Gate of Disrepair: Kanda Inari Shrine (at the Himukai Shrine, Kyoto)
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Zak Braverman photographs the main gate to the Kaneda Inari Taisha Shrine Kyoto, Japan -- Himukai Shrine -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 20 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Zak Braverman photographs the main gate to the
Kaneda Inari Taisha Shrine
Kyoto, Japan

Buddhist shrines and Shinto temples can be almost any size, ranging from huge sprawling multi-building complexes, down to little things a few feet square. Often they're found in clusters, so it was no surprise when Zak Braverman and I went to visit the small Himukai Shrine tucked away at the base of a mountain in eastern Kyoto, we found next to the parking lot a tiny room-sized shrine, the Kaneda Inari Shrine.

What was somewhat surprising (to me, at least) was the state of its gate, rotting so much that I didn't dare touch it for fear of toppling it.

Gate of Disrepair -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/2.2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Gate of Disrepair
“Kaneda Inarai Taisha” -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
“Kaneda Inarai Taisha”

Inarai shrines are dedicated to commercial/worldly success, and as I described in “Kyoto's Dazzling Fushimi Inari Shrine” post about the shrine 5km away with thousands of gates like this, they are donated by patrons hoping for good fortunes. If well maintained they can last for a long time, but if not, well, they very apparently don't last that long.

“October 1993” -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
“October 1993”
Leafy Lichen -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Leafy Lichen
Nice View, Though -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Nice View, Though
Fox of Many Lichen fox idols are another hallmark of Inari shrines -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/2.2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Fox of Many Lichen
fox idols are another hallmark of Inari shrines

I liked the foxes. According to the inscription, the fox statues dated from the 1950s. They looked much older; I suspect the location in the hollow at the base of a mountain with little direct sunlight leads to a continually humid environment good for lichen and bugs; not so good for wood and stone.

Structurally Sound ( the sound of crashing timber ) -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Structurally Sound
( the sound of crashing timber )
Last Legs -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Legs

The shape of the cement footers make for easy recognition, and so when you find a pile of broken footer pieces somewhere, you know that a gate used to stand nearby.

At least this one was still standing... one couldn't say the same to its friend in the scrap heap a few meters away...

Scrap among lots of other stuff, the remains of an orange gate -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Scrap
among lots of other stuff, the remains of an orange gate

Despite being fairly out of the way, there was a steady stream of other photographers visiting. Nothing like the teeming throngs at the Eikando Temple... maybe another few people every 10 or 15 minutes... so it was quite pleasant. But Zak and I were the only ones to pay any attention to the poor little gate....

Other Aims -- Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Other Aims

What on earth could draw their attention away from such a noteworthy sight, you ask?

Colorful Entrance to the Himukai Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Colorful Entrance to the Himukai Shrine

Continued here...


One comment so far...

The state of this Inarai shrine just goes to show that just like worldly success, worldly structures do not last forever.

Does not Buddhism teach that one should not strive to attain worldly things (or even worldly success)? Christianity does, here’s the first passage from the Bible that came to mind:

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. — 1 John 2:17

— comment by Matthew Musgrove on November 28th, 2009 at 11:36am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink
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