Mountain located south of Kyoto, this mountain serves as the headquarters of the Shingon school. The founder of Shingon, Kūkai (774–835) received imperial permission in 816 to establish a centre of esoteric practice there, but was unable to complete the temple complex before his death. At first, Mt. Kōya shared leadership with the Tōji.which had been the other primary centre of Kūkai's activities, which led to a struggle for supremacy. However, Kūkai's body had been entombed on the mountain, and legends of the master's ‘eternal samādhi’ on the mountain made it a popular pilgrimage site. Based on this and other factors, the mountain did eventually achieve clear leadership.