What was life like for peasants during the Heian Period?

Question:

What was life like for peasants during the Heian Period?

Heian Period:

The Heian Period in Japan began in 794 when Emperor Kammu established a new capital at Heian, or Heian-kyo, which was later called Kyoto. He moved the capital from Nara so that the monarchy would be safe from the growing power of Buddhist monks.

Answer and Explanation:

Life for peasants during the Heian Period in Japan worsened. As the power of the samurai increased, the status of the peasants further decreased to the point that eventually they were reduced to mere serfs. Heian peasants became rigidly tied to the land they worked and were considered the property of local lords. They became ever poorer and further alienated from the class of warrior lord elites who ruled them. As a result, Heian peasants began turning to Buddhism as a figurative escape from their lowly status on earth.


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The Heian Period in Japanese History
The Heian Period in Japanese History

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Chapter 20 / Lesson 1
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Explore the Heian Period, Japan's Golden Age. Discover key aspects of the Heian Period, such as Emperor Kanmu, Heian Kyo, and the Japanese aristocracy.


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