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Transcript
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.