Recent research has rekindled a century-old dispute among experts of ancient Japanese architecture over the age of one of the country's most famous buildings.

Officials at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties have declared that the main hall of Horyuji Temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, was built after 668. The famous temple is popularly believed to have been rebuilt between 708 and 714 after being destroyed by a fire.

The growth rings of two pieces of timber used for ceiling boards in the "kondo," or main hall, of the temple show that they were cut between 668 and 669 and between 667 and 668, respectively, according to the institute.