status of women decreased. In the 17th century, women were treated like slaves. It was expected that wives wake up early, stay up late, and work to please their husband and household. Women were taken advantage of