LJ 282- Final Essay

LJ 282- Final Essay - Lo 1 Allison Lo LJ 282 Professor...

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Lo Allison Lo LJ 282 Professor Burton May 3, 2007 LJ 282 Final Essay Topic: The Decline of the Samurai Class during the Edo/Tokugawa Period as Witnessed in the Chushingura and the Yotsuya Ghost Stories . The Edo or Tokugawa Period of Japanese history marked the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate. Under the Tokugawa rule, Japan went through an era of relative peace for the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu pacified Japan and united the daimyos and lords. With relatively no warfare, the daimyos and lords had no need to maintain a vast and often expensive army. As a result, many samurai lost their jobs and gradually lost their importance in society as warriors and defenders. Many samurai had to adapt and re- integrate into society by becoming farmers, merchants, scholars or skilled artisans. For those that lacked the necessary skills to reintegrate into society, they became ronin. Also, the Edo period witnessed a large increase in ronin as a result of samurai losing their masters or masters no longer having a need for samurai to protect them. Using text from the Chushingura and the Yotsuya Ghost Stories , I will examine how the status of the samurai slowly declined in society and how the samurai code of bushido was often forsaken as a result of their decline. The Chushingura and Yotsuya Ghost Stories serve as good sources for comparison because the first story captures the beginning of the decline of the samurai, whereas the second story captures the samurai at their worst and depicts how destitute some samurai eventually became. Background/Summary
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This note was uploaded on 09/03/2011 for the course CAS LJ 282 taught by Professor Burton during the Spring '07 term at BU.

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LJ 282- Final Essay - Lo 1 Allison Lo LJ 282 Professor...

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