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Todaiji ("Great Eastern Temple") , the inspiration of Emperor Shomu, was built in 734 A.D. as a national temple. Todaiji is the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan and grew so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower its influence on government affairs. Not only is Todaiji housing Japan's largest Buddha statue (Daibutsu), but it is also the world's largest wooden building, even though the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple's size.

Todaiji Temple
Historical temples