Thinking Of Sanchi From Sendagaya

Torii in Hatomori Hachiman Jinja
Shot at Hatomori Hachiman Jinja in Sendagaya, Tokyo ©Tetsu Ozawa
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Four paper hangings were hanging from the pier of the Torii surrounded by trees

The whole world has been hit by the pandemic of the new coronavirus, and it has been impossible to travel abroad or even to Japan. In such a situation, I was standing in front of the torii gate of Hatomori Hachiman Jinja Shrine in Sendagaya.

As I gazed at the four paper hangings hanging from the pier of the gate, I was thinking about Sanchi in the distance. Sanchi is a Mahayana Buddhist site in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which is also registered as a World Heritage Site, where a stupa built around the 3rd century B.C. by King Ashoka at the height of the Maurya dynasty, India's first unified state, still remains.

If you are talking about magnificent stupas, I'm sure you can find them in other places. What makes the ruins of Sanchi unique among them is the fact that beautiful gates called Torana remain on the north, south, east and west sides of the stupa. There are many theories about the origin of the torii gate, but this is an interesting theory.

Looking at the Torana of Sanchi, it is quite different from the torii gates we see in Japan. While the torii gates, whether Shinmei Torii or Myojin Torii, are very simple, many of the Toranas have elaborate carvings. The Sanchi Toranas also have a lot of carvings representing cities, villages, architectural forms, worship scenes, and Buddhist biographies. It's a noisy and fun gate. I'd love to see it with my own eyes. Sanchi is one of the places I have wanted to visit for many years.


Where is Hatomori Hachiman Jinja?




Shooting Date

Jun 2020

Posted On

May 13, 2021

Modified On

May 26, 2021


Hatomori Hachiman Jinja, Tokyo


Architectural Photography



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