6 th grade ubd unit 5 japanese society n.
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6 th Grade UBD - Unit 5 – Japanese Society. Japanese Society. Preview.

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  • Under the Shogun- Japan was firmly organized under the Tokugawa shogunate. Under Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate, social status was passed down through families. It was closely tied to military rank or way of earning a living. Members of one social class could not move up to another social class. A person’s social class affected all parts of life.
  • Japanese Cultural Treasures- Under the Tokugawa shogunate, several parts of Japanese culture grew and changed.
reach into your background
Reach Into Your Background
  • For hundreds of years, Japan developed its unique culture with influence from only its closest neighbors, China and Korea. Create a list of five facts you know about Japanese culture today. (5 minutes)
partner activity
Partner Activity
  • Work with a neighbor and compare your answer with theirs. What things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)
key ideas under the shogun
Key Ideas- Under the Shogun
  • The emperor was considered to be descended from the gods but had no political power.
  • The shogun, or supreme military dictator, was the real ruler of the country.
  • Large landowners, or daimyo, controlled local people through samurai warriors who were loyal to them.
  • Peasants made up most of the population and worked the land for the daimyo.
japanese society
Japanese Society
  • The Japanese people believed their emperor was descended from the gods, but by about 400 the emperor was little more than a religious symbol.
key term
Key Term

Emperor- A male leader of an empire or a ruler who has total power in a country or region.

key term1
Key Term

Shogun- The highest-ranking samurai or general who received the title of Shogun for some great victory on behalf of the emperor. 

key term2
Key Term

Daimyo- Regional lords who controlled local territories and had their own group of loyal samurai. All daimyo shared an equal title, but some were more powerful than others.

emperor shogun and daimyo
Emperor, Shogun, and Daimyo
  • Real power was in the hands of the noble families, who often fought each other to gain political control.
emperor shogun and daimyo1
Emperor, Shogun, and Daimyo
  • In 1185, Yoritomo of the Minamoto clan gained power against his rivals and claimed the title shogun: supreme military dictator.
emperor shogun and daimyo2
Emperor, Shogun, and Daimyo
  • The noble families and the shogun relied on the military support of armed warriors called samurai.
  • Samurai were loyal to the shogun or the family they served.
the end of feudalism
The End of Feudalism
  • By the mid-1300s, when the shogun had lost much of his power, Japan developed a feudal system with no central power.
  • Regional lords called daimyo controlled local territories and had their own groups of loyal samurai.
the end of feudalism1
The End of Feudalism
  • The period of 1467–1603 was one of civil war, as daimyo fought each other for wealth and power.
the end of feudalism2
The End of Feudalism
  • A samurai named ToyotomiHideyoshi defeated his rivals and united all of Japan under his rule.
  • However, because he was of peasant birth, he could not become shogun. 
the end of feudalism3
The End of Feudalism
  • Hideyoshi issued a law that made the classes of Japanese society permanent: Samurai were at the top; peasants, who were farmers, were below the samurai; artisans came next; and merchants were the lowest class of society.
the end of feudalism4
The End of Feudalism
  • After Hideyoshi’s death, Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun and won control of Japan.
  • He began the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan for 265 years. 
the end of feudalism5
The End of Feudalism
  • Powerful landowners and samurai were required to live in Edo the capital city every other year.
  • In this way, the shogun ensured that the landowners would not gain regional power and become rivals of the Tokugawa family.
key term3
Key Term

Samurai- A Japanese warrior who was a member of the military upper classes.

key term4
Key Term

Bushido- Or the way of the warrior is the traditional code of the Japanese samurai, stressing honor, self-discipline, bravery, and simple living.

the way of the warrior
The Way of the Warrior
  • Although they had many privileges, the samurai had to live their lives according to a strict code called Bushido, or the way of the warrior.
the way of the warrior1
The Way of the Warrior
  • This code required the samurai to be brave, skilled in battle, loyal, honest, and willing to sacrifice themselves in service of their lord.
  • Samurai were even expected to commit ritual suicide if their daimyo ordered them to. 
the way of the warrior2
The Way of the Warrior
  • The samurai owed loyalty to the emperor, his parents, his master, his teachers, and his friends.
  • By showing such obedience and loyalty, the samurai set an example of ideal citizenship for the lower orders.
creating a samurai sword
Creating a Samurai Sword

Video- Creating a Samurai Sword

code of the samurai
Code of the Samurai

Reading Handout- Code of the Samurai

social rank
Social Rank
  • Families arranged marriages, and women had few rights in marriage.
  • The samurai practiced cultural activities, such as painting, flower arranging, calligraphy, and writing poetry.
social rank1
Social Rank
  • Women who were related to samurai had their own strict rules to follow.
  • A woman of the samurai class was obligated to obey her parents as a child, her husband as a wife, and her sons when they were grown.
social rank2
Social Rank
  • Peasants made up the great majority of the population. They had very little power in society.
  • For example, they were not free to leave their daimyo’s land and seek other work in the towns.
rice in japan s economy
Rice in Japan’s Economy
  • Because the peasants produced food, they were essential to the foundation of the state in feudal Japan.
  • As a result, the shogun and daimyo needed to keep the peasants happy but not allow them to gain too much power.
rice in japan s economy1
Rice in Japan’s Economy
  • Although merchants occupied the bottom of the social structure, many of them became rich by shrewdly buying and selling rice.
  • For all classes, the economy of Japan was based on a rice standard.
  • As Japanese society became more urban, a money economy began to develop.
  • Because daimyo and their samurai needed cash to pay for goods, services, and their luxurious lifestyles, they often found themselves in debt to merchants.
key ideas japanese cultural treasures
Key Ideas- Japanese Cultural Treasures
  • Zen, a Japanese form of Buddhism, was the chosen religion of the samurai class.
  • Woodblock printmaking developed as an art form. It captured the lively city life of the merchant class.
  • Haiku, a traditional Japanese form of poetry, was at its height during the Tokugawa shogunate.

Video- Buddhism

zen buddhism
Zen Buddhism
  • The preferred religion of the samurai was Zen Buddhism, which was a branch of Buddhism.
  • Zen teachers guided their students in meditation through the use of stories, dialogues, and metaphors.
the floating world
The Floating World
  • In Edo and other cities, wealthy merchants developed an art form called ukiyo-e, or “the floating world.”
  • In this form of art, the natural world is shown in brief moments of unreal beauty, such as a snowfall or the blossoming of cherry trees.
17 syllables
17 Syllables
  • Japanese writers also developed new form of poetry called a haiku.
  • A haiku is a poem in 17 syllables, divided into three lines of five, seven, and five syllables.
  • The years of the Tokugawa shogunate were the “golden age” of haiku, but the form is still popular in Japan today.
key term5
Key Term

Haiku- A three-line poem with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. These poems do not rhyme.

how to write a haiku
How to Write a Haiku

Video- How to Write a Haiku

independent activity
Independent Activity
  • Write a short one page story from the perspective of a samurai, a shogun, or a lord about life in feudal Japan.
independent activity1
Independent Activity
  • What has been the “muddiest” point so far in this lesson? That is, what topic remains the least clear to you? (4 minutes)
partner activity1
Partner Activity
  • Work with a neighbor and compare your muddiest point with theirs. Compare what things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)