Fushimi Inari-taisha

伏見稲荷大社

( Fushimi Inari-taisha )

Fushimi Inari-taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of the kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres (764 ft) above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and take approximately 2 hours to walk up.

Inari was originally and remains primarily the kami of rice and agriculture, but merchants and manufacturers also worship Inari as the patron of business. Each of Fushimi Inari-taisha's roughly thousand torii was donated by a Japanese business.

Owing to the popularity of Inari's division and re-enshrinement, this shrine is said to have as many as 32,000 sub-shrines (分社 bunsha) throughout Japan.

(video) A walking up one section of the torii path.
 
Front view of the haiden
 
A torii path across the mountain from the side
 
honden
 
The main gate
Fushimi-Inari-taisha 4.jpg 
20100714 Kyoto Fushimi Inari 1655.jpg 
Kyoto Schrein Fushimi-Inari-taisha 10.jpg 
Fukakusa Kaidoguchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0805, Japan - panoramio (1).jpg 

The shrine became the object of imperial patronage during the early Heian period.[1] In 965, Emperor Murakami decreed that messengers carry written accounts of important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines, including the Inari Shrine.[2]

From 1871 through 1946, Fushimi Inari-taisha was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.[3]

Structures

The earliest structures were built in 711 on the Inariyama hill in southwestern Kyoto, but the shrine was re-located in 816 on the request of the monk Kūkai. The main shrine structure was built in 1499.[4] At the bottom of the hill are the main gate (楼門, rōmon, "tower gate") and the main shrine (御本殿, go-honden). Behind them, in the middle of the mountain, the inner shrine (奥宮, okumiya) is reachable by a path lined with thousands of torii. To the top of the mountain are tens of thousands of mounds (, tsuka) for private worship.

Senbon Torii

The highlight of the shrine is the rows of torii gates, known as Senbon Torii. The custom to donate a torii began spreading from the Edo period (1603–1868) to have a wish come true or in gratitude for a wish that came true, with successive gates being added up to the present day by donors out of gratitude. Along the main path there are around 1,000 torii gates.

^ Breen, John et al. (2000). Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami, pp. 74–75. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Studies in Shinto and Shrines, pp. 116–117. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 124. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric et al. (1998). Japan encyclopedia, p. 224.
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