model for the portrait of Prince Shôtoku came from China, where emperors
were often shown in similar poses, as on the left. This emphasizes the
imperial lineage of Shôtoku, who was both in 574 as the second son
of the Emperor Yômei. He is said of have renounced his own succession
to the throne, however, in order to dedicate himself to public duty. This
he did by serving as prince regent during the reign of his aunt, the Empress
Suiko, from 592 until his death thirty years later.