A Buddhist high priest Gonzo Daitoku was born in 754 in Takaichi of Yamato Province (Nara Prefecture). He is known as a teacher of Kukai or his posthumous name Kobo Daishi (The Grand Master Kobo). At the age of 12, Gonzo became a disciple of Shinrei, a priest of Daianji Temple. He is said to have practiced Buddhist asceticism in a cave of Nangoku when he was 16 years old. He received Gusoku-kai (a higher form of ordination) around the age of 23. Then he studied the doctrine of the Sanron school (Three Treatise school) under Zengi of Daianji and was initiated into the esoteric learning of that school. He gradually distinguished himself as a theorist of the Sanron school and was bestowed a rank of Risshi as the Dento-Dai-Hosshi-I in 813. Then Emperor Saga allowed him to give a lecture on Saisho-o-kyo (Golden Light Sutra) to the imperial household at Daigokuden (Council hall of the imperial palace). When a religious debate was held at the imperial palace, he served as the chief priest of the Sanron school, defeating opponents by advocating the superiority of the profound teachings of that school. As a result of this victory, he was honored bythe then emperor and was bestowed a rank of Shoshozu. Then he was appointed to the position of Betto (Chief Priest) of Toji Temple which was under construction in Kyoto at that time. Further, he was promoted to Daisozu, serving also as the head priest of Saiji Temple in Kyoto, where he died in 827 and was posthumously conferred the title of Sojo.