Toshodaiji-Temple was founded in 759 A.D. by Ganjin, a priest of the Tang Dynasty, as a place for teaching the Ritsu Sect of Buddhism. Ganjin underwent tremendous hardships in his attempts to visit Japan. After a period of 12 years, in which he failed five times to cross the Japan Sea, he was finally able to land in Japan, though he had, by that time, become totally blind due to the tough voyages. The “Ganjin Wajo-zo” (statue of the Priest Ganjin) is a national treasure, and is the oldest portrait sculpture in Japan. The Uchiwamaki ceremony takes place on May 19th, when heart shaped paper fans are scattered among the crowd to ward off bad luck.