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Similarities and Differences Between the Cultures of Medieval Japan and Medieval Europe

Were there differences between Medieval Europe and Medieval Japan? Many historians only agree to the many similarities that they both have. However, studies from historical documents at the time show us that Medieval Europe and Medieval Japan had various differences.

Although the similarities between Europe and Japan outnumber the differences, it is still wise to take note of their differences. On difference, for example, is that Europe and Japan incorporated many different building styles and techniques in the construction of their castles. An ancient castle found in East France shows us that Europeans at the time did not care about the artistic detail of their castles. It can also prove that Europeans were more war driven than the Japanese because they did not spend as much time on constructing their castles.

Another difference is that the Japanese named their warriors samurais instead of knights. In Japan, an ancient preserved paper was found that explains to us the life of a samurai. This can be compared to another preserved paper found in Germany which explains the importance of a European knight. As you can see, the documents show us that Japanese warriors were named samurais and European warriors were called knights.

There are numerous similarities between Medieval Japan and Medieval Europe. One of the similarities between them is that they both developed a system of feudalism. Document C shows us that knights pledged their life to defend a lord’s castle, as was common in feudal society. In Japanese feudal society samurais also pledged their life to defend a castle. This proves to us that Medieval Japan and Medieval Europe both ran on a feudal system.

Are there really differences between Medieval Japan and Medieval Europe as well as similarities? An examination of historical documents at the time shows us that in fact they did have various similarities and differences in their cultures. This conclusion is supported by the fact that they both had different building styles, and that they both ran on a feudal system.

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  4. Allison DeFran

    On November 23, 2009 at 11:05 pm


    This information was far too vague.
    You also missed some major points such as the fact that Europe was incredibly patriarchal while women of Japan had a high status (could own land, participate in politics, were able to receive an education, and compete equally with their brothers for share of the land).
    Another thing was that they both had some type of chivalry system.
    You could also mention the difference in the roles of religion.

  5. hibaq egal

    On June 3, 2010 at 2:45 am


    wow that last comment helped me more then this whole article thank you

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