Tamagushi is a form of Shinto offering made from a sakaki-tree branch decorated with shide strips of washi paper, silk, or cotton. At Japanese weddings, funerals and other ceremonies at Shinto shrines, tamagushi are ritually presented to the kami by parishioners or kannushi priests; the Japanese word tamagushi is written with the kanji tama 玉 "jade. The earliest recorded transcription of tamagushi is 玉籤; the Nihon Shoki "Chronicles of Japan", which mentions a 500-branched masakaki 真榊 "true sakaki" tree, is the locus classicus for tamagushi 玉籤. This mytho-history records a legend that when the sun-goddess Amaterasu got angry with her brother Susano'o and closed the door on the "Rock-cave of Heaven", the gods decorated a giant sakaki tree in order to lure the sun out of the darkness. All the Gods were grieved at this, forthwith caused Ama no nuka-do no Kami, the ancestor of the Be of mirror-makers, to make a mirror, Futo-dama, the ancestor of the Imibe, to make offerings, Toyo-tama, the ancestor of the Be of jewel-makers, to make jewels.
They caused Yama-Tuschi to procure eighty precious combs of the five-hundred-branched true sakaki tree, Nu-dzuchi to procure eighty precious combs of the five-hundred-branched Suzuki grass. This "precious combs" translation derives from tama 玉 and kushi 櫛 "comb", a Nihon Shoki graphic variant of kuji 籤 in the goddess named Tamakushi Hime 玉櫛姫; the Man'yōshū "Myriad Leaves Collection" does not use the word tamagushi but one poem describes making it with paper mulberry: "I tie pure white strands of mulberry to the branches of the sacred tree". Some common tamagushi collocations include: tamagushi o sasageru 玉串を捧げる "offer a tamagushi" tamagushi hōnō 玉串奉納 "dedicate/offer tamagushi " tamagushi-ryō 玉串料 " offerings for tamagushi " Tamagushi has an uncommon secondary meaning of "name for the sakaki tree"; the Shin Kokin Wakashū "New Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems" contains the first occurrence, "Holding the ornamented tamagushi leaves". The sakaki is a flowering evergreen tree, considered sacred in Japanese mythology.
In the present day, Shinto shrines plant it as a sakaiki to demarcate sanctified space. Sakaki is written with the kanji 榊. Carr characterizes 榊 as "a doubly exceptional logograph"; the etymology of tamagushi, like many Japanese words, is uncertain. Despite consensus that -gushi 串 means "skewer; the Kokugaku scholar Motoori Norinaga suggested an etymon of tamukegushi 手向け串 "hand-offered stick/skewer". The Shinto theologian Hirata Atsutane proposed "bejeweled stick/skewer", with tama 玉 referring to decorative "jewels"; the famous ethnologist Kunio Yanagita hypothesized "spiritual stick/skewer", with tama 玉 meaning tama 霊 "spirit. Tamagushi was central to the "Ehime-ken Yasukuni jinjā tamagushi soshō" 愛媛県靖国神社玉串訴訟 "Ehime Prefecture's Yasukuni Shrine tamagushi lawsuit" over the constitutional separation of state and religion. Although Article 20 of the Constitution of Japan prohibits the state establishment of religion and Article 89 forbids expenditure of public money "for the use, benefit, or maintenance of any religious institution", the Ehime Governor paid for tamagushi-ryō 玉串料 "tamagushi offerings" presented at several Shinto shrines.
In 1982, a group of prefectural residents sued his office for having misappropriated ¥ 166,000 in public funds. On March 17, 1989, the Matsuyama District Court ruled the tamagushi offerings were unconstitutional and ordered the defendants to repay the prefecture. On May 12, 1992, the Takamatsu High Court overturned the Matsuyama decision, reasoning that the Shinto offerings were constitutionally allowed within the realm of "social protocol". On April 2, 1997, the Supreme Court of Japan overturned that decision and made a landmark ruling that tamagushi offerings were unconstitutional; the question of what constitutes support of State Shinto remains controversial. For instance, the reformist politician Ichirō Ozawa disagrees with the court ruling. There are some instances where the values specified in the constitution are not in accord with the Japanese traditional culture; the Shinto rite of worshipping one's ancestors is different from the idea of religion in the West. The'Tamagushirō Decision' of the Supreme Court against Ehime Prefecture, which declared that making donations to purchase tamagushi was against the Constitution based on the religious freedom of Article 20, would not strike the Japanese as anti
Sessha and massha called eda-miya are small or miniature shrines entrusted to the care of a larger shrine due to some deep connection with the enshrined kami. The two terms used to have different meanings, but are today synonyms. Setsumatsusha can lie either inside or outside the main shrine's premises. Setsumatsusha are 1x1 ken in size, they can however be as small as beehives or large and have 1x2, 1x3 or in one case, 1x7 bays. The practice of building sessha and massha shrines within a jinja predates written history; the earliest setsumatsusha had some strong connection to the history of the area or the family of the enshrined kami. During the Heian period, Ise Shrine used to make a distinction between the two types based on whether a shrine belonged to the Engishiki Jinmyōchō list or to the Enryaku gishikichō list. From the Japanese Middle Ages onwards, at other shrines popular kami like Hachiman, Inari or Gozu Tennō were enshrined in setsumatsusha, but no clear distinction between the two terms was made.
