Empress Shotoku of Japan

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Shotoku was the 48th imperial ruler of Japan and the sixth woman to hold the position.

Today, she is remembered chiefly for conducting an affair with a Buddhist monk named Dokyo, a man on whom she heaped titles and power. The affair illustrated the growing power of the Buddhist priesthood and was a prime factor in emperor Kammu's decision to move the capital away from Nara in 784.

Empress Shotoku should not be confused with Prince Shotoku (572-622), who was one of the first in Japan to sponsor Buddhism.


Lived 718-770
Reigned 764-770