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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Makoto means 'sincerity' or 'earnestness' or 'a heart free of falsehood'; it is one of the cardinal virtues of Shintō. Great emphasis has been placed on it since ancient times, as is reflected in the words of the edict issued by Emperor Kōtoku in the seventh month of 645: "We should all the more maintain honesty and truthfulness and so rule the realm." The scholar Muraoka Tsunetsugu (1884-1946) points out that although according to the Book of Mencius, "loyalty is to the sovereign, trust to one's friends," the beginning of the ninth article of Prince Shōtoku's Constitution states that "good faith is the basis of right," thereby suggesting that in Japan, the relationship between subject and sovereign is not one of "duty" or "loyalty" but rather one of "sincerity."

— Nishioka Kazuhiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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