Contrasting Europe and Japan.
"The economic, political, and social system in medieval Europe, in which land, worked by serfs who were bound to it, was held by vassals in exchange for military and other services given to overlords" is the definition of feudalism in Webster's New World College Dictionary (Neufeldt pg. 501). Although it may look like feudalism only existed in Europe, it did not. Feudalism developed in Japan later than in Europe due to isolation and the lack of foreign invaders (Snyder ). Like in Europe, Japan's feudalism stressed vassal-lord obligations and legalistic attitudes, however Japan's legal foundations were quite different from those in Europe's (Snyder ). In Japan, feudalism was based on Chinese Confucianism, whereas in Europe the foundation was the Roman legal structure (Snyder ). Even though they have many similarities, Europe and Japan were much more different than alike as will be proven by the evidence that will be presented.
In both Japan and England, life revolved around the social class structure. At the top of the social scale in Japan was the emperor, just like a European king. (Mazour pg. 288). The emperor had complete control over his people and was greatly respected. (Mazour pg. 286). A European king received the same treatment and had the same power. (Mazour pg. 228). Below the emperor was the shogun, who was supposed to be the chief officer of the emperor, however he was really just a Minimoto agent (Mazour pg. 286). After the shogun came the emperor's military rule called the daimyos (Mazour pg. 288). They were the overlords of large regions, just like the dukes or lords in Europe (Mazour pg. 286). The samurai were just below the daimyos, and, like the European knights and lesser lords, were warriors who led military units at a local level and were even sometimes landlords (Mazour pg.