Yakushi-ji is one of the most famous ancient Buddhist temples in Japan, located in Nishi-no-kyo of Nara-shi.
The temple is the headquarters of Hosso school of Japanese Buddhism.
It is one of the seven great temples of Nanto (synonym of Nara).
According to the Nihon-syoki, the original Yakushi-ji was built in Fujiwara-kyo, Japan's capital in the Asuka period, commissioned by Emperor Temmu in 680.
Emperor Temmu built this temple to pray for recovery from illness for his sick wife, Empress Uno-no-Sarara, who succeeded him as Empress Jito.
However, Emperor Temmu died in 686, without seeing completion of the temple, and the temple maintenance was taken by Emperor Jito and Emperor Mommu.
According to the Shoku Nihongi(an imperially commissioned history of Japan written in the early Heian period), the temple was completed mostly in 698 and Emperor Mommu made the priests live there.