On 7/1/06, JESSICA DODGE <kaythiarain@...
> On point Number 1
> "that isn't to say that that Torii gates are just for Inari..."
> That is correct. The gates mark the enterance to the sacred space. Thay are RED becuase in Feng Shui, red is a neutral color, and it does not interfere with the Chi flow of the space. ( I probley spelled Chi wrong)
I would challenge the reasoning that they are red because it is
'neutral'. In the classic wuxing ('5 elements': Gogyo), red is the
color of the south, of fire. It is associated with Suzaku, and as
such it would oppose elements of wood. To say it is neutral really
doesn't fit with the overall concepts of yin-yang, as I'm not sure
that anything that exists could ever truly be said to be neutral.
However, I think that the red torii can be traced more to the
auspicious nature of both red and white as favorable colors. It was
also a fashionable color for buildings in the Nara and Heian periods
(influenced by Chinese architecture), and that probably has a lot to
do with it as well.
Here's an interesting article in Japanese regarding Fushimi Inari
Taisha's reasoning behind the use of red:
Skimming through it, it mentions that red was the original color used
for the shrine when it was built, so the gates (the torii) used the
same color. The red ('ake') is mentioned as being homonymous with
words such as 'bright', as in 'bright hopes'. It mentions that it has
a warm feeling for perople, and that the red gates are often
associated with Inari.
An interesting thing I found online: it was an article saying that
the name 'toori-i' (bird perch) refers to the perch for the bird that
cried out to help lure Amaterasu from the cave, but this is honomynous
with 'toori-i(ru)', to pass through and into (the sacred space of the