Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.



Shōtoku Constitution

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G107-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Shōtoku Constitution is the earliest fundamental political document of Japan. Promulgated in ad 604, it is ascribed to the regent Shōtoku, who was also a devout Buddhist and philosopher. The document reflects the influences of Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism and Legalism in its various provisions; it is strongly marked by Chinese thought rather than being influenced by Shintō. Not a constitution in the modern sense, the document is rather a set of ideals, guiding principles and basic requirements for those in government. As well as helping to lay the foundation for a unified Japan, the Constitution also marks the beginning of a period of assimilation of Chinese culture and philosophy.

Citing this article:
Kachi, Yukio. Shōtoku Constitution, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G107-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

Related Searches


Related Articles