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The Shogun Dynasty

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 21, 2001

The term Shogun means general. Later, it refered to the leader of the Shogunate (Samurai's government). From 1192-1867, the Shogun ruled Japan. The Emperor reigned but did not rule. The Shoguns were a type of warlords that governed providences and states as a type of Japanese check and balance of the 16th century. The name of that form of government was called Shogunate. The Shogunates ruled as a military dictatorship for over a span of almost 700 years: they fought the Mongolians in 1281, fought in a civil war during 1467-1477, fought for Osaka in 1615, and saw Commodore Perry in 1853.

The samurai are one of the most reconizable and most renowned warriors of the ancient times. They were members of a unique military class called the Japanese warriors. They emereged and grew more and more important during the Heian period (794-1185) when powerfull land owners hired them for their personal saftey and protection of their property. In the later times of the Heian period the most powerful military families, the Minamoto and Taira, had taken over political power over Japan and fought wars and battles for supremacy. When shogun Minamoto Yoritomo established a new government in Kamakura in 1192, the shogun (the highest military officer) became the ruler of Japan.

The samurai were pinacled at the top of the social hierarchy and had many privilages. On the other hand, they were supposed to set a good example for the lower classes by following the principles of Bushido (the way of the warrior). The samurai's most important principles or duties were to be loyal to his master, use self-discipline and respect and also to use ethical behaviour. After a defeat or other dishonourable event many of the saurai chose to commit suicide by cutting their abdomen with a sword in order to preserve their honour. Such ritual suicide is called seppuku or harakiri.

During the Edo period, which was mainly a peaceful time, most samurai had no motive or need to fight or do battle. In light of their situation many of the samurai chose to dedicate themselves to intellectual studies such as literature, history or the tea ceremony. In the 17th century, masterless and unemployed samurai caused some problems to the government because of their increased intellect. After the Meiji Restoration (1868), the samurai class dissapeared. The samurai sword, the katana, is still today the distinguishing mark of the samurai. Please...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/21/2001

Category:   History

Length:   4 pages (963 words)

Views:   2085

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