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Shōmu Tenno (724—749)


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A temple in the ancient Japanese city of Nara that served as the headquarters for the six sects of Nara period Buddhism.and also served as the centre for the governmental agencies that dealt with monastic affairs. Originally known as the Konshōji, it was rededicated as the Tōdaiji in 757 by the Emperor Shōmu Tennō, and consecrated as the site of the colossal Buddha-image that he had commissioned, known today as the Great Buddha of Nara. The name means Great Eastern Temple and it was the counterpart to the Saidaiji, or Great Western Temple. This was done to follow the Chinese model of city planning, which divided cities into eastern and western districts, each with a major temple.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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