Tōdai-ji ［東大寺］: The head temple of the Flower Garland (Kegon) school in Nara, Japan. One of the seven major temples of Nara. It was the headquarters of the official provincial temples established throughout the country by imperial edict in 741. Tōdai-ji was built in the middle of the eighth century to fulfill a vow of Emperor Shōmu and opened by Rōben (689–773), who became its first chief priest. A great image of Vairochana Buddha was erected at this temple by an edict of Emperor Shōmu issued in 743. In 749 the bronze statue was completed, and in 752 a grand ceremony was held to consecrate it. In 754 Chien-chen ( Ganjin), a priest of the Chinese Precepts (Lü; Ritsu) school who had brought the school’s teachings with him to Japan, established an ordination platform at Tōdai-ji. There he conducted ceremonies conferring the precepts on the Retired Emperor Shōmu and some four hundred others. In 1180 almost all of the temple’s major buildings were burned down by warriors of the Taira clan in the course of their war with the Minamoto clan. The following year, with the support of the Retired Emperor Goshirakawa and the shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo, Chōgen (1121–1206) rebuilt the temple. In 1567, however, the fires of war again devastated Tōdai-ji, which was then rebuilt with the sponsorship of the Tokugawa shogunate.