Japan is located 120 miles off the coast of Asia. It is difficult to live there in some ways. One of the hardest things is that only 15% of the land is flat enough for farming.
A very important aspect of Chinese culture that impressed Shotoku was Buddhism. Because of Shotoku, it spread quickly through Japan.
Early Japanese Society
Early Japan was divided into clans. Clans were a group of people related by blood or marriage. Clans would fight each other for land.
Since Japan rarely changed emperors, the country was very stable. When a child succeeded to the throne, a regent was appointed. One of the most important regents was Prince Shotoku.
Nature Inspires Japanese Culture
Because of Japan's many mountains and frequent rainfall has created lush green lands. Japanese culture often expressed a love for their nature. One of the Japanese beliefs that loved nature was the Shinto. Shinto means the way of the gods.