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The Four Great TemplesBuddhist Art, Archaeology, and Icons of Seventh-Century Japan$
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Donald F. McCallum

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831141

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831141.001.0001

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(p.23) Chapter One Asukadera
The Four Great Temples

Donald F. McCallum

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the history, construction, utilization, and excavation of the temple Asukadera. Asukadera is not only the first full-scale temple built in Japan, it is really the first proper Buddhist temple in any meaningful sense. The chapter demonstrates that all of the key figures of the period either were directly associated with the process or were believed by some to have had such an association; consequently, it is shown that the history of Asukadera is a microcosm illuminating the larger picture. The people involved include Empress Regnant Suiko (r. 593–628), Prince Stable Door (Umayado no ōji, also known as Crown Prince Saintly Virtue, Shōtoku Taishi, 574–622), and Soga no Umako (?–626), the leader of the Soga family.

Keywords:   Asukadrea, Empress Regnant Suiko, Prince Stable Door, Umayado no ōji, Shōtoku Taishi, Buddhist temples, Buddhist architecture, Buddhism, Soga no Umako

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