After several decennia of studying some of the eldest documents and writings of the Buddhist monks of Tōdai-ji, one of the biggest secrets of the Tōdai-ji could finally be confirmed last year. Archeologists had suspected its existence since long, but have not been able to confirm or deny its truth. But in 2009 the infamous antropologist Takadabawa Fujima (高歯だわ 藤間) discovered an – until then unknown – opening near the grounds of the Great Hall. Using a camera on a small car he was able to follow the whole tunnel, but not before he managed to pass a deep underground well. When he conquered that problem, he could continue his camera-tour further.
At the end of the tunnel (or actually at the beginning) he had to solve the issue of how to open the secret door. But when he realized it was no real door but more like a diaphragm, he had arrived at the end of his Quest: he found himself (or better said: his camera) inside the left-buttock of the Great Buddha! He had proven the existence of a secret escape-tunnel from the Great Hall into the open!!
The news has not oficially been released yet, but this will happen on the eve of the opening-festivities in May 2010.
Before that, the Nara Public Works Department is continuously working on making the tunnel accessible for the public:
But for you lucky ones, here is the – still unpublished and actually topsecret – exit of that newly found tunnel: