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Shōtoku Constitution

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-G107-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G107-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/shotoku-constitution/v-1

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.

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Citing this article:
Kachi, Yukio. Shōtoku Constitution, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G107-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/shotoku-constitution/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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