Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ceramic Torii


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Torii, the entrance gates most commonly found at Shinto shrines, are usually made of stone or wood though concrete and steel have been used in the 20th Century. A few are made of bronze, and some even of plastic, but I have never before seen a full-size one made of ceramic like this one at Yuga Shrine, made of the distinctive local Bizenware.

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The komaiun flanking the torii were also made of Bizenware, and are unusual in that they sit askew on one of their haunches. Don't remember seeing that before either. Bizenware is known for being very hard due to its high iron content and is unglazed with a distinctive reddish hue. Bizen is an area near the shrine in southern Okayama.

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The shrine is part of the shrine-temple complex on Mount Yuga that includes Rendai-ji that I posted on yesterday. There were several other interesting and unusual sculptures within the grounds.

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