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torii@’Ή‹
CATEGORY:@architecture / shrines
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Also written ’Ή²; Œ{². Lit. bird perch. At one time torii were called uefukazu-no-mikado or uefukazu-no-gomon ‰—γ•s•˜Œδ–ε (a roofless gate). The use of the honorific mi, go Œδ allows the conclusion that such a gate was associated with Shinto shrines. An open gate like structure composed of two posts or pillars *hashira ’Œ, connected by a top lintel *kasagi Š}–Ψ. Occasionally the structure was strengthened by a secondary or collateral lintel *shimaki “‡–Ψ, attached to the underside of the top lintel with a tie beam *nuki ŠΡ, placed below the lintels at a distance about equal to the diameter of the pillar. This distance had much greater variation before the 17c. Exceptions are *toriimon ’Ή‹–ε such as found at Miwa Jinja ‘ε__ŽΠ, or at Wakamiya Žα‹{ of Kasuga Taisha t“ϊ‘εŽΠ, both in Nara, which have portals hung between the pillars. Torii are usually erected at all entrances to a Shinto shrine to separate the hallowed precinct from its secular surroundings. They also serve to distinguish Shinto shrines from Buddhist temples. With the rise of Buddhist-Shinto syncretism in the 12c, Shinto shrines began to appear within the grounds of Buddhist temples. Even then torii were used to mark the entrances to such shrines. The origin of torii is unclear. Some scholars believe that the form derives from the torana gates found at the four points of the compass in the fence surrounding the Great Stupa at the monastery of Sanchi near Bhopal in central India. Other scholars believe that they are related to the bairou ”v˜O in China or the kousenmon gϋ–ε in Korea. Furthermore, the Chinese kahyou ‰Ψ•\ or ‰Τ•\ sometimes has been translated into Japanese as torii, but it is quite different. The SHOUKAHITSUYOUKI  ‰Ζ•K—p‹L (1775) states that the kahyou is not the same as the Japanese torii. It has generally been accepted that torii were already in use by the late 8c because of information given in RUIJUUJINGIHONGEN —ήγڐ_‹_–{ŒΉ (Gathering Material on the Origin of Shinto), compiled in 1320. However, there is reason to doubt its reliability because mention is made of a *haiden ”q“a which did not exist until the 10c and it was not called a haiden until the late 12c or early 13c. Instead, the IZUMII NO KUNI OOTORI JINJA RUKICHOU ˜aς‘‘ε’Ή_ŽΠ—¬‹L’  (The Inventory of the Properties of Ootori Jinja in Izumi) dated 922, is considered an accurate record and torii are mentioned. Therefore, it is certain torii were common by the mid-Heian period.
There is a possibility that torii originated in Japan. They may have developed slowly beginning in very ancient times before shrine buildings were deemed necessary. First, four posts may have been placed in the four corners of a sacred area and rope tied from one to the other to designate the boundaries separating the sacred from the mundane. The next step would have been to place two taller posts at the center of the most auspicious direction to form an entrance for the priest. Rope would then have been stretched from post top to post top. An example of two pillars connected only by a rope shimenawa ’˜A“κ can be seen today in front of the worship hall, Haiden at Oomiwa Jinja. The use of the rope remains a way of denoting a hallowed place. Eventually, the rope was replaced by a wooden lintel. Because the structure was weak with only one lintel, a tie beam was added somewhat below the lintel and the simplest *shinmei torii _–Ύ’Ή‹ came into being. The corner posts around the sacred area became true fence posts to support a simple wooden fence itagaki ”ΒŠ_. Thus, the entire precinct was permanently enclosed. See *kaki Š_ fence. Wood is still commonly used for small torii, and the oldest extant example 1535 is the *ryoubu torii —Ό•”’Ή‹ at Kubohachiman Jinja ŒE”ͺ”¦_ŽΠ, in Yamanashi prefecture.
The oldest example in stone, widely used until recently for its durability, is found at Hachiman Jinja ”ͺ”¦_ŽΠ, Yamagata prefecture and dates from around the middle of the 12c. Occasionally, torii are made with copper sheeting placed over a wooden core. The oldest extant, dated 1455-1457, is a *myoujin torii –Ύ_’Ή‹ at the temple, Kinpusenji ‹ΰ•υŽRŽ›, in Nara. Many torii which may have originally been made of wood have been replaced by stone or reinforced concrete.
Although there are an infinite variety of torii named for unique characteristic, or for the name of the shrine itself, basically all torii can be classified under two major categories: those with straight members, shinmei torii, and those with curved members, myoujin torii. In both cases the terms are loosely applied to torii which fit these simple descriptions. However, shinmei and myoujin also refer to specific styles of torii. 1) Torii with straight members: shinmei torii ; *ise torii ˆΙ¨’Ή‹; *kasuga torii t“ϊ’Ή‹; *hachiman torii ”ͺ”¦’Ή‹; *kashima torii Ž­“‡’Ή‹; *kuroki torii •–Ψ’Ή‹. 2) Torii with curved members: myoujin torii ; *inari torii ˆξ‰Χ’Ή‹; *sannou torii ŽR‰€’Ή‹; *miwa torii ŽO—Φ’Ή‹; ryoubu torii ; *mihashira torii, ŽO’Œ’Ή‹. Three famous myoujin type torii with some noticeably unique characteristics are referred to by the name of their shrines: shitennouji ishidorii Žl“V‰€Ž›Ξ’Ή‹; *usa torii ‰F²’Ή‹; and *hakozaki torii ⦍蒹‹. Before the Premodern period, the proportion of parts of torii varied greatly. From the end of the 16c. general dimensions were prescribed: the diameter of pillars should be about equal to 1/10 the distance from pillar center to pillar center. According to the *SHOUMEI  –Ύ (Five Secret Books for Master Carpenters: 1608), the height of the pillar from the ground to the underside of the tie beam must be determined by a square constructed from the edges of the pillars. A circle is then inscribed. The underside of the tie beam coincides with the upper most perimeter of the circle. The projection of the tie beam is calculated by dividing its length into 3rds from pillar center to pillar center. The ends of the tie beams should project 1/3 of that length. The slanted cuts *tasukizumi ζF–n on the ends of the lintels are determined by a line projected, nagarezumi “Š–n, from the bottom center of the pillar to the upper or lower corners *uwakado γŠp or *shitakado ‰ΊŠp, of the tie beam.
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