The Hall of the Great Buddha in Tōdaiji Temple
(courtesy of the tourist association of Nara City)(a picture taken by Tatehiko Yano)


Pictures of noted places of Yamato (courtesy of Nara Prefectural Library and Information Center)

The Hall of the Great Buddha in Tōdaiji Temple

Tōdaiji Temple is the head temple of the Kegon sect of Buddha on Zōshi-chō, Nara City. In 743, Emperor Shōmu (701-756(the period of his reign was 724-749)) founded a huge statue of Buddha after many years. He built the Hall of the Great Buddha to install the statue and a magnificent Buddhist ceremony was held to commemorate a finish of the statue. In the ceremony, the statue was given eyes, which means putting life into the image. The ceremony is called by name of ‘Daibutsu Kaigen Kuyōe’. Tōdaiji Temple has till now burnt down twice. The first fire was when Taira-no-Shigehira (1157-1185), who was a samurai at the end of Heian Period (794-1185), destroyed temples in Nara in 1180. The second was when Matsunaga Hisahide (1510-1577) fought against the Miyoshi family (‘Miyoshi Sanninshū’ in Japanese). After Edo Period began, The Hall of the Great Buddha as it is known today was reconstructed in 1709.