In 727, early in the Nara Period, two holy priests named Zenchu and Zensan constructed a hut on this mountain.
With these two priest as teachers, Prince Kaijo, a son of the Emperor Konin (770 to 781), established Mirokuji Temple in 765 in his quest to reach the spiritual realm of Buddha.
A Buddhis monk named Myokan, an incarnation of Kannon Bosatsu, and 18 Buddhist statue sculptors, carved a 2.4m meter high eleven-faced statue of Kannon with one thousand hands from sandalwood as the principal image of Buddha and the object of worship for this temple. The carving took from July 18 to August 18. Hence, the 18the day of every month is celebrated as the day conse crated to Kannon throughout Japan.
It is said that the Emperor Seiwa regained his health miraculously because of the fervent prayers offered by the Gyojun 6th holy priest. The Emperor Seiwa granted the priest the use of the name of "Katsu (win) Ou (His Imperial Highness) Ji (Temple)," meaning "the temple that triumphs over His Imperial Highness." Mirokuji Temple, however, chose to use the character of "tail" instead of "His Imperial Highness" to replace "Ou" of "Katsuo-ji temple. The "tail" and "His Imperial Highness" are homonyms in Japanese, meaning they have the same sound (Ou), but differ in the character and meaning.
In 1184 the temple was burnt down in a civil war between Genji and Heike clans, but the temple buildings were reconstrcuted by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first Shogun of Kamakura. Since then, succssive Shougn donated their manors of a magnificient scale to Katsuo-ji Temple. Even the king of Korea became a devout beliver in the Buddhist faith initiated by Katsuo-ji Temple, uninterruptedly handing down BUddha's light. The exisiting Yakushido Hall was erected by Minamoto no Yoritomo, while the main hall and the temple gate were reconstrcuted by Toyotomi Hideyori in early 17th century.
Katsuoji temple is also known as wining temple of Daruma Statue. Many people has been worshipped and make a wish on Daruma. When their wish was accomplished, people donate their Daruma back here.
The main Hall aand Sanmon Gate
Also constructed in early 17th century by Toyotom Hideyori.
... is the 5th sacred place out of the 25 dedicated to Priest Honen, the founder of Pure Land Buddhism. This hall was erectedby Shonyo the 4th holy priest of this temple. Priest Honen stayed here four years in the Kamakura period, giving himself wholly to the service of Amida who rules the Jodo or the Pure Land.
It has a beautiful pond surrounding garden that has a breathtaking scenery, especially during Autumn is so beautiful.