The pure white torii gate stood out in the precincts of the shrine with its many dull colors

White torii gate standing at Kamakura-gu Shrine
White torii gate standing at Kamakura-gu Shrine
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While torii gates painted vermilion or made of copper are not uncommon, torii gates painted pure white are rarely seen. Although I have never visited, I have heard that a white torii gate is built in the sea at Sakurai Futamigaura in Itoshima City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and that white Senbon-torii gates line the streets of Saido-ji Temple in Niimi City, Okayama Prefecture.

Such an unusual white-painted torii gate was also erected at Kamakura-gu Shrine in Nikaido, Kamakura. The pure white torii gate stands out in the precincts of the shrine, which are often dull in color. I found it interesting and passed through the torii to pay my respects at the hall of worship. What was interesting, however, was not the color of the torii gate, but rather the history of the shrine called Kamakura-gu Shrine.

Kamakura-gu Shrine is a shrine whose main deity is Prince Moriyoshi, the son of Emperor Godaigo. In other words, a man who played a role in overthrowing the Kamakura Shogunate in the Genko War and also became a Shogun is enshrined in Kamakura, where the Kamakura Shogunate once stood. Moreover, it is not far from the grave of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate. It is as if an enemy and an ally are enshrined so close to each other that one worries that they will not be able to live in peace after their deaths.

The reason why Kamakura-gu Shrine was built here is that there is a legend that Prince Moriyoshi was imprisoned in a hole in the bank behind the shrine for about nine months. In the Meiji era (1868-1912), Emperor Meiji ordered the construction of a shrine dedicated to Prince Moriyoshi in honor of his efforts to revive the Kenmu Restoration. The shrine built by the emperor's order was more splendid than the tomb of Minamoto no Yoritomo, which no longer has its Buddhist temple.

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Shooting Date

Jan 2022

Posted On

March 17, 2022

Modified On

April 4, 2022


Kamakura, Kanagawa


Architectural Photography





Where is Kamakura-gu Shrine?

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