Torii: Gateway to a Sacred Space

The entrance to a Shinto shrine (in Japan, but also elsewhere) is customarily marked by a torii, a form of gate which marks the entrance to a sacred space. Torii come in many sizes, and may be made from stone, wood, or other materials, though many (if not the majority) are constructed from wood and painted red. (The color translates “red” from Japanese, even though many Westerners would call it “red-orange”–or, in some cases, simply “orange”). Many shrines have more than one torii, and the gates often grow more frequent the closer visitors get to the shrine’s most sacred spaces.  Fushimi Inari, south of Kyoto, reputedly has over ten

Read more