The reason why the Torii gate of Shinto shrines has a red color
The other day, I wrote about the type of Shinto shrines.As I explained in the article, there are broadly 6 types of Shinto shrines in Japan, and the most common type is the Shinto shrine called “Jinja (神社)”.Every city in Japan has some to dozens of Shinto shrines, mostly Jinja, because there are more than 80,000 Shinto shrines around Japan.
Therefore if you have a chance to visit a city in Japan, it is relatively easy to find Shinto shrines in the city, so let’s drop in.You can go into the precincts of almost any Shinto shrine for free.
Motonosumi-Inari Jinja (元乃隅稲成神社) in the city of Nagato, Yamaguchi Pref.
Before you go into the precincts of the Shinto shrine, one, or some, or hundreds of gates welcome you.The gate of Shinto shrines is called “Torii (鳥居)”, and passing the gateway to the precincts means that you are entering the divine space.
If you visit a dozen Shinto shrines, you will notice that most of the gates have a red color.Actually, there are some reasons why most Torii gates are coated with a red color.
The reason why Torii gates have a red color
In ancient Japan, red stood for the dynamics of life.Because of that, it was believed that the color has the power to drive away evil spirits, so a red color was used for ancient sanctuaries in Japan.Affected by that, most Torii gates of Shinto shrines have a red color.
Inari-Fushimi Taisha (稲荷伏見大社) in Kyoto
Speaking of the number, Inari-Fushimi Taisha (稲荷伏見大社) in Kyoto has the largest number of Torii gates of all Shinto shrines, about 10,000 Torii!According to the official website, the red color of the Torii gates stands for the abundant power of the god.
Address : 68 Fukakusa-yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture (MAP)
(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia, “鳥居”)