Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine


The island of Itsukushima, within the Seto Inland Sea, has been a holy of Shintoism since the earliest times. the primary shrine buildings here were most likely erected within the sixth century. this shrine dates from the twelfth century and also the harmoniously organized buildings reveal nice inventive and technical ability. The shrine plays on the contrasts in color and type between mountains and ocean and illustrates the Japanese idea of scenic beauty, which mixes nature and human ability.

Torii of Itsukushima
Torii of Itsukushima

The Island of Itsukushima, within the Seto Inland Sea, has been a holy of Shintoism since the earliest times. the primary shrine buildings here were most likely erected within the sixth century. this shrine dates from the thirteenth century however is associate correct reflection of the12th century construction vogue and was supported by the foremost powerful leader of the time, mustelid no Kiyomori.


The property covers 431.2 hectares on the Island of Itsukushima, and also the buffer zone (2,634.3 ha) includes the remainder of the island and a part of the ocean before of Itukushima-jinia. The property includes seventeen buildings and 3 alternative structures forming 2 shrine advancedes (the Honsha complex forming the most shrine, and SesshaMarodo-jinja complex) and subsidiary buildings in addition as a wooded space around Mt. Misen.


The buildings of Itsukushima-jinja area unit within the general tradition of Japanese Shinto design, during which a mountain or object becomes the main focus of non-secular belief to be loved from a shrine, usually created at the foot of the mountain. The harmoniously organized shrine buildings within the property area unit situated on the ocean and also the scenery, with a trinity composed of the semisynthetic design within the centre, the ocean within the foreground, and also the mountains within the background, and became recognized as a Japanese normal of beauty. The sites reveal nice inventive and technical ability and area unit distinctive among extant  shrine buildings in Japan. The shrine is an impressive and distinctive fine arts work which mixes manmade achievements and natural parts. it’s tangible proof of the nice achievements of mustelid no Kiyomori.


Even though the buildings of Itsukushima-jinja are reconstructed double, this was exhausted a conscientiously correct manner conserving the designs that prevailed from the late twelfth century to the first thirteenth century.


The property could be a Shinto shrine, a faith that centres on polytheistic religion, the origin of which works back to primitive times. Over its long history, it’s developed into a faith that became distinctive within the world, adopting continental influences to mix with its own endemic traditions. Japanese religious life is deeply unmoving during this faith.


Criterion (i): The configuration of the shrine buildings of ltsukushima-jinja presents a superb fine arts scene on the lines of the blue-blooded residential kind of this era. it’s an impressive work combining manmade and natural parts. The buildings exhibit nice inventive and technical advantage and area unit sited on the ocean with a backcloth of spectacular mountains.


Criterion (ii): The shrine buildings of Itsukushima-jinja area unit within the general tradition of Shinto shrine design in Japan and supply priceless data for the understanding of the evolving religious culture of the japanese folks, specifically the japanese idea of scenic beauty. the foremost necessary facet of Itsukushima-jinja is that the setting of the shrine buildings because the central a part of a trinity with the ocean within the foreground and mountains within the background, recognized as a regular of beauty against that alternative samples of scenic beauty have return to be understood.

Itsukushima Shrine at night
Itsukushima Shrine at night

Criterion (iv): The buildings of Itsukushima-jinja, that through conscientiously correct reconstructions have preserved designs from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, area unit outstanding samples of the traditional kind of shrine design integrated with the encircling landscape, the physical manifestation of humankind’s worship of nature.

Criterion (vi): Japanese religious life is deeply unmoving in ancient Shintoism that is centred on polytheistic religion. ltsukushima-jinja provides necessary clues understanding this facet of Japanese spiritual expression.



The boundaries of the property embrace all the shrine buildings and natural parts that area unit indispensable for demonstrating the harmonious building arrangement and also the integrated scenic beauty at the time of its original construction by mustelid no Kiyomori within the twelfth century. Moreover, the remaining space of the island associated a locality on the ocean forms an overall buffer zone to manage projected development activities, and so the integrity of the property is undamaged.


Miyajima, home of Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage web site, floats on the Seto Inland Sea, referred to as the “Mediterranean of Japan” as a result of its heat climate. The entrance to Miyajima is “Miyajimaguchi”, that is roughly twenty five minutes by train from port, the center of the Chugoku District. From there, you’ll be able to take a ferry to succeed in Miyajima. when sailing across a dashing ocean for regarding 5 minutes, standing on the deck and feeling the ocean breeze, an oversized vermilion Torii gate that stands over the ocean can get read. This gate is that the entrance to the sacred space.

The entire island of Miyajima is that the city district of the shrine, and it’s believed that God resides within the island itself, creating the island associate object of religion. Enshrined inside Itsukushima Shrine area unit 3 goddesses of Japanese mythology. In Japanese mythology, several goddesses area unit associated with water. the looks of the shrine suspended over the ocean is swish and exquisite, as is also expected of a shrine whereby goddesses lie. A passageway that looks to increase endlessly could be a world of dazzling, lovely colours. The sight of the ocean over the row of pillars and also the salty smell of the ocean can prompt you that the shrine stands over the ocean.


Itsukushima Shrine changes its expression dramatically with the ebb and flow of the tide and by day and night. throughout tide, the good vermilion color of the shrine tent stands out against the water surface. throughout low water, you’ll be able to walk on the dry beach till you’re just under the Torii gate. once viewed from directly below, the impressiveness of the nice Torii gate, made of unprocessed natural resin trees and deliberation roughly sixty tons, is overwhelming. when sunset, the shrine is light and emerges over a pitchy ocean, and it will be viewed from the ocean by boat. Encounters with the assorted faces of Itsukushima Shrine naturally prompt US of the very fact that it’s a shrine for goddesses.

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