From the Meiji period to the Second World War, a shrine dedicated to family members of a kami, to the violent side of a kami, or the kami of the region where the main shrine was, were to be considered sessha with a higher rank than the rest, which were called massha. When the shakaku shrine ranking system was abolished in 1946 the distinction disappeared, but both terms remained in use out of habit. Being true shrines, setsumatsusha have most features other types of shrines have, including doors and stairs. However, the Misedana-zukuri is a style used only in sessha and massha, it owes its name to the fact that, unlike other shrine styles, it doesn't feature a stairway at its entrance, the veranda is flat. Miniature stairways can however be present, they can be either tsumairi, have the entrance under the gable, or, more hirairi, that is, have the entrance on the side parallel to the roof's ridge. Apart from the lack of a staircase, such shrines belong to the nagare-zukuri or kasuga-zukuri styles
The hachiman-zukuri is a traditional Japanese architectural style used at Hachiman shrines in which two parallel structures with gabled roofs are interconnected on the non-gabled side, forming one building which, when seen from the side, gives the impression of two. The front structure is called gaiden, the rear one naiden, together they form the honden; the honden itself is surrounded by a cloister-like covered corridor called kairō'. Access is made possible by a gate called rōmon, it has a hirairi or hirairi-zukuri structure, that is, the building has its main entrance on the side which runs parallel to the roof's ridge. There are entrances at the center of the gabled sides. In general, the rear structure is 3x2 ken, while the front one is 3x1; the space between the two structures forms a room called ai-no-ma. The actual width and height of this room vary with the shrine. Extant examples are Usa Shrine and Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū; this style, of which only five Edo period examples survive, may be of Buddhist origin, since some Buddhist buildings show the same division.
For example, Tōdai-ji's hokke-dō is divided in two sections laid out back. Structural details show a strong relationship with the Heian period style called shinden-zukuri used in aristocratic residences. Another possible origin of this style may have been early palaces, known to have had parallel ridges on the roof. Isaniwa Shrine in Matsuyama, Ehime, is a rare example of the hachiman-zukuri style
A katōmado written as, is a style of pointed arch or bell-shaped window found in Japanese architecture. It first arrived in Japan from China together with Zen Buddhism, as an element of Zen style architecture, but from the end of the 16th century it started to be used in temples of other Buddhist sects, Shinto shrines and samurai residences as well; the window was not flared, but its design and shape changed over time: the two vertical frames were widened and curves were added at the bottom. The kanji characters used for its name have changed through the centuries, from the original "fire window" to "flower head window"; the oldest extant example of katōmado can be found in Engaku-ji's Shariden in Kamakura, thought to follow the original style as it was introduced to Japan, with the vertical frames touching the bottom in straight lines. Another well-known example can be found in the room called Genji-no-ma in the Main Hall at Ishiyama-dera, Shiga prefecture. For this reason, katōmado are known as genjimado
The karamon or karakado is a type of gate seen in Japanese architecture. It is characterized by the usage of karahafu, an undulating bargeboard peculiar to Japan. Karamon are used at the entrances of Japanese castles, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, have been a symbol of authority. Although kara can be translated as meaning "China" or "Tang", this type of roof with undulating bargeboards first appeared during the late Heian period, it was named thus because the word kara could mean "noble" or "elegant", was added to names of objects considered grand or intricate regardless of origin. The karahafu developed during the Heian period and is shown in picture scrolls to decorate gates and palanquins; the oldest existing karahafu is found at Hōryū-ji temple. The karahafu was used only in temples and aristocratic gateways, but starting from the beginning of the Azuchi–Momoyama period, it became an important architectural element in the construction of a daimyō's mansions and castles; the karamon entrance was reserved for the shōgun during his onari visits to the retainer, or for the reception of the emperor at shogunate establishments.
