The rise of Japan (500-1868)
Standard: 7.5.3
  • Describe to explain in detail the values, social customs, and traditions described by the lord-vassal system consisting of shogun, daimyo, and samurai, and the lasting influence of the warrior code throughout the 20th century.
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Japan Under the Shogun

Key Terms and People

bushido: This was a strict code of conduct that guided the behavior of samurai.

armada: large fleet of ships

typhoon: violent tropical storm

Oda Nobunaga: worked all of his life to bring Japan under a single sword

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: unified Japan in 1590

Tokugawa leyasu: a leader who united the country once more in 1600

Section Notes

The Way of the Warrior

    Loyalty to one's Lord was more important than loyalty to family, religion, or even the Emperor, and personal honor was also important. Samurai trained fiercely, fought bravely, and died with honor. The code also required warriors to take pride in their personal appearance.

The Mongol Invasion

  • During the 1200, the Mongol ruler, Kublai Khan controlled all of East Asia except Japan. In 1274 and 1281, the Khan sent a fleet of ships to Japan. Both times the fleets were destroyed by storms. The Japanese called it kamikaze, or the "wind of the gods".

Japan Is Unified Again

  • the end of the Mongol thread did not bring peace to Japan. The clans continue to fight among themselves. As violence spread, respect for the Emperor declined. In 1500, 3 ambitious leaders finally ended the constant warfare. The first, Oda Nobunaga, worked to bring Japan "under a single sword." The second leader, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, unified Japan in 1590. The third leader, Tokugawa leyasu, united the country once more in 1600. He founded a new capital at Edo (present-day Tokyo). He ordered the daimyo to destroy their castles and spent much of the year in Edo. The Tokugawa family ruled a peaceful, unified Japan until 1868. Once Japan was at peace, the samurai way of life changed. Many samurai to government jobs, but they remained proud of their fighting skills. Today the ideas of bushido - bravery and loyalty - continue to influence Japanese culture.


Summary: Japan became divided in the shoguns. By the 1600s, however, strong rulers had reunited Japan.way.

Study Guide Questions

What was the samurai's most important duty?

Why was personal appearance important in the samurai code?

Which three leaders brought peace and unity to Japan?

Why was Tokugawa leyasu especially important?

Practice Test

Homework: Choose one
  1. Workbook Chapter 12, section 1 (Page 152)
  2. Answer three of the study guide questions using complete sentences.
  3. Draw a picture of something important from this section and summarize this section of the text (three sentences minimum).