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Prince Shotoku

Prince Shotoku (聖徳太子 574-622) was a regent of the Imperial Court in Japan.

Shotoku was born as the son of Emperor Yomei. His mother was the daughter of Emperor Kimmei. When the first reigning empress, Empress Suiko, took the throne, he was named as her regent and assisted the empress. During her reign, he succeded in establishing a centralized government. In 603, he established twelve steps of official ranks and completed a 17-clause constitution. In 607, he sent a mission led by Ono no Imoko to the Sui Dynasty.

He was a proponent of Buddhism, and built Horyu-ji temple.

His real name is Umayado no ouji (lit. the prince of the stable door) since he was born in front of a stable. He is also known as Toyosatomimi or Kamitsumiyaou.

He appeared on Japan's first 10,000 yen note, issued December 1, 1958.

Last updated: 11-10-2004 23:49:04