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In 774, Wake no Michimaro ( Dozen ) founded this temple and named it Dozenji. Enchin ( 794-864 ), cousin of Kukai, after returning from China in 858 lived here for a while and remodeled the buildings to look like Seiryuji in China. The buildings were destroyed during the 16th Century; however, they were rebuilt during the Kanei era ( 1624-1644 ).
The founding story of this temple is that in 749, Wake no Michitaka ( Doryu ) accidently shot a nurse with an arrow and in his grief carved a statue of Yakushi Nyorai and constructed a small hut to enshrine it in. Later, Kukai came and carved a larger statue and placed the smaller one inside.
It is believed that Gyoki founded this temple in the early 8th Century and named it Dojoji. Later, Kukai visited here and restored the dilapitated buildings. Ippen ( 1239-1289 ) also stayed here converting the temple to the Jishu sect. For a while this temple prospered as a nenbutsu training site.
Kukai is believed to have founded this temple; however the connection with Emperor Sutoku ( 1119-1164 ) is more well known. Sutoku was exiled to modern-day Takamatsu and died there. While the news of his death was taken to Kyoto, his body was kept in this temple`s pond. Thus, the name of this temple became `Emperor`s Temple.` ( Tennoji ) and is better known than its original name of Kosho-in.
This is the fourth of the Shikoku provincial temples ( kokubunji ) and was founded by Gyoki Bosatsu who carved the 5.2km-high main deity statue. Later, Kukai came, repaired the statue and made this temple a sacred site. The bell and Main Hall have escaped any damage over the centuries and are Important Cultural Treasures.
In 815, Kukai buried a jewel at the summit of Mt Shiromine ( 336m ), dug a well, and prayed for the salvation of all living beings. Later, Chisho Daishi saw the spritual light given off by the jewel, carved a Senju Kanzeon statue and officially founded this temple. The tomb of Emperor Sutoku is located here. ( See Temple 79 )
Kukai is said to have visited this site before going to China, built a grass hut and consecrated it as a sacred place. Later, in 832, Chisho Daishi came and was told by a mysterious old man to build various buildings in the area. There is a story from 400 years ago of a `ushi-oni` ( devil cow ) which tormented the local people. An expert archer, Yamada Kuroudo Takakiyo, was able to kill the beast, and today a statue of it can be seen at this temple.