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The Great of Buddha: The History of Building

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From 7 century, the Buddhism Culture spread in Japan and it came from China. Temples were built in throughout of Japan for hoping Japan’s peace and quiet. This time was called the Tenpyo Culture and it is a gorgeous aristocratic and Buddhistic culture. In that time, there were many problems which threat people, for example, there was a drought, famine due to harvest failure, trend of epidemic, natural disaster and so on. These are the main reason for building temples.

In 724, Shomu emperor took over the throne and after 4 years he got a crown prince, but he died before becoming 1 year old. Furthermore, Shomu emperor had the other bad luck that Nagayano-ookimi, whom Shomu emperor credit on very much, carried out a suicide. From these reasons, Shomu emperor decided to build Kokubun-temple and Kokubunni-temple in Japan. Shomu emperor had been believed Konkoumyokyo which is kind of a Buddhist sutra. This includes the meaning; the Buddhism will protect this country: Japan. That is why Shomu emperor chose this Buddhist sutra.

The official name of the great Buddha of Nara is the 東大寺盧舎那仏像 in Japanese. The word of 盧舎那仏 means absolute Buddhist which resemble the world and it is a reverend existence.

In 743, Shomu emperor gave an order to build a the Great Buddha. This order was called Mikotonori in Japanese. In the process of building it, a person called Gyoki did a hard work on it. He was a Buddhism monk of virtue. He contributed to build bridges or temples in many places. Thanks to Gyoki, he could collect materials like many woods or much gold and copper from all Japan. 9 years passed after Shomu emperor showed Mikotonori, the Great of Buddha of Nara was completed, however, its director Gyoki has not been being able to watch it because he had passed away in 749.

After accomplished building the Big Buddha, people started building the Colossal Hall of the Great Buddha. It was accomplished in 758. The official name is the Todaiji-Kondo and this is the biggest wooden architecture in the world. There were many accidents and the Great Buddha and the Todaiji-Kondo were fired and broken again and again. People got them back together each time, however, it was impossible to repair them as original ones, so the size became much smaller. More than 1200 years ago, each of them were much bigger than that of present.

Until Edo period, the Great of Buddha and its Colossal Hall was left without repairing. In the same era, there was a monk called Kokei  who started walking throughout of Japan and collected money for repairing the Great Buddha and the Colossal Hall of it. Thanks for his and government’s supports, he could collect much money about billion yen. Finally, they succeeded to repair the Great of Buddha and the Colossal Hall of it in 1692.

Overall, it is said that people needed to get much funds and materials for repairing the Great Buddha and its Colossal Hall in any time. While they had a civil war, it was hard to continue to think about rebuilding them, and there was a time which a part of the Great Buddha was broken and felt down on the ground. People must have had a relief when they finally accomplished rebuilding the Great Buddha of Nara.

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The Great of Buddha: the History of Building. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
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