Monday, September 19, 2011

Neglected shrines

Not all shrines are equally well loved. Indeed, the landscape is dotted with Shinto markers that are returning to nature. Sometimes, this return is subtle -- a gentle submission to the force of gravity. In other instances, it can be rather shocking -- Good God! What is that?

On this shrine, one of the katsuogi*, the ornaments on the ridge of the roof is all skew. One wonders if anybody is ever going to be moved to fix it.

* Among the characteristic features of shrine architecture, the ornamentation of the roof with chigi and katsuogi is the most unique and striking to foreign visitors. For the shrine worshipper these add a peculiarly mystic quality to the atmosphere. The chigi were originally formed by an extension of the end beams of the roof which cross at both ends of the ridge and continue upward at an angle for several feet. The short logs, which are now made of finished wood and taper at each end, are called katusogi, because of their resemblance to the shape of the dried fish (katsuo-bushi).
From Shinto the Kami Way by Sokyo Ono

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