Chapter 14: Medieval Japan

By Hannah Smith

Prince Shotoku

- Prince Shotoku lived from 574-622.

- He was a member of the imperial clan, exercised political leadership from the sixth century to the beginning of the seventh century.

- After Empress Suiko went up to the throne in 593, Shotoku took over the reins of political power as her regent.

- He created Japan's first constitution, known as the Seventeen-Article Constitution.

- Prince Shotoku decided to build many temples and sent off envoys to China.

Early Japan

- Japan’s mountains and islands isolated Japan and shaped its society.

- Japan was settled by people who came from northeast Asia. They were organized into clans and ruled by warriors.

- Prince Shotoku created Japan’s first constitution and borrowed many ideas from China.

- The Japanese religion called Shinto was based on nature spirits.

- Early Japanese history is filled with accounts of emperors and feuding samurai, peasant workers, artists, poets and inventors