The Rokkakudo (Chohoji) temple is said to have been founded by Shotoku Taishi (Prince Regent Shotoku). Successive generations of Ikenobo headmasters have served as head priests of this temple and the site is known as the “birthplace of ikebana.”
Ikenobo: Rokkakudo Temple
According to legend, when Prince Shōtoku was a child on Awaji Island he found a small Chinese chest that had floated ashore. Opening the lid, the prince found a gold image about 5.5 cm long of the Nyoirin Kannon, which he decided to keep as a sacred Buddhist image or amulet. He prayed to the Kannon to bring him success, promising Kannon that he would build Shitenno-ji Temple (in the area of present Osaka) if he was successful.
In 587, Prince Shotoku decided to build the great temple of Shitennoj-i in Osaka. Searching for building materials, the prince journeyed out from Osaka. It was a hot day and the prince stopped by a pond to cool down. He took off his clothes and his precious amulet in order to bathe in the pond. He placed his clothes and the Nyoirin Kannon on a nearby tree. After his swim, he went to put on his clothes and put the Nyoirin Kannon back in his pocket. Suddenly the Kannon became too heavy to pick up and the prince was unable to continue. So the prince decided to spend the night there and await the morning.
During the night he dreamed that Nyoirin Kannon appeared to him saying, “With this amulet I have given you, I have protected many generations but now I wish to remain in this place. You must build a six sided temple and enshrine me within this temple. Many people will come here and be healed.” So Prince Shotoku built the temple and enshrined Nyoirin Kannon within it.