Ghim, Doug

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A significant figure during the time period between the 15th and 18th Century was the Tokugawa Shogunate. The definition of shogun is a “title applied to the chief military commanders” who took reign over Japan until 1868, when the Emperor regained power of the nation. The Tokugawa Shogunate introduced the idea of feudalism to Japan, who before put all of their power in the hands of the Emperor. These military commanders took control of the authority, making the Emperor weaker and weaker, helping them become the true leaders of the nation. With this new abundance of power, the shogunate cut off ties with the rest of the world, sending back all missionaries out of Japan, with the exception of the Dutch, their only trade partners.

This shogunate is related to social change because of the change in power of the nation. Instead of the royal Emperor and the nobles being able to make relations with different European countries, the shogunate severe ties with anyone else internationally, which basically isolates them from trading. This effects the nation economically, and culturally because certain goods are not available to the everyday person who may be accustomed to having. Interestingly enough, however, the isolation form the rest of the world jump started Japan into the arts. The Kabuki theatricals became popular, but woman for more than two years were incapable of acting on stage. Since many scripts required a female role, men often had to replace the women and take the part and act. This shows how structure from law can affect society, causing the agency for a man to take the role of a woman, because that is what society wants.

References:

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?ParagraphID=iaw

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shogun

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