Japan’s original capital city, Nara (also known as Tokyo), was modelled after Chang’an in Tang. Nara represented about 20,000 of Japan’s approximately 5-6 million inhabitants. Between 710 and 784 C.E., Nara was the center of about 20,000 people. Land was then nationalized under the title of the emperor and divided equally between the peasants and the government. The peasants paid a tax on land and labor to the government. Nara leaders advocated a mixture of Japanese and Chinese cultures. They led ceremonies and rituals in the imperial courts, which were based on Tang Chinese models. But, they also used orchestral music and dances to accompany Japanese versions Chinese instruments. You can find musical instruments like the flute, lute and zither. Nara was hit hard by economic ruin and many residents had to leave their homes in search of new land. Japan decided to move its capital from Nara, Japan, to Heian (or Kyoto).
The samurai, or the warrior class, is a high-ranking military officer of Japan’s imperial court. They are descendants from rural lords and military retainers. Although they made up a small portion of the population, they were the most important members of the social hierarchy. The samurai were descendants of nobility and lived by a idealized feudal ethics known as Bushido. This made them more attractive to wealthy people who could afford it. Samurai are known for their loyalty to the leader and indifference towards physical hardship. Samurai had a commitment to see missions through. If they failed to reach their goals or perform their duties, then they committed suicide. Suicide was considered an honorable way to show their loyalty to Bushido and courage. While women could become samurai too, few were actually involved in combat. Samurai women were usually devoted to protecting and running the family estates.The first Kamakura Shogun, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, was commissioned by the emperor of Japan in the 12th century. The shogun was a military dictator who ruled the country under the command of the emperor. They were responsible to the empire’s defenses, both internal and exterior. They could also choose the successor. While the Kamakura Shingo was nominally under the emperors, it had real power. The Shogunate was overthrown by conspiracies and civil warfare in 1333. They were replaced officially by the Ashikaga family, based in Kyoto (1228-1568).
Ashikaga Shogun saw political power become more decentralized. Local authorities fought for more land and created internal conflicts. A number of land-owning territorial magnates were created to address this problem. They were called daimyo, which means “great name”. Each daimyo was able to have his own samurai, which he used to support his welfare and interests, his monopoly over local power, as also a way to earn income from his peasants.