APA History

World History: Life in the Japanese Edo Time Period


  1. Period between 1603 and 1867
    1. Japan was under the rul of the Tokugawa shogunate and 300 regional daiymo.
    2. Most people were peasants, farming staple crops.
    3. However, an elite group of men were samurais. Samurais were in charge of protecting the feudal lords and their lands. They enjoyed a rich life. They lived according to the moral code of bushido: Here are some of the activities that they did:
    4. Write haikus- (read an example)
    5. Kendo (way of the sword)
    6. Judo
    7. Calligraphy
    8. Zen Buddhism (Buddhist temple)
    9. Shinto Shrines
    10. Kabuki theater
    11. (Find and Play clip from The Last Samurai)
    12. Women in the Edo period were expected to be, above all, good wives and mothers.
    13. Some women were Geishas, who were trained in traditional japanese dance, entertaining guest during meals and playing traditional japanese instruments (show video of the Koto being played)
    14. Some geishas were used by daimyos to spy on other landlords and sometimes kill them.
    15. Women became poets, and literacy writers, writing in hiragana only.


Now it’s your turn to use your imagination and do ‘A Day as a Samurai’ or ‘A Day as a Geisha’.
1. Students must work either by themselves or in pairs.
2. They will do a visual timeline of the typical life of a samurai or a geisha. The timeline must have at least 6 different activities, include a timestamp, be historically accurate, include at least 2 sentences for each activity, 2 images in total and include color.

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