Shinto shrine : Kamakura

What is a Shinto shrine?

Stone fox statue with painted eyes and mouth

Elements of shrine design

Shrines are made of all-natural materials (cypress lumber is quite typical) and so are built to provide a home the particular kami to who they're committed. (A shrine isn't limited to a single kami.)

Although shrines tend to be a focus for kami and their devotees, it is very unusual for shrines to include statues of kami. (Shrines do often integrate statues of animals such as for instance foxes or horses - these are perhaps not statues associated with kami but of animals that serve the kami in a variety of ways.)

The bond involving the shrine as well as the natural world is emphasised by-the-way many of the items within a shrine were created with only a small amount person work as you possibly can so that their normal beginnings stay visible. The look associated with the shrine garden is intended generate a-deep feeling of the religious, as well as the equilibrium between humanity as well as the all-natural globe.

Lion statues guarding the doorway to a shrine, with rock lanterns and ceremonial report streamers noticeableTorii

The entrances to shrines are marked by torii gates, made from lumber and painted orange or black. The gates are now arches with two uprights and two crossbars, and symbolise the boundary involving the secular daily world and the unlimited realm of the kami. Since there are no real gates in the torii arch a shrine is definitely open.

There is certainly frequently no wall surface or fence linked to the gates.The many spectacular torii have reached Fushimi-Inari shrine in which the 2 ½ mile road behind the shrine is lined with more than 10, 000 purple torii gates.


A shimenawa is a conventional line made of twisted straw this is certainly often hung between your uprights of a torii. Straws, and paper or cloth streamers hang from the shimenawa. A shimenawa can also be used to mark off sacred or ritual areas inside the shrine, or outside.


These entrances can be guarded by paired statues of dogs or lions, known as komainu. Work is to stay away wicked spirits.

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