While in Nara City, I visited the Shin-Yakushi-ji (新薬師寺) temple. Shin-Yakushi-ji is famous for Yakushi Nyorai (薬師如来) statue. Yakushi Nyorai is surrounded by a group of Twelve Divine Generals. According to records at Tōdai-ji, Shin-Yakushi-ji was founded in March 747 as Kōyaku-ji (香薬寺) by Empress Kōmyō (光明皇后 - 701–760) wishing for the recovery of her husband, Emperor Shōmu (聖武天皇, 701 – June 4, 756), who suffered from an eye ailment. She had a large nine bay temple hall (Kon-dō) built and statues of the Seven Buddhas of Healing (七仏薬師) enshrined in it. Such statues were thought to be efficacious against the evil spirits of dead political figures. In the Kamakura period the priests Jōkei (貞慶, 1155–1213) and Myōe (明恵, 1173–1232) restored the temple after the general decline. Around that time today's East Gate, South Gate, belfry and Jizō Hall were built.