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A devoted Buddha: Prince Shotoku - First Response Paper (example purposes only)

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Religious Studies
Mark Rowe

A devoted Buddha, a statesman, a prince and a man with superhuman abilities at times are titles of a figure that is extremely well known in Japan. This extraordinary man is none other than Prince Shōtoku. Prince Shōtoku, born in 574 till his death in 622, is a legendary man who is “idealized as the father of the Japanese nation and the founder of Japanese Buddhism (316)”. For such an amazing figure, it is quite shocking to learn that very little was actually documented about his personality. It could have suggested that back then, personality wasn’t the number one concern and what a man had done in actions was. The fact that his achievements were given more significant than anything else illustrates what was meaningful and valuable during that period of time for the people. Shōtoku’s two main aspects in his life- a statesman and a Buddhist – were meshed together (317) to form an image of a man who mastered both the “spiritual and political implications” (318) of Buddhist rituals. One of the reasons why this image came about was due to the fact “Buddhism and the state had become inextricably linked in early Japan”. Back then, religion and political were the same. It could in a sense be saying
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