Constructed in 752 on the order of Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji Temple's Great Buddha Hall in Nara is the largest wooden structure in the world and houses an immense statue of Rushana Butsu.
Todai-ji Temple's huge Daibutsuden is now two-thirds of its original size.
The Daibutsu Hall contains this 14.84 metre bronze statue of the "Cosmic Buddha" (Mahavairocana), later known as Dainichi Nyorai in Japan's esoteric Buddhism.
In 784, Emperor Kammu moved the capital from Heijo-kyo (Nara) to Nagaoka and then Heian-kyo (Kyoto) to escape the meddlesome influence of the powerful Nara temples on affairs of state. However, Todai-ji Temple had close links with the imperial family and nearby Kofuku-ji was the clan temple of the powerful Fujiwaras, so both continued to exert some influence on the court. Todai-ji was one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara, which flourished before the capital was moved and remained influential for centuries.
The Daibutsu Hall contains a number of important sculptures and more can be found at the temple's nearby Hokkedo (Lotus Hall) and Kaidan-in (Ordination Hall).