Professor H. Mahfoud
April 7th, 2018
The military structures of medieval chivalry of Knights and Samurai warriors.
Feudalism was well known in the medieval period in England and in Japan. It was the economic, social and political outline to rule respective places. The knights and the samurai were evolved from peasants. Both were hired by the most powerful families of their eras. They had similar lifestyles and code of conducts to perform. They were hired for the protection of the Daimyo or the Dukes. The loyalty was formed based on the relation between the vassals and the lords. The peasants provided food to the samurai which gave loyalty to the Daimyo. The samurai used to protect the peasants in return and the Shogun used to give land to the samurai for the protection. Similarly, the knight used to protect the peasants for food and they were rewarded by land by the kings. They both used to fight for their respective lords. The only difference was that the samurai used to do seppuku when they lost while the knights were freed on a ransom if it was important. Both the warrior class had traditional codes of honor. Samurai’s followed code of bushido whereas knights followed code of chivalry.
The samurai’s code of bushido was reinstituted as a basic protocol. The seven virtues were morality, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty. Bushido was originated from the principles which were blended from loyalty, sincerity, martial arts, thrift and honour until death. They believed that a samurai should have a heroic courage. They can not hide like a turtle in its shell. Heroic courage is not being foolish and blind but its about being strong and intelligent. They also believed in respecting each other. A samurai is not only respected for his battling skills, but they are also respected on how they treat others. They never used to judge each other, but they believed in judging themselves. The decisions that they made and how they implemented them were the key things that showed who they really were. They believed in being just, not for other people but from themselves. A samurai is always liable to what they say and what they do. A samurai always gets the work done which they committed. They remain loyal to their people and to the ones they are responsible for.
On the other hand, the code of chivalry was an informal code which was never compiled in specific document which was related to the knighthood. The code of chivalry started from the Holy Roman Empire which included the ideas of personal training, bravery and serving others. Chivalry means “horse soldiery” which was derived from the word “chevalerie” from French. The code of chivalry consists of virtues like honor, dignity, politeness, devotion and warrior spirit. The knights believed in loyalty as a practical implementation of warrior’s virtue. The virtue of forgiveness and resistance was also an important part of code of chivalry. The quality of...