Prince Shōtoku and Early Buddhist Japan Important Dates in the Early History of Buddhism in Japan and the legendary Career of Prince Shōtoku 538 Earliest recorded date of the formal introduction of Buddhism to Japan. King Seongmyeong of the Korean Kingdom of Paekche sends a Buddhist statue and sutras to Japan 552 Official date of the introduction of Buddhism to Japan 574 Shōtoku born as son of Prince Tachibana no Toyohi (later Emperor Yōmei, the 31st Emperor of Japan) 586 Yōmei falls ill, vows to construct a temple with an image of the Healing Buddha 587 Yōmei dies; struggle between pro and anti-Buddhist factions among the aristocracy; anti-Buddhist Mononobe clan destroyed by Soga no Umako, Shōtoku and allies. Shōtoku vows to create a temple dedicated to the Four Divine Kings, known as Shitennō-ji (present-day Osaka) 588 Establishment of Hōkō-ji (present-day Asuka-dera). Paekche sends temple-builders monks and artists 592 Accession of Empress Suiko, 33rd sovereign of Japan. 594 Shōtoku becomes regent and director of state affairs; pagoda at Hōkō-ji constructed and relics installed inside 600 Shōtoku dispatches the first embassy to the court of the Sui Emperor, Wendi, to study civic, religious and cultural affairs 601 Shōtoku constructs Ikaruga Palace 603 Shōtoku establishes a system of twelve court ranks 604 Shōtoku establishes a Aconstitution@ in seventeen clauses; start of the use of a regular calendar 606 Lectures on the Lotus Sutra and the Shōmangyō; large gilt bronze statue of Śākyamuni installed at Asukadera 607 Completion of the statue of the Healing Buddha originally pledged by Yōmei; installed at the recently completed Hōryū-ji (Wakakusa-dera) built on the site of the Ikaruga Palace. 622 Death of Shōtoku 626 Death of Soga no Umako 628 Death of Empress Suiko 630 First emmisary sent to the Tang court 645 Systematization of monastic ranks 646 Taika reforms Important works Śakyamuni Triad (Shaka Triad). Datable to 623. gilt bronze. Hōryūji. Standing Kannon, known as the Guze Kannon. ca. 630. Wood. Hōryūji. Four Divine Kings. ca. 650. Wood. Hōryūji. Personal Devotional Shrine, known as the Tamamushi (Beetle Wing) Shrine. Wood with lacquer and gilt bronze fittings. ca. 650. Hōryūji.