This small torii, or Shinto gate, is painted the traditional vermilion red. The top is slightly curved and is painted black. Each leg of the pole structure is connected to a square-shaped base, also made of wood and painted black.
In the Shinto religion, which is indigenous to Japan, divinity is manifested within nature itself. Mountains, rivers, and trees, for example, were thought to be the holy residences of the deities, or kami. Shinto, meaning the "Way of the Gods," can be understood as a collection of practices, attitudes, and institutions that express the Japanese people's relationship with their land and with the life cycles of the earth and humans. Shinto emerged gradually in ancient times; it is distinctive in that it has no founder, no sacred books, no teachers, no saints, and no well-defined pantheon. Nor has it developed a moral order or a hierarchical priesthood, and it does not offer salvation after death. Shinto is sometimes seen more as a way of life rather than a religion by the Japanese due to its long historical and cultural significance. Shinto coexists with Buddhism, with many of the kami understood to be bodhisattvas as well, and vice-versa.