Compare the role of women under the Tokugawa Shogunate
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The role of women varied between dynasties and continents. Most women back then were restricted from doing real jobs, like becoming a merchant or soldier in the military. The women of the Tokugawa Shogunate had about one role in their community, as well as the women in Europe’s High Middle Ages. These women from both the Tokugawa Shogunate and the High Middle Ages had some similarities and differences between each other.
With their husbands in combat almost continuously, the 16th century women of the Tokugawa Shogunate (otherwise known as samurai women) provided for the defense of their homes and children. Their wartime roles included washing and preparing the decapitated bloody heads of the enemy, which were presented to the victorious generals. Like their samurai husbands, personal honor was paramount for samurai women. They carried small daggers and were always prepared to die to maintain their honor and family name. After Tokugawa Ieyasu unified Japan, the role of women changed. Their samurai husbands, no longer fighting wars, had become bureaucrats. Women were now encouraged to supervise their children’s education and manage the home. The women of the Tokugawa Shogunate had a couple of important roles, and were dedicated on carrying on the family name.
The women in Europe’s High Middle Ages also had many responsibilities with regards to her family, and her community. 90% of the women living Europe’s High Middle Ages lived in rural areas, so they had some form of farm work to be doing. Other roles would be housekeeping, such as cleaning up their residence, prepare food for family consumption, and looking after their children. Women in the High Middle Ages had one main purpose, and that is child bearing. Since most women lived in farms, the husband needed more help in the fields, so the wife would produce as much children as she could, so they can fulfill that need.
In many towns, women would have found it difficult to advance into a trade as various guilds frequently barred women from joining them. Therefore, a skilled job as recognized by a guild was usually out of reach for any woman living in a town. Within towns, women were usually allowed to do work that involved some form of clothes making but little else. Women in Europe’s High Middle Ages had some basic roles in their family, such as cleaning their house, preparing food, and looking over their children, and the community, by harvesting crops for a lower pay.
Overall, the women in the Tokugawa Shogunate (samurai women), had more important and honorary roles in their family and community than the women in Europe’s High Middle Ages. In the Tokugawa Shogunate, women would carry on their family names, while in the High Middle Ages, European women were there just to produce babies and somewhat help on the fields, which were very basic roles. Well, both women were women, so they both had a lot of restrictions put on them during their time. The women from the Tokugawa Shogunate and the European High Middle Ages had some common qualities, but had some variations as well.