Why is a torii red?
Many of you may be familiar with a torii (鳥居), the gate of a temple in Japan and as you can see in your emoji list ⛩️, it is usually red in color. Do you know why the gate of a temple in Japan is red or vermilion?
What is a Torii?
Torii is the gate of a Shinto temple that functions as a barrier between the area where humans live and the sacred area where gods and goddesses live.
Torii are basically two parallel bars which are supported by two vertical pillars, and are painted in red and orange. The torii symbol on the Japanese map signifies the location of Shinto shrines.
Why is the Torii red or vermilion?
Actually there is a reason why torii has is red or vermilion. In Japan, red is a symbol of fire and the sun, which is also considered as the color of life, which has a function to reject evil spirits, danger, and bad luck. It is believed that the red torii in front of a shrine wards off evil spirits, danger, and bad luck.
Apart from having a spiritual function, the red color has a preservative function. Red paint is usually made using mercury, which has been used as a preservative for wood since ancient times.
Famous Torii in Japan
In Japan, there are many temples that have become iconic because of their torii.
Motonosumi Inari Shrine
Motonosumi Inari Shrine located in Yamaguchi prefecture, the 123 gates here make it one of the 31 most beautiful attractions in Japan.
Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima in Hiroshima has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The torii can be approached during low tide but when the tide is high, you can see it ethereally floating above the water.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha located in Kyoto is famous for its beautiful and extraordinary paths lined with torii. Possibly one of the most photographed attractions in Japan, tourists visit this temple to admire the thousands of torii!
If you want to take a memorable shot of yourself with torii, head to these shrines in Tokyo!.