38 terms

Humanities: Feudal Japan and the Mongols

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Feudal system
An order of society in which people are given different levels of power according to their job and status, with reciprocal obligations
Emperor
the nominal ruler over Japan: respected by his people but held little power
Shogun
the most important and powerful figure in feudal Japanese society: in charge of military decisions; was ranked under the emperor, but held more true political power
Samurai
a Japanese warrior (similar to a knight) who worked for the bushi; title means "those who serve," protected their people.
Peasant/serf
A worker who provided food and labor for the estate
Bushido
Meaning 'Way of the warrior', was a strict code of conduct the samurai followed
Ways Japan's geography influenced its developments
cultural diffusion from China, relatively isolated: easier to protect; lots of mountains: difficult to unify, good (but limited) farming land; sea trade
Similarities between European and Japanese fortresses
same primary function (defense) and overall defenses (moats, trapdoors, etc.)
Differences between European and Japanese fortresses
building materials (e.g. stone vs. wood), architectural styles
Primary weapons used by European knights
sword, lance, kite shield
Primary weapons used by samurais
katana, bow and arrow
Material used in Japanese equivalent of chain mail
llamelar
Most important element of bushido
loyalty to lord and family honor
Seppuku
within samurai culture, suicide to restore honor
Buddhism's influence on Japanese culture
artistic developments, garden designs, tea ceremony; syncretized with Shintoism
Shogunate
political system that emerged when the emperor ignored his responsibilities to his people
Bushi
Japanese equivalent to the European noble
Similarities and differences in European versus Japanese helmets (during the feudal era)
similarity: purpose=protection; difference: Japanese helmets had exaggerated facial features, which were meant to personalize their mask but also served as psychological (to strike terror into opponent); different materials
Where did feudalism last longer: Europe or Japan?
much longer in Japan (was finished in Western Europe by the end of the postclassical era)
Describe the key characteristics of Shintoism.
worship of the forces of nature, shrines constructed in dedication to special sites or objects (example: waterfall)
What key cultural influences did Japan borrow from China?
Chinese fashion, dishes, tea ceremony, Chinese characters, music and dance, Buddhism and Confucianism
What is the title of Murasaki's book? Why is it noteworthy?
Tale of Genji; world's first full-length novel, written by a woman; its content gives us insight into court life in postclassical Japan
the military discipline expected of samurais was similar to what classical culture?
Spartans
What traits were samurai expected to embrace off the battlefield?
fine arts: calligraphy, art, poetry, study/embrace Buddhism
Haiku
poetry created in Japan, follows a specific format of syllables per line
Compare women's roles and rights in feudal Europe versus Japan.
Women in Japan were expected to be as tough as the men and had more rights overall compared to European women, who were put on a figurative pedestal.
What lifeway did the Mongols adopt before the rise of the Mongol empire?
pastoralist (nomad)
According to the textbook, what techniques did Genghis Khan use to achieve success in battle?
Imposed strict military discipline, demanded absolute loyalty; highly trained armies with some of the most skilled horsemen in the world; reputation for fierceness; adopted gunpowder to conquer walled cities
Describe the Mongol ruling style.
They were tolerant as long as conquered people paid tribute; respected scholars, artists
What was the Pax Mongolica? What was its impact?
stands for "Mongol peace:" period of stability within the empire; led to economic growth, trade; cultural exchanges
Which Mongol leader defeated China? What key Chinese technology diffused to Western Europe during this time?
Kublai Khan; gunpowder
What was the primary weapon used by the Mongols?
bow and arrow
Describe Genghis Khan's childhood and how it influenced his leadership style.
Genghis Khan had a very difficult childhood (was kidnapped, disowned, etc.). As a result, he punished anyone who wasn't loyal to him but rewarded those who were loyal.
What postclassical civilization shares the most in common with the Mongol Empire, including its rise and ruling style?
Islamic Empire
yurt
collapsible home used by the Mongols, also known as a ger
Describe the rights and roles of Mongol women during the postclassical era.
Women overall had more rights than other postclassical women, and they performed many jobs while their husbands were herding and engaged in warfare
In what three ways were horses used by the Mongols?
transportation, warfare, primary/secondary products (protein, milk, etc.)
reason feudalism emerged in Western Europe versus Japan
similarities: political system broke down, internal conflict and chaos; difference: Western Europe faced outside invaders, while Japan's challenges were internal

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