The 1000 Torii at Kyoto’s Fushima Inari Shrine


Teruhide Kato – The 1000 Torii at Kyoto’s Fushima Inari Shrine

Original woodblock print. The first edition of this design was published between 1990 and 2005. The current print was printed after 2005.

The 1,000 Torii at Kyoto’s Fushima Inari Shrine exemplifies the style that is unique to woodblock prints by Teruhide Kato. It strikes a balance between realism and abstraction, succeeding in adding to the inherent beauty of the 1000 torii.

These ‘Senbon Torii’ are a series of gates that lead through the woods surrounding the Fushima Inari Shrine near Kyoto. This is one of the most important sacred places of the Shinto religion. Torii are often found at the entrances of Shinto shrines, but not in the number present here which is, as indicated by the name Senbon torii, close to a 1000.

An interesting detail is at the very end of the series of Torii gates depicted here. Due to the interplay of sunlight and the torii there can be a mixture of darker and more shining parts. Here at the very end bright white is shown, with a red in the color of the Torii gates, making it possible to perhaps imagine the presence of a Japanese flag.

Still, the most capturing aspect is without a doubt the whole of the Torii gates. One of Teruhide Kato’s great strengths were his splendid compositions and choice of perspective. A good argument could be made that The 1,000 Torii at Kyoto’s Fushima Inari Shrine is one of the designs where this shows the most.

Image size (excluding margins): 32.0 * 13.0 cm (12.6 * 5.1 in).

The print is in excellent condition.

The pictures shown here are from the print itself.

Teruhide Kato (1936-2005) was a modern Japanese woodblock artist. He