Shōtoku, Taishi


Shōtoku, Taishi

▪ Japanese regent and author
original name  Umayado  
born 574, Yamato, Japan
died April 8, 622, Yamato

      influential regent of Japan and author of some of the greatest contributions to Japanese historiography, constitutional government, and ethics.

      Shōtoku was a member of the powerful Soga family and was the second son of the short-reigned emperor Yōmei. When political maneuvering brought his aunt to the throne, Shōtoku became crown prince and regent in 593. He remained in that position until his death. One of his first acts was to resume sending envoys to China, a practice that had been discontinued since the 5th century, thus opening up avenues for cultural, economic, and political exchange. He imported scores of Chinese artists, craftsmen, and clerks into Japan, adopted the Chinese calendar, created a system of highways, and erected many Buddhist temples, including the Hōryū Temple, built in 607 in Ikaruga, near Nara, which is now considered among the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world.

      Shōtoku promoted Buddhism and Confucianism in what had been an exclusively Shintō milieu and brought new political, religious, and artistic institutions to Japan. By means of persuasion and political maneuver, he emulated in his own country the giant bureaucratic empire of China and expanded the authority of the imperial house, bringing back into its hands powers that had been delegated to the feudal lords.

      Shōtoku compiled the chronicles of the government, after the Chinese model, to make up the first book of Japanese history. He also instituted a system of 12 court ranks, each identified by the colour of the cap an official wore. This scheme became one of the most important changes in the Japanese government, for it meant a break with the old system of hereditary posts and implied a bureaucracy of merit along the Chinese model.

      His “ Seventeen Article Constitution” (q.v.; 604) instructed the Japanese ruling class in Confucian ethical concepts and the Chinese bureaucratic system, which he held up as an ideal for Japanese government. Although there is some doubt whether this document was the work of Shōtoku or perhaps a later forgery, it represents his thinking and resulted from his influence. He is remembered also for irrigation projects and social-welfare measures. He worked for the spread of Buddhism and after his death was looked upon as a Buddhist saint.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SHOTOKU-TAISHI — SH 牢TOKU TAISHI (573 env. 621) Fils de l’empereur Y 拏mei, Sh 拏toku taishi naît en un temps où la cour de Yamato, qui a fait reconnaître sa suprématie sur le pays qui devait prendre le nom de Nihon («[pays] d’où vient le soleil»), est agitée par… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Shōtoku-taishi —   [ʃotɔkutaiʃi], eigentlich Umayado, japanischer Staatsmann, * 574, ✝ 622; Prinz; war seit 593 Regent unter Kaiserin Suiko (✝ 628). Shōtoku taishi trat für die Übernahme der chinesischen Festlandskultur und die Bildung eines zentral geführten… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Shotoku Taishi — Gemälde des Kronprinzen aus dem 8. Jh., zu seiner Seite sind sein jüngerer Bruder und Sohn 10.000 Yen Geldschein mit dem Prinzen Shō …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shōtoku Taishi — Gemälde des Kronprinzen aus dem 8. Jh., zu seiner Seite sind sein jüngerer Bruder und Sohn 10.000 Yen Geldschein mit dem Prinzen Shō …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Shōtoku (Begriffsklärung) — Shōtoku kann sich beziehen auf: Kōken tennō, auch bekannt als Kaiserin Shōtoku, die 46. und 48. Tennō Japans Shōtoku Taishi, Kronprinz, Regent und japanischer Kulturheld. Shōtoku, eine Regierungsdevise (Nengō) von 1711 bis 1716 unter dem 114.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Taishi — ist der Namen von Shōtoku Taishi (574–622), japanischer Kulturheld Taishi Ci (166–206), General der Wu Dynastie zur Zeit der Drei Reiche im alten China Taishi Xiang († 3. Jahrhundert), General der Wu Dynastie im alten China …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shotoku — Gemälde des Kronprinzen aus dem 8. Jh., zu seiner Seite sind sein jüngerer Bruder und Sohn 10.000 Yen Geldschein mit dem Prinzen Shō …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shōtoku — Gemälde des Kronprinzen aus dem 8. Jh., zu seiner Seite sind sein jüngerer Bruder und Sohn …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shōtoku (prince) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Shōtoku. Sculpture du prince Shōtoku à Asuka Dera, Asuka Le prince Shōtoku (en japonais 聖徳太子, Shōtoku Taishi …   Wikipédia en Français


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