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Empress Suiko (554 – 15 April 628) 

Art by Amy (tumblr, book tumblr)

Empress Suiko is the first of Japan’s seven female rulers and the 33rd monarch of Japan.  Prince Shōtoku served as her regent.  

Japan went through many changes during Empress Suiko’s reign.  Buddhism was imported to Japan during this period and Empress Suiko encouraged its spread.  Empress Suiko is also credited with the adoption of the Sexagenary cycle calendar in Japan.  During this period, Prince Shōtoku also created the Seventeen Article Constitution and Twelve Level Cap and Rank System which allowed bureaucrats to advance based on skill rather than heredity.  

Empress Suiko reigned from 593 until her death in 628.