Feudal Japan Social Hierarchy

Feudal Japan abbreviated as FJ is the Japanese era during the Middle Ages. This era successfully demonstrates the spirit of real Japan during the medieval period. This was the time when Japan was ruled over by shoguns, warlords and their associates.

Feudal Japanese social hierarchy reveals the categorization of Japanese people on the roots of some specific terms, rules and circumstances that were exquisitely followed by the entire Japanese society in the middle ages.

The major classification of this division was the power one held in the feudal Japan. These classes were further sub-divided and thus forming a well customized Feudal Japanese social hierarchy. The detailed description of this hierarchy is recapitulated as below in a manner starting with the top most social class and ending with the lowest one.

Feudal Japan Social Hierarchy

Feudal Japan Social Hierarchy

The Royal Class

The Royal Class was the highest class in Feudal Japanese social hierarchy. This class got further sub categorized in three more parts, which are described as below:

  • The Emperor or the King – Unquestionably this was the superior most rank in the hierarchy. The Emperor was equipped with the supreme power among all the classes.
  • The Royal Family – Next in the rank were members of the royal family. They were somehow related to the king by any relation.
  • Royal Priests – Japanese royal priests also possessed high authority in the Feudal Japanese social hierarchy.

The Noble Class

This was the middle level social class in the hierarchy. But in actual practice the entire practical hold of feudal Japan was under these people. This got further sub divided as –

  • The Shoguns – These were the military ruler of Japan who ruled in the shadow of the king. The country’s security was under their leadership and to maintain is was their responsibility.
  • The Daimyo – The second class in this hierarchy was of the Daimyo. They were also termed as the warlords and worked on the orders of Shoguns.
  •  The Samurai – The armies lead by the Daimyos incorporated powerful and courageous warriors which were termed as Samurai.

The Lower Class

The lowest class in Feudal Japanese social hierarchy was of Common Men. They possessed very few rights. This class was further divided into many sub categories. A concise portrayal is as follow:

  • The Peasants / Farmers – The Farmers or peasants used to work in agriculture fields for Japan’s food on which other classes depended.
  • Artisans – These people were also referred as Craftsmen. Their work was with metal and wood.
  • Merchants These were shopkeepers and traveling traders.
  • The Ainu – These were the descendents of the slaves who were freed by any manner.
  • Eta This included executioners, butchers and tanners.
  • Hinin – This class included convicted criminals and wandering bards.
  • Prostitutes – Well the lowest one in the Feudal Japanese social hierarchy were the prostitutes of Japan.