Counts vs. Daimyo
By examining Japan and Medieval Europe’s past, both areas had feudalism incorporated in their social structure. Feudalism was a relationship among the upper class, in which a member of the nobility was granted land, and in return promised to protect the king, who gave them their land. The nobility referred to are counts in Europe and daimyo in Japan. Both are generally governors who rule over a substantial subsection of the empire with certain duties and obligations. Daimyo and counts are very similar with some slight difference like whether their power is handed down by heredity and how much power they really have.
The term count was originally just a companion of princes,
‘but from the time of the early Germanic kingdoms it was also used to designate local agents of public power exercising their authority as royal representatives."(1) As feudalism became prominent in the Carolingian Empire, counts became the main officers and were designated to rule over a county. Their job was to maintain peace, conduct military affairs, administer justice, assess revenues, summon warriors, etc.
Originally the positions of counts were not held because of hereditary, but in the 10th -11th centuries the office was kept in the same family. Carolingian counts specifically, were "generally members of important aristocratic families."(2) For example, the successful counts such as Flanders, Champagne, and Toulouse passed their powers on to their sons to insure their well being.
Originally when feudalism was 1st forming in the Carolingian Empire, the king divided his empire among his counts, who were directly responsible back to him. It is known as the king-lord contract; where a king grants the lesser with land and in return the nobles (counts) must protect the king. Therefore, the king sent out officials to check up on the counts to make sure that they were ruling their county as the king wished. "The emperor did not hesitate to dispose any count guilty of bad administration."(3) Not only could the counts be removed by the king but they could also be transferred to another county.
The king however did not keep his power forever. For eventually the counts gained more and more power. As their power rose, the empire became decentralized. The people under the...