Shotoku (prince)


Shotoku (prince)
Prince Shotoku (Japanese圣徳太子, Shotoku Taishi, 574-622) was a regent and a politician of the Imperial Court of Japan.

Shotoku was a son of Emperor Yōmei. His mother was the empress Anahobe no Hashihito (穴穂部间人皇女, anahobe no hajihito no himemiko). His parents were both children of the emperor Emperor Kimmei but different mothers. When the first empress, Empress Suiko, ascended to the throne, he was appointed sesshō (regent) and attended the empress. It was both her aunt and her stepmother because he married his daughter, Princess Uji no Kahitako.

According to the Nihonshoki he managed to establish a centralized government during his reign. In 603, he instituted the twelve official ranks the court. The constitution of seventeen articles was also promulgated the same period, and is often attributed to Prince Shotoku, though experts doubt that it has drafted the constitution because of the style used. In 607, he sent a delegation headed by Ono no Imoko to the Sui dynasty, China.

Prince Shotoku is best known for having developed Buddhism in Japan. It was he who ordered the construction of Shitennō-ji temple in the province of Naniwa (Osaka today). To accomplish this construction, he brought family members Kongō from Korea, and in this way, he had a central role in the formation of Kongō Gumi, the oldest continuously operating business in the world.

He supported the Horyuji Temple in Yamato. The documents kept at Horyuji say that the temple was founded by the Empress Suiko and by Prince Shotoku in 607 but no archaeological evidence does this assertion.

According to tradition, a holiday home this prince, who will become the Saihō-ji or Kokedera (temple foam).

Is attributed to Prince Shotoku the first use of the name Nihon which identifies today's Japan. In a letter he wrote on behalf of the Empress Suiko to the Chinese Emperor Yangdi, one can read:

"The Emperor of the country where the sun rises (nihon / hi iduru) sends a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun goes down. (Hi izuru no tokoro no tenshi. Bossuro Hi no tokoro no tenshi. "

Wives and offspring

* Princess Kahitako Uji, daughter of Emperor Bidatsu emperor and the empress Nukatabe (Empress Suiko)
* Kashiwade no Hokikimo no Iratsume, daughter of Kashiwade no Katabuko no Omi, mother:
o Princess Tsuishine no Kimi, married to his half brother Prince Yamashiro no Oe
o Princess Hatsuse no Miko
o Princess Kuhata no Miko
o Prince Hatori no Miko
o Princess Sakikusa no Miko
* SOGA Tojiko no Iratsume, daughter of SOGA no Umako, mother:
o Prince Yamashiro no Oe
o Princess Takara no Miko
o Princess Hiki no Miko
o Prince Kataoka no Oka
* Inabe no Tachibana no Miko, daughter of Ohari no Miko, mother:
o Prince Shirakabe no Miko
o Prince Teshima no Miko


Shotoku is known by several titles. His real name was Umayado no ōji (厩戸皇子, literally the prince of the barn door) because he was born in front of a barn. It is also known as Toyosatomimi (豊聡耳) or Kamitsumiyaō (上宫王). In the Kojiki, his name appears as Kamitsumiya no Umayado no Toyosatomimi no Mikoto (上宫之厩戸豊聡耳命). In the Nihonshoki, it also appears as Umayado no ōji, known豊耳聡圣徳,豊聡耳法大王and法主王.

The name much more experienced Prince Shotoku appeared for the first time in the Kaifūsō written in 751, or more than one hundred years after his death.

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