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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

Todaiji Temple, a best stage for love and peace through art.

One early autumn night of 8th of September, Todaiji Temple was re-opened at 6PM for the lucky 2,000 people chosen by a drawing for a special performances of 31st OTOBUTAI (音舞台).


Todaiji Temple the Great Buddha hall is used for the stages for many kind of artists to perform their arts in front of the Buddha Vairocana.

Virocana, in Sanskrit, literally means "Shining Light of the Universe". Just as the sun shines on every corner of the Universe, this largest bronze Buddha statue in the world was made with strong wish that the light of the Virocana, the Buddha's love, wisdom, compassion illuminates the entire Universe and shines upon all living beings.

Through history, beautiful dances, music, chantings, songs, were made to be performed to praise and express gratitude for the deities.

Today, Todaiji temple has become a place for the monks, visitors, and artists to pray for World peace, happiness for all living beings.

On the night, it rained some times. All the audience started to where raincoat during the performance. After the announcement, "Even it may going to rain from now on, all the artists have agreed to continue till the end". And even the rain seemed like a part of the attraction.

The ending theme song "This is Me" (from "The Greatest Showman") by all the artists was just fantastic!!

Even Bob Dylan came to sing here in 1994. Bob Dylan in Todaiji Temple: (Click to see the Youtube video)

He was among the many other starts for a

The Great Music Experience -by UNESCO a concert starring Japanese and international musicians joined together in front of the Great Buddha.

Other artists included:

Cara Butler, Hasedera Temple, Shomyo Hiroshi Hori, INXS, Jon Bon Jovi, Joni Mitchell, Koji Tamaki, Leonard Eto and His Drummers, Richie Sambora, Roger Taylor, Ry Cooder, Ryu Hongjun and Tempyo Gafu, Shoukichi Kina, The Chieftains, Todai-ji Shomyo, Tokyo New Philharmonic Orchestra, Tomoyasu Hotei, X Japan, Yoshiki, etc.

I could not see their shows, but it must have been amazing. Thanks to this historical and spiritual stage, music is shared by many people and the messages are heard by many different people, too.


In 2010, The 23rd OTOBUTAI was held in Todaiji, too.

"Facinating stage of the world renown soprano, Sarah Brightman, HY (an independent Okinawa band), and Cirque de Soleil ZED ("Hand to Hand")

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