Gyōki ［行基］ (668–749): A priest of Yakushi-ji temple in Nara, Japan. He entered the priesthood in 682 and studied the doctrines of the Dharma Characteristics (Hossō) school. He traveled throughout the provinces to teach these doctrines and is said to have gained some one thousand converts. The imperial court became uneasy about his propagation activities and persecuted him as an agitator. Later, however, after a change in imperial policy, such religious activities were permitted. When Emperor Shōmu proclaimed his vow to build a great image of Vairochana Buddha in 743, Gyōki traveled widely with his disciples, soliciting contributions for its construction. In 745 he was appointed general administrator of priests. In his travels, he also built bridges and embankments, repaired roads, and carried out reclamation and irrigation work. Because of his contributions to public welfare, people highly revered and respected him, calling him Bodhisattva Gyōki.