torii

A torii (鳥居・鳥栖・鶏栖?, lit. bird perch, English: /ˈtɔəri.iː/) is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred (see Sacred-profane dichotomy). The presence of a torii at the entrance is usually the simplest way to identify Shinto shrines, and a small torii icon represents them on Japanese road maps. They are however a common sight at Japanese Buddhist temples too, where they stand at the entrance of the temple's own shrine, called chinjusha (鎮守社?, tutelary god shrine) and usually very small.
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