Built in 752, Todai-ji served as the focal point of all Buddhist practice in Japan. The temple grew to be so powerful and influential that it cost Nara its place as the capital city. To lessen the temples sway on governmental procedures, the nexus of bureaucracy was moved to Kyoto in 784. In the days before instant communication, a little distance went a long way. The temple is no stranger to tragedy. It has burned down twice, once in 1180 and again in 1567. Its current form is only two thirds its original size.