Shotoku Taishi ruled Japan as Prince Regent, on behalf of the Empress Suiko, from 593 - 622. Many accomplishments are attributed to him, such as his learned understanding of Buddhism and his enlightened approach to governing the country. After he died at age 49, his legacy grew, and sculptures of Prince Shotoku as a two-year –old child that began to appear in the 13th century epitomize the transformation of historical figure to a divinity unique in Japanese Buddhist belief. One of these statues is in the collection of the Indiana University Art Museum.
Emily J. Sano (B.A. Indiana University, M.A. & Ph.D. Columbia University) has had a professional museum career since 1979 serving at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Dallas Museum of Art; and The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where she served as deputy director from 1993, and director from 1996 to 2008. During her tenure she oversaw the renovation of the former Main Library in the Civic Center of San Francisco and the move of the museum from its home in Golden Gate Park to the new facility. Since her retirement from the museum, Sano has worked as a private curator for the art collections of Larry Ellison, CEO of the Oracle Corporation.