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Founders & High Priests

Gyoki Bosatsu

Gyoki Bosatsu became a priest when he was fifteen in the 13th year of Emperor Tenmu's reign. He entered Yakushiji-temple in Yamato (present Nara) and mastered the Buddhist practice of Hosso. He followed Priest Tokumitsu and got Gusokukai (the complete rules to be a priest) when he was twenty four in the 7th year of Emperor Jitou. After the death of his mother he traveled around the country, preaching to people. He preached not only Hosso teachings, but also Joudooujou, Tosotsujousen and other Buddhist teachings. He was well liked among the common people, who would come out from their houses, welcome him and listen to his preaching. Many people adored him for his contributions to society such as building temples, bridges, roads and so on in many areas in Japan. He held a consecrating ceremony of a newly made Juuichimen Kannon in Hasedera-temple, built Koyadera-temple in Settsu (present Hyogo prefecture), carved Juuichimen-Kannon and Rurikou-hotoke there by himself, and founded Arima-spa. He traveled all over Japan soliciting contributions for pious purposes for building Hiroshana -Butsu and contributed to building Kokubuji-temple in Todaiji-temple. He died in 749 at the age of eighty without seeing the completion of Daibutsu (huge statue of Buddha which was built in Heijou-kyou (present Nara)