In 1336 A.D., civil war broke out in Japan. Both the shogun and the emperor remained in office, but both became nothing more than figure heads, having no real political power.
Japan fell into a feudal system similar to that of Europe. Landowning warriors known as samurai pledged their allegiance to lords known as daimyos, and fought to protect their lands.
Poor farmers paid the daimyos taxes for the right to farm their lands. In exchange, the daimyos used his samurais to protect these poor farmers.