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Japan’s Social Structure

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  1. Japan’s Social Structure CHY4U Activity 3, Unit 1

  2. Past Conflict • Onin Wars + Warring States Period • Instability • What do people usually want after a period of instability?

  3. Unification Hideyoshi, 1601 portrait Stability desired Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537 – 1598)

  4. Hierarchy • Tokugawa shoguns centralized feudalism* *Feudalism was a land-holding system – daimyo owned the land, peasants (vassals) worked the land. Daimyo could be vassals too, of the shogun. Elisabeth Gaynor Ellis and Anthony Esler, World History: Connections to Today (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001), 327.

  5. Tolerance and Co-Existence Japanese torii (gate) reflects Shintoism Shinto + Buddhism + Confucianism (from China to Korea to Japan in 6th century) + … here comes Christianity with the missionaries World Atlas, Shinto: Japanese Religions, http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/shinto-a-traditional-japanese-religion.html (Sept. 15, 2017).

  6. Confucianism Five key relationships: ruler to subject, father to son, husband to wife, elder to younger, and friend to friend.  • A philosophy that emphasizes order and stability • Family unit is central • Learning is very important to make people into good humans • Emphasizes social “glue” that holds society together in an orderly, moderate way • Not a religion

  7. Women in Japan • Previously had more rights/freedoms • Read The Great Learning of Women by Kaibara Ekken • He was a Confucian scholar who wrote self-help manuals to help make Confucianism more approachable for ordinary people • His wife was a scholar, calligrapher and poet. • Answer: • What was women’s main duty? • Did he want women to be educated?

  8. Welcome Europeans Nanban, southern barbarians • Explorers • Merchants • Missionaries • Jesuits • They are an order of missionaries established by the Catholic Church to spread Christianity to other parts of the world • They were well-educated and somewhat Humanist Wikipedia, NanbanTrade, July 16, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanban_trade (Sept. 15, 2017)

  9. Changes in Relations • How did the Japanese attitude toward outsiders change during the period between 1453 and the 1630s? • In what order were things banned? • What role did the Shimabara Massacre play? (1637-38) • Was the Shogun’s motivation for the edicts based on: • Fear of Christianity threatening traditional Japanese values? • Hatred for foreigners? • Hatred for Christian Japanese? • Power for himself?

  10. 1635 Closed Country Edict 1. Japanese ships are strictly forbidden to leave for foreign countries.  2. No Japanese is permitted to go abroad. If there is anyone who attempts to do so secretly, he must be executed.... 3. If any Japanese returns from overseas after residing there, he must be put to death.  8. All incoming ships must be carefully searched for the followers of padres. 

  11. 1639 Exclusion of the Portuguese 1. The matter relating to the proscription (limitations) of Christianity is known (to the Portuguese). However, heretofore they have secretly transported those who are going to propagate (spread) that religion. 3. While those who believe in the preaching of padres are in hiding, there are incidents in which that country (Portugal) has sent gifts to them for their sustenance (survival).  In view of the above, hereafter entry by the Portuguese galeota (ships) is forbidden. If they insist on coming (to Japan), the ships must be destroyed and anyone aboard those ships must be beheaded....

  12. Vocabulary of Continuity and Change