Friday, January 30, 2009

Torii of Itsukushima, Japan

Japan-1, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Postcard World.

The Torii, or Gateway, at Miyajima Island is a classic and beloved icon of Japan, as well as a condensed essence of traditional Japanese architectural expression. This grand wooden gateway, both sturdy and graceful, sits in the tidal flats before the historic Buddist temple complex of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island, in the same region as the city of Hiroshima in Japan.

Built on axis with the sea-facing shrine, the gate serves to welcome spirits of the departed as they come in across the water of Japan's Inland Sea. At low tide, visitors walk around the great columns of the structure, measuring its great size against the human body. At high tide, the rugged vermillion gateway seems to float in the waves around it, a gateway for boats, or for spirits indeed.


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