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Also called Chōkokuji. Head temple of the Buzan branch of the Shingon sect of Buddhism; located in the city of Sakurai, Nara Prefecture. According to tradition, the Hase-dera was founded by the monk Dōmyō on the order of Emperor Temmu (r 672-686). In 747 the cleric Gyōgi is said to have consecrated the image of the Eleven-Headed Kannon, the bodhisattva who became the main object of worship at the temple. In 1900 the temple established itself as the head temple of the Buzan branch. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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