Gyogi, a monk who undertook social welfare projects in Nara period

(near Kintetsu Line Nara Station in Nara City)

 Gyogi (668-749), known as Gyoki, was a monk of the Hosso sect of Buddhism. He was  born in Kawatchi Province (now part of Osaka Prefecture); he studied Hosso teachings at the temple Yakushiji in Kyoto.

He devoted himself to the building of the temples, particularly the temple Todaiji in Kyoto. He also undertook numerous social welfare projects, such as dam and bridge building.

"Konyou Ji", a prayer place for the poor established in 731

The "Konyou Ji" or "Koyadera" (昆陽寺) on Mt Konron san (崑崙山) is a temple of Koyasan Shingon Mission in Teramoto, Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture. It is one of the 49 temples in the Kinki area which Gyoki established in 731 as a prayer place for those who were Deaf, blind, disabled, etc.

During his later years, the emperor Shomu bestowed on him the name Daibosatu ("Great Bodhisattva") and raised him to the rank of Daisojo (great bishop or primate). Because of his outstanding virtue, he was often known as Gyogi Bosatsu (Bohisattva Gyogi) and was popularly taken to be a manifestation of Manjusri Bodhisattva. He was long remembered as an ascetic with great charisma, and many temples are attributed to him. (JAPAN n Illustrated Encyclopedia by Kodansha)

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