There are similarities and differences between Japanese and European feudalism. Both seem to have developed from a blending of concepts of centralized imperial rule with traditional tribal organization and personal bonds of loyalty. In Europe these ingredients derived from the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes. Japan's feudal tradition can be traced to T'ang China and the uji organization in early Japan.
Feudalism developed slightly later in Japan than in Europe (12th and 9th centuries, respectively). This delay could have been due to Japan's isolation and the lack of foreign invasions. However, both systems began with strong legalistic attitudes and stressed vassal-lord obligations, designed to ensure the allegiance of the former in periods of constant warfare. The legal foundations were, however, very different in the Japanese and European feudal systems: European feudalism was grounded in Roman legal structure while Japan feudalism had as its basis Chinese Confucian morality.
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Michael R. Snyder <email@example.com>