Toshodai-ji Temple was founded in 759 A.D. by Rev. Ganjin, a Chinese priest on the present site. This was the first seminary in Japan for the Ritsu sect priesthood specializing in the observance of the commandments. In the main edifice (Tempyo Period), which gives an impression of grandness, are seen three big dry lacquer statues. The lecture hall was originally part of the Imperial Palace of Nara, was donated to this Temple. In a quiet grove in the compounds, the grave of Rev. Ganjin reminds visitors of the brave but sad story of the great blind priest who contributed much to the Tempyo culture.
The Temple was undergoing reconstruction and is expected to be completed in 2009.
Toshadai-ji Temple from Tales of Genji