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Encyclopedia > Torii
A famous "floating" torii at Itsukushima Shrine
A famous "floating" torii at Itsukushima Shrine
Multiple torii at Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto
Multiple torii at Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto
Torii are widespread in Japan, to the extent that modern architecture sometimes emulates their form, such as at Kanazawa Station.
Torii are widespread in Japan, to the extent that modern architecture sometimes emulates their form, such as at Kanazawa Station.

A torii (鳥居?) is a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entry to a Shinto shrine, although it can be found at Buddhist temples as well. It has two upright supports and two crossbars on the top, and is frequently painted vermilion. Some torii have tablets with writing mounted between the crossbars. Traditionally, torii are made of wood or stone. In recent times, makers have started to use steel and even stainless steel. Torii mark the transition from the sacred (the shrine) to the profane (the normal world) (see Sacred-profane dichotomy). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (966x684, 688 KB) A Japanese torii at dusk at Itsukushima Shrine Taken in August 2004 by Dan Smith. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (966x684, 688 KB) A Japanese torii at dusk at Itsukushima Shrine Taken in August 2004 by Dan Smith. ... The torii of Itsukushima Shrine, the sites most recognizable landmark, appears to float in the water. ... Download high resolution version (3072x2048, 1145 KB)larger version of my Kyoto Fushimi Inari Torii photo * Author: me, Paul Vlaar * Source: http://www. ... Download high resolution version (3072x2048, 1145 KB)larger version of my Kyoto Fushimi Inari Torii photo * Author: me, Paul Vlaar * Source: http://www. ... The gates at Fushimi Inari Fushimi Inari Taisha ) is a shinto jinja (shrine) dedicated to the spirit Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1818x1228, 911 KB) Summary Kanazawa Station -- torii-style gate Photo taken by me in July, 2006 Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1818x1228, 911 KB) Summary Kanazawa Station -- torii-style gate Photo taken by me in July, 2006 Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A torii-style gate at Kanazawa-Station. ... A gate is a point of entry to a space enclosed by walls, or an opening in a fence. ... A Jinja (Japanese: 神社) is a Shinto shrine including its surrounding natural area but it is more common to refer to buildings as a jinja. ... The Buddha in Kamakura (1252). ... Vermilion, also spelled vermillion, when found naturally-occurring, is an opaque reddish orange pigment, used since antiquity, originally derived from the powdered mineral cinnabar. ... The dichotomy between the sacred and the profane has been identified by French sociologist Emile Durkheim as the central characteristic of religion: religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden. ...


Inari shrines typically have many torii. A person who has been successful in business often donates a torii in gratitude. The Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto has thousands of such torii. Inari (Japanese: 稲荷) is the Shinto god of fertility, rice, and foxes. ... The gates at Fushimi Inari Fushimi Inari Taisha is a shinto jinja dedicated to Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. ... This page is about the city Kyoto. ...


The origin of the word "torii" is not known. One theory is that it was designed for birds to rest, as hinted by the kanji (鳥 tori: bird; 居 i: place). This is because in Shintoism, birds are considered messengers of the gods. A second theory is that it is derived from the term tōri-iru (通り入る: pass through and enter). Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... “Megami” redirects here. ...

Contents

Legend

It is unknown whether torii are indigenous to Japan or if they were imported from somewhere else like Korea or China. However, in an old Japanese legend, the sun goddess Amaterasu became extremely annoyed with her prankster brother Susanoo, so she hid herself in a cave and sealed the entrance with a rock, causing an eclipse. The people were afraid that, if the sun never returned, they would all die. So, at the advice of a wise old man, they built a large bird perch out of wood and placed all the town's cockerels on it. They all started to crow noisily, causing the curious sun goddess to peek out of her cave. The door being open a crack, a large sumo wrestler from the town ran up and pushed the rock away, letting the sun out, and thus the world was saved. That bird perch was the first torii gate. From then on, the torii became a symbol of prosperity and good fortune, and spread all over Japan.[citation needed] The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe. ... Susanoo, (Japanese: 須佐之男命, Susa-no-O-no-Mikoto; also romanized as Susanoo, Susa-no-O, and Susanowo) in Shinto is the god of the sea and storms. ... Photo taken during the 1999 eclipse. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ...


Purpose of torii at Shinto shrines

Torii mark the entrance to sacred space in Japan. Passing underneath a torii on the way to visit a shrine is, along with washing one's hands and mouth with water, an act of sanctification and purification before approaching the kami to pray. For this reason, people who are in a state of uncleanliness are not permitted to approach a Shinto shrine for prayer as their uncleanliness would defile the grounds. Examples of uncleanliness in the Shinto tradition include a woman who is menstruating or anybody who has lost a relative in the past year. When a Japanese person suffers a death in the family, he or she will go to Buddhist temples instead of a Shinto shrine to offer prayers for 1 year, including for the essential first visit of the new year, Hatsumoude. [citation needed] “Megami” redirects here. ... The Buddhist temple Wat Chiang Man, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which dates from the late 13th century Buddhist temples and monasteries, sorted by location. ... A torii is a gate leading to a jinja. ...


Other uses

Similar structures can be found in Tai societies, and also exist within Nicobarese and Shompen villages. Compare also to torana, in Hindu and Buddhist architecture (India, Nepal). Tai peoples include: the Lao of Laos and Northeast Thailand the Northern Thai (Lanna or Thai Yuan) of Thailand the Thai of Thailand the Shan (Thai Yai) of Burma the Thai Lue of Laos and China (also called Dai) the Nung of China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam the Black Tai (Tai... Nicobarese is an isolated group of six closely related Mon-Khmer languages spoken in the Nicobar Islands of India. ... The Shompen are a Nicobarese aboriginal group. ... A torana is an element of Hindu and Buddhist architecture. ... A Hindu ( , Devanagari: हिन्दु), as per modern definition, is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, and the religious, philosophical and cultural system that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by...


The torii is also the symbol of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division which is nicknamed Rakkasans (Japanese for falling umbrellas).


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Torii

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... One of the formal entrances or Paifang to Chinatown in London, England. ... A section of The Gates between the Great Lawn oval and the 86th Street Transverse (Feb. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

External links

  • Myojin Torii (English)

References

  • Historical Items about Japan. Michelle Jarboe (2007-05-11). Retrieved on 2007-06-18.
  • Torii. Encyclopedia of Shinto. Kokugakuin University (2005-06-02). Retrieved on 2006-10-10.
  • Torii-Gate. NYC24. Jim Higdon (2005). Retrieved on 2007-06-18.
  • Torii Gate. Humanities Department. University of California Santa Cruz (2006-03-01). Retrieved on 2007-06-18.

  Results from FactBites:
 
JockBio: Torii Hunter Biography (4870 words)
Torii marveled at Jackson's sprinter's speed, raw power and impeccable instincts—and thrilled with the rest of the country as he became a star for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Royals in the 1980s.
Torii was slowed early in the season by a short stint on the DL, but Minnesota played great without him, posting a nine-game winning streak in mid-May to move their record to 22-13.
Torii's range is unmatched—a product of his tremendous speed and an uncanny, crack-of-the-bat sense of where he needs to be when a hard-hit baseball returns to earth.
CNN - Cool kimonos: Torii's creations are feminine and fun - November 25, 1998 (459 words)
Torii says kimonos are as modern today as when they were first worn in China centuries ago.
Torii says not all of her models have worn kimonos before.
Torii's kimono fabrics are mostly made of polyester fibers that are washable and won't wrinkle.
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