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Prince Shotoku

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Prince Shotoku (573-621) was the son of Emperor Yomei of Japan and ruled as regent for many years. He introduced Buddhism to his country from China together with the best of Chinese culturemusic, administrative practices, calligraphy and art. In 605 he gave Japan its first written constitution which was imbued with Buddhist ethical principles and which was to have a profound influence on later political thinking. Unlike other modern constitutions which seek to organize a form of government, the Seventeen-point Constitution stressed the importance of personal integrity (in the ruler, government servants and citizens) and social harmony.

A History of Japanese Buddhism, S. Hanayama, 1966

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