Panoramic view of Katsuo-ji Temple
iThe whole mountain lit up at nightj
History of Katsuo-ji Temple

Located directly north of the Osaka plains, this mountain has been worshipped as holy ground for thousands of years for the immeasurable spiritual power it possesses. The ancient beginnings of our temple go back to the end of the Nara period. Ancient records place the founding of the temple at 727A.D. (4th year of the Jinki era), when Zenchu and Zensan, two holy priests who were also twin brothers, built a mountain hut in which to undertake their religious training. In 765 (1th year of the Tempyo-jingo era) they were joined by Prince Kaisei, son of the Emperor Konin. On July 13, 775 (6th year of the Hoki era) 600 scrolls of the Great Hannya Sutra were placed in a receptacle and buried, and the Miroku-ji Temple was erected on top of it.
In 780 (11th year of the Hoki era), a Buddhist priest named Myokan, an incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy, gathered 18 children, and for one month from July 18 to August 18 together carved a 2.4 meter high, eleven-faced sandalwood statue of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) with one thousand hands. This became the principal deity of the temple, as well as the origin of the nation-wide tradition of consecrating the 18th day of each month to Kannon.
gMyokan said that a craftsman's best work is done with a blunt knife. His knife was never sharp.h (from the Tsurezuregusa: Essays in Idleness)
The Chinjudo Hall, Jogyodo Hall, and many other halls and towers were eventually erected, and many people regarded this as a place in which to bestow their faith. It is said that the Emperor Seiwa regained his health as a result of the fervent prayers offered by the Gyojun 6th holy priest. The characters used in the name of the temple were then changed from gKatsu (win) O (monarch) Ji (temple),hto gKatsu (win) O (meaning gtailh but homonymous with the character for monarch) ji (temple).h
The Imperial votive tablet to the Emperor Seiwa still remains at the temple (South of Katsuo-ji guchi bus stop). After the foundation of the temple, although the magnificent lecture hall was completely burnt down during the Juei War, Kajiwara Kagetoki and Kumagai Naozane, along with others, made strong efforts to reconstruct the temple by under the orders of Minamoto Yoritomo in 1188 (4th year of the Bunji era). The memorial tower of the burnt temple still exists today.