Photographer's Note

An early morning shot with the famous orange torii shrine of Miyajima in the background. I considered framing the orange torii through the white one in the fg, but there were too many trees in the way. I laughed at Rafals response that a good photographer always carries an axe! Mediaeval Japan was segregated into classes almost as strict as the Hindu caste system. Fishermen were at, or near, the bottom of the pecking order, so the sea shrine was built solely for them.

"Itsukushima Shrine (Japanese: 厳島神社, Itsukushima Jinja) is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Japanese government has designated several buildings and possessions as national treasures.

The shrine dates back to the 6th century, and has been in its present form since 1168 when funds were provided by the warlord Taira no Kiyomori. The shrine's construction, consisting of pier-like structures built over the bay, is due to the holy status that the island once commanded. Commoners were historically not allowed to set foot on the island, and had to approach by boat, entering through the gate that appears to float. Beside the shrine is a noh stage.

The dramatic gate (torii) of Itsukushima Shrine is one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions, and the view of the gate in front of the island's Mount Misen is classified as one of the Three Views of Japan (along with the sand bar Amanohashidate, and Matsushima Bay). The gate has existed since 1168, though the current gate dates back to 1875. The gate, built of camphor wood, is about 16 metres high and was built in a four-legged, (yotsu-ashi) style to provide additional stability.

The gate only appears to be floating at high tide; when the tide is low, the gate is surrounded by mud and can be accessed on foot from the island. It is common practice for visitors to place coins in the cracks of the legs of the gate and make a wish. Gathering shellfish near the gate is also popular at low tide. At night, powerful lights on the shore illuminate the gate.

Retaining the purity of the shrine is so important that until 1878, no deaths or births were permitted at the shrine. To this day, burials on the island are still forbidden."

Source: Wikipedia

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Paolo, Gerrit, miuky, stego, jmdaoudal, John_F_Kennedy, Rosa_d_MonteLua, macondo has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13403 W: 1022 N: 26120] (126649)
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