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Shogunate Japan: Social Hierarchy

Japan under the Shoguns

During the period from around 1600 to 1868, Japan was a feudal society. As in medieval Europe, each group had its place in a strict social order. Watch the clip below to discover the roles of each group during the age when the Tokugawa shoguns ruled the country. 

Social hierarchy

Ancient Japan social hierarchy demonstrates the classification of Japanese people on the basis of certain rules and conditions that were followed by Japanese society in ancient times. These social classes were categorised based on power as well as prestige. Japanese social hierarchy was segregated into two classes: the upper Noble Class and the lower Peasant Class. These classes were further sub categorised, thus forming a hierarchy. Following are the major classes in the social hierarchy of Ancient Japan:

Shogunate Japan: social hierarchy

Shogun and Emperor

This is a collection of 11 digital curriculum resources that focus on Japan in the late Shogunate and early Meiji periods. The collection is grouped into five sections - samurai; people of the late Shogunate and early Meiji periods; scenes in late Shogunate and early Meiji Japan; the 'opening' of Japan; and the Meiji restoration. The collection includes an essay by eminent historian John Dower, and resources within the collection include several hundred images - almost all of them from the relevant periods.

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