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Founded by Gyoki, this temple prospered as a temple for scholarly learning. There are various legends about people trying to take the bell ( made in 1704 ) and when they did, it would ring without anyone touching it with a sound 'inuru inuru' ( home home ). The thieves became scared and always returned the bell.
It was a shrine where one could pray for safety at sea and was affiliated with the well-known Ichinomiya Shrine on Omishima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. In 712, it was moved to Shikoku and became a temple. During World War II, it burned down; however, after the war it was rebuilt.
In olden times, almost every year the nearby Soja River flooded and many people died, so in 815, Kukai perfomed a ritual on its bank and directed the people to create a levee. In front of the Daishi Hall, there is a pine tree called `Furomatsu` said to have been planted by Kukai. Even after the tree wilts, a new tree emerges.
At the summit of Mt. Futo, Kukai conducted the fire ritual ( goma ) in order to prevent disasters at sea. On the last day of this ritual, Amida Nyorai appeared from the ocean. On each side of the Main Hall, there are copies of the `Buddhist feet rocks` from the temple in India where Shaka achieved enlightenment.
During the mid-7th Century, a local ruler, Ochi Morioki, built his temple. One legends states that the main deity was carved by a female dragon which came up the Ryutogawa River from the ocean. The temple fell into disuse, but was restored by Kukai and prospered.
This is the provincial temple of Ehime prefecture founded by Gyoki in 741. There are many cultural properties displayed in the shoin ( study hall ). There is also a statue of Kobo Daishi with which you can shake hands and make a wish. As well, if you touch the vase of Yakushi while praying, it is believed that you will be cured of any sickness.