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The original complex also contained two 100 m pagodas, among the tallest structures at the time. The Shōsōin was its storehouse, and now contains many artifacts from the Tenpyo period of Japanese history.
The Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) has been rebuilt twice after fire.
Gyōki, with his pupils, traveled the provinces asking for donations.
According to records kept by Tōdai-ji, more than 2,600,000 people in total helped construct the Great Buddha and its Hall; contributing rice, wood, metal, cloth, or labor; with 350,000 working directly on the statue's construction.
During Kūkai's administration of the Sōgō, additional ordination ceremonies were added to Tōdai-ji, including ordination of the Bodhisattva Precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra and the esoteric Precepts, or Samaya, from Kukai's own newly established Shingon school of Buddhism.
Kūkai added an Abhiseka Hall for the use of initiating monks of the six Nara schools into the esoteric teachings. During its height of power, Tōdai-ji's famous Shuni-e ceremony was established by the monk Jitchū, and continues to this day.
This complex preservation project, costing .7 million, involved a restoration team of 15 experts from the National Treasure Repairing Institute in Kyoto.
Various buildings of the Tōdai-ji have been incorporated within the overall aesthetic intention of the gardens' design.
The existing Nandaimon (Great South Gate) was constructed at the end of the 12th century based on Song Dynasty style, after the original gate was destroyed by a typhoon during the Heian period.
According to legend, the monk Gyoki went to Ise Grand Shrine to reconcile Shinto with Buddhism, spending seven days and nights reciting sutras until the oracle declared Vairocana Buddha compatible with worship of the sun goddess Amaterasu.
for the six Buddhist schools in Japan at the time: the Hossō, Kegon, Jōjitsu, Sanron, Ritsu and Kusha.
As the center of power in Japanese Buddhism shifted away from Nara to Mount Hiei and the Tendai sect, and when the capital of Japan moved to Kamakura, Tōdai-ji's role in maintaining authority declined as well.
In later generations, the Vinaya lineage also died out, despite repeated attempts to revive it, thus no more ordination ceremonies take place at Tōdai-ji.