A poor box, alms box, offertory box, or mite box is a box, used to collect coins for charitable purposes. They can be found in most churches built before the 19th century and were the main source of funds for poor relief before societies decided to organize the process and make the public authorities responsible for this. Contemporary mite boxes are made of cardboard and given out to church congregations during the Lenten season; the mite boxes are collected by the church, the donations are given to the poor. Mite boxes are popular with children because they can fill them with small change, teaching them the principle of giving to the poor; the Mite box giving promotes the spirit of contributing based on the intent to help others and not on the monetary amount. The origin of the mite box is old. In 2 Kings 12:9, the priest Jehoiada bored a hole in the lid of a chest and placed it near the first altar, however this was to fund maintenance rather than alms. Pope Innocent III, at the end of the twelfth century, allowed some mite boxes to be placed in churches so that the faithful people may at any time dispose their alms.
Many Catholic parish churches in Ireland have two collection boxes, one "for the church" and the other "for the poor". The term mite, according to the dictionary, is defined as any of the following: a small contribution or amount of money, such as a widow's mite. A small object, creature, or particle. A coin of small value an obsolete British coin worth half a farthing. An alms box is a strong chest or box fastened to the wall of a church to receive offerings for the poor; the etymology of the word mite comes through Middle English and Middle Dutch from the Middle Low German mīte, a small Flemish coin or tiny animal. In biblical times a mite or lepton was a small coin of no worth. Lutheran Women's Missionary League Lesson of the widow's mite Coinage of Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea
In Shinto shrine architecture, the haiden is the hall of worship or oratory. It is placed in front of the shrine's main sanctuary and built on a larger scale than the latter; the haiden is connected to the honden by a heiden, or hall of offerings. While the honden is the place for the enshrined kami and off-limits to the general public, the haiden provides a space for ceremonies and for worshiping the kami. In some cases, for example at Nara's Ōmiwa Shrine, the honden can be missing and be replaced by a patch of sacred ground. In that case, the haiden is the most important building of the complex
Nakazonae is a Japanese classification of several intercolumnar struts of different origin installed in the intervals between bracket complexes at wooden architectures in East Asia. In origin they were necessary to help support the roof, they remained in use, albeit in a purely decorative role, are typical of the Wayō style. The Zenshūyō style used by Zen temples has instead bracket complexes between posts; the simplest of these struts are the kentozuka composed of a bearing block. Similar to the kentozuka is the fan-shaped strut called minozuka, which can have decorations on the two sides called 笈形 or a collar-like decoration between post and bearing block; the name comes from similar to that of a traditional straw raincoat called mino. A variant of the hijiki or timu is the hana-hijiki, composed by either one or two horizontal series bearing blocks standing over an elaborately carved floral pattern; the 人-shaped dougong warizuka strut consists of a wooden inverted V topped by a bearing block.
The kaerumata or tuofeng was named after its shape. Its origins are not known with certainty. Invented during the 12th century, it became more and more elaborate, to the point where in the Edo period the strut itself would be hidden behind the decorations. Two basic types exist. In the case of the sukashi-kaerumata, the space above and between the frog legs is either empty or carved. In the case of the ita-kaerumata, the space between the legs has disappeared, leaving behind a solid board with an external frog-leg profile
A chōzuya or temizuya is a Shinto water ablution pavilion for a ceremonial purification rite known as temizu. Water-filled basins, called chōzubachi, are used by worshippers for washing their left hands, right hands and the handle of the water ladle to purify themselves before approaching the main Shinto shrine or shaden; this symbolic purification is normal before worship and all manned shrines have this facility, as well as many Buddhist temples and some new religious houses of worship. The temizuya is an open area where clear water fills one or various stone basins. Wooden dippers are available to worshippers; this purification was done at a spring, stream or seashore and this is still considered the ideal. Worshippers at the Inner Shrine at Ise still use this traditional way of ablution. Chōzubachi Glossary of Shinto Misogi, a Shinto ritual of full-body purification Ritual purification Wudhu Ablution in Christianity
Kasuga-zukuri is a traditional Shinto shrine architectural style which takes its name from Kasuga Taisha's honden. It is characterized by the use of a building just 1x1 ken in size with the entrance on the gabled end covered by a veranda. In Kasuga Taisha's case, the honden is just 1.9 m x 2.6 m. Supporting structures are painted vermilion, while the plank walls are white, it has a tsumairi structure. The roof is gabled, decorated with purely ornamental poles called chigi or katsuogi, covered with cypress bark. After the nagare-zukuri style, this is the most common Shinto shrine style. While the first is common all over Japan, shrines with a kasuga-zukuri honden are found in the Kansai region around Nara. If a diagonal rafter is added to support the portico, the style is called sumigi-iri kasugazukuri. While superficially different, the kasuga-zukuri shares an ancestry with the most popular style in Japan, the nagare-zukuri; the two for example share pillars set over a double-cross-shaped foundation and a roof which extends over the main entrance, covering a veranda.
The foundation's configuration is typical not of permanent, but of temporary shrines, built to be periodically moved. This shows that, for example, both the nagare-zukuri Kamo Shrine and Kasuga Taisha used to be dedicated to a mountain cult, that they had to be moved to follow the movements of the kami; the styles both have a veranda in front of the main entrance, a detail which makes it they both evolved from a simple gabled roof
Shinto architecture is the architecture of Japanese Shinto shrines. With a few exceptions, the general blueprint of a Shinto shrine is Buddhist in origin. Before Buddhism, shrines were just temporary. Buddhism brought to Japan the idea of permanent shrines and much of Shinto architecture's vocabulary; the presence of verandas, stone lanterns, elaborate gates are examples of this influence. The composition of a Shinto shrine is variable, none of its possible features are present; the honden or sanctuary, the part which houses the kami and, the centerpiece of a shrine, can be missing. However, since its grounds are sacred, they are surrounded by a fence made of stone or wood called tamagaki, while access is made possible by an approach called sandō; the entrances themselves are straddled by gates called torii, which are therefore the simplest way to identify a Shinto shrine. A shrine may include within its grounds each destined to a different purpose. Among them are the honden or sanctuary, where the kami are enshrined, the heiden, or hall of offerings, where offers and prayers are presented, the haiden or hall of worship, where there may be seats for worshipers.
The honden is the building that contains the shintai "the sacred body of the kami". Of these, only the haiden is open to the laity; the honden is located behind the haiden and is much smaller and unadorned. Other notable shrine features are the temizuya, the fountain where visitors cleanse their hands and mouth and the shamusho, the office that supervises the shrine. Shrines can be large, as for example Ise Shrine, or as small as a beehive, as in the case of the hokora, small shrines found on road sides. Before the forced separation of Shinto and Buddhism, it was not uncommon for a Buddhist temple to be built inside or next to a shrine or to the contrary for a shrine to include Buddhist subtemples. If a shrine was a Buddhist temple, it was called a jingu-ji. At the same time, temples in the entire country adopted tutelary kami (chinju and built temple shrines called chinjusha to house them. After the forcible separation of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines ordered by the new government in the Meiji period, the connection between the two religions was severed, but continued nonetheless in practice.
The practice of marking sacred areas began in Japan as early as the Yayoi period originating from primal Shinto tenets. Features in the landscape such as rocks, waterfalls and mountains, were places believed to be capable of attracting kami, subsequently were worshiped as yorishiro. Sacred places may have been marked with a surrounding fence and an entrance gate or torii. Temporary buildings similar to present day portable shrines were constructed to welcome the gods to the sacred place. Over time the temporary structures evolved into permanent structures that were dedicated to the gods. Ancient shrines were constructed according to the style of storehouses; the buildings had gabled roofs, raised floors, plank walls, were thatched with reed or covered with hinoki cypress bark. Such early shrines did not include a space for worship. Three important forms of ancient shrine architectural styles exist: taisha-zukuri, shinmei-zukuri and sumiyoshi-zukuri They are exemplified by Izumo Taisha, Nishina Shinmei Shrine and Sumiyoshi Taisha and date to before 552.
According to the tradition of Shikinen sengū-sai, the buildings or shrines were faithfully rebuilt at regular intervals adhering to the original design. In this manner, ancient styles have been replicated through the centuries to the present day; the following is a diagram illustrating the most important elements of a Shinto shrine. Torii – Shinto gate Stone stairs Sandō – the approach to the shrine Chōzuya or temizuya – fountain to cleanse one's hands and face Tōrō – decorative stone lanterns Kagura-den – building dedicated to Noh or the sacred kagura dance Shamusho – the shrine's administrative office Ema – wooden plaques bearing prayers or wishes Sessha/massha – small auxiliary shrines Komainu – the so-called "lion dogs", guardians of the shrine Haiden – oratory Tamagaki – fence surrounding the honden Honden – main hall, enshrining the kami. On the roof of the haiden and honden are visible chigi and katsuogi, both common shrine ornamentations; the torii is a gate which marks the entrance to a sacred area but not a shrine.
A shrine may have any number of torii made of wood, metal, concrete or any other material. They can be found in different places within a shrine's precincts to signify an increased level of holiness. Torii can be found at Buddhist temples, however they are an accepted symbol of Shinto, as such are used to mark shrines on maps; the origin of the torii is unclear, no existing theory has been accepted as valid. They may for example have originated in India as a derivative of the torana gates in the monastery of Sanchi, located in central India; the sandō is the road approaching either a Buddhist temple. Its point of origin is straddled in the first case by a Shinto torii, in the second by a Buddhist sanmon, gates which mark the beginning of the shrine's or temple territory. There can be stone lanterns and other decorations at any point along its course. There can be more than one sandō, in which case the main one is called omote-sandō, or front sandō, ura-sandō, or rear sandō, etc. B
Hiyoshi-zukuri or hie-zukuri called shōtei-zukuri / shōtai-zukuri or sannō-zukuri is a rare Shinto shrine architectural style presently found in only three instances, all at Hiyoshi Taisha in Ōtsu, hence the name. They are the Sessha Usa Jingū Honden, it is characterized by a hip-and gable roof with verandas called hisashi on the sides. It has a hirairi structure, that is, the building has its main entrance on the side which runs parallel to the roof's ridge; the building is composed of a 3x2 ken core called moya surrounded on three sides by a 1-ken wide hisashi, totaling 5x3 ken. The three-sided hisashi is typical of this style; the gabled roof extends in small porticos on the two gabled sides. The roof on the back has a characteristic shape