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Once officially adopted, monks, scholars, and students were regularly sent to China to learn the tenets of Buddhism in more depth and bring back that knowledge, along with art and even sometimes relics, for the benefit of the Japanese people.
Many Buddhist deities and figures from Indian mythology were readily incorporated into the already vast Shinto pantheon.Buddhism received official government support in 587 CE during the reign of Emperor Yomei (585-587 CE), even if some aristocratic clan groups (the Monobe and Nakatomi especially) opposed it and still adhered to purely Shinto beliefs.Buddhism reinforced the idea of a layered society with different levels of social status with the emperor very much at the top and protected by the Four Guardian Kings of Buddhist law.Buddhist monasteries were established across the country, and they became powerful political players in their own right.
Buddhism was also a key driver in fostering literacy, education in general, and the arts in ancient Japan.
An imperial edict in 764 CE did officially place Buddhism above Shinto, but for the majority of the ordinary population, the opposite was probably true.