Japanese Seventeen-Article Constitution

(604)

Composed in the fourth lunar month (May in the modern calendar) of the year 604, the Seventeen-Article Constitution contains a series of moral admonitions drawn from Buddhist and Confucian ideals of sage government. The Seventeen-Article Constitution is considered to be the earliest Japanese articulation of the ethical foundations of government and an indigenous political vision for a centralized, bureaucratic Japanese state. Authorship of the constitution has been generally attributed to Crown Prince Shotoku, though there is some evidence that the text had been written by others...