A structure associated with these social connections imparted special meaning. Karamon would become a means to proclaim the prestige of a building and functioned as a symbol of both religious and secular architecture. In the Tokugawa shogunate, the karamon gates were a powerful symbol of authority reflected in architecture. Mukaikaramon is the most common form of karamon, features two karahafu at the front and back of the gate; this type of gate may incorporate a karahafu in the middle of the roof, or the entire gable itself may be a curved structure. Hirakaramon are distinguished with two karahafu on the left and right sides of the gate; this type of gate was used at palaces, was once called miyukimon. Karayotsuashimon is an ornate style of karamon that features four undulating gables on all sides of the gate. A good example of this type of gate can be found at Nikkō Tōshō-gū. Karahafu Japanese architecture Japanese Buddhist architecture Japanese castle Buddhist temples in Japan Shinto shrine List of National Treasures of Japan
Mon is a generic Japanese term for gate used, either alone or as a suffix, in referring to the many gates used by Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and traditional-style buildings and castles. Unlike gates of secular buildings, most temple and shrine gates are purely symbolic elements of liminality, as they cannot be closed and just mark the transition between the mundane and the sacred. In many cases, for example that of the sanmon, a temple gate has cleansing properties. Gate size is measured in ken, where a ken is the interval between two pillars of a traditional-style building. A temple's rōmon for example can have dimensions from a maximum of 5x2 ken to a more common 3x2 ken, down to one ken; the word is translated in English as "bay" and is better understood as an indication of proportions than as a unit of measurement. Like the temples they belong to, gates can be in the wayō, daibutsuyō, zen ` setchūyō style, they can be named after: Their location, of the omotemon or the karametemon. The deity they house, as the Niōmon, a gate enshrining two gods called Niō in its outer bays.
Their structure or shape, as the nijūmon and the rōmon. Their function, as the sanmon, the most important gate of a Zen or Jōdo temple. Not all such terms are mutually exclusive and the same gate may be called with different names according to the situation. For example, a Niōmon can be called a nijūmon if it has two stories. Different structurally from the others is the toriimon, a two-legged gate in stone or wood associated with Shinto, but common within Japanese Buddhist temples; as prominent a temple as Osaka's Shitennō-ji, founded in 593 by Shōtoku Taishi and the oldest state-built Buddhist temple in the country, has a torii straddling one of its entrances. The origins of the torii are unknown; because the use of symbolic gates is widespread in Asia—such structures can be found for example in India, Thailand and within Nicobarese and Shompen villages—historians believe it may be an imported tradition. It most symbolically marks the entrance of a Shinto shrine. For this reason, it is never closed.
Hakkyakumon or Yatsuashimon – so called because of its eight secondary pillars, which support four main pillars standing under the gate's ridge. It therefore has twelve pillars altogether. Heijūmon – A gate in a wall consisting in just two square posts. Kabukimon – A gate in a wall formed by two square posts and a horizontal beam. Karamon – A gate characterized by a karahafu, an undulating bargeboard peculiar to Japan. Karamon are used at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Kōraimon – Used at castles and daimyō residences, it consists of a tiled, gabled roof on two pillars, plus two smaller roofs over the secondary pillars on the rear of the gate. Masugata. A defensive structure consisting in a courtyard along the wall of a castle with two gates set at a square angle, one giving access to the castle and one facing the outside; the external gate is a kōraimon, the internal one a yaguramon. The Sakuradamon at Tokyo's Imperial Palace is such a gate. Munamon – A gate formed by two pillars sustaining a gabled roof.
Similar to a kōraimon, but lacking the roofed secondary pillars. Nagayamon lit. nagaya gate – A nagaya a long house, was a row house where low status samurai used to live, the nagayamon was a gate that allowed traffic from one side of the structure to the other. Nijūmon – A two-storied gate with a pent roof between the two stories. Distinguishable from the similar rōmon for having a pent roof between stories. Niōmon – A gate enshrining in its two outer bays the statues of two warden gods, the Niō. Rōmon – A two-storied, single roofed gate where the second story is inaccessible and offers no usable room. Distinguishable from the similar nijūmon for not having a pent roof between stories. Sanmon – The most important gate of a Japanese Zen Buddhist temple. Used by other schools the Jōdo, its importance notwithstanding, the sanmon is not the first gate of the temple, in fact it stands between the sōmon and the butsuden. Sōmon – the gate at the entrance of a temple, it precedes the bigger and more important sanmon.
Torii – This distinctive symbolic gate is associated with Shinto shrines, however it is common at Buddhist temples too, as most have at least one. Uzumimon – Gates opened in a castle wall; because they were used to connect surfaces at different levels, they looked as if they were buried in the ground. Yaguramon – A gate with a yagura on top. Yakuimon – A gate having no pillars under the ridge of its gabled gate, supported by four pillars at its corners. Yakkyakumon or Yotsuashimon – so called because of its four secondary pillars which support two main pillars standing under the gate's ridge, it therefore has six pillars. Media related to Gates in Japan at Wikimedia Commons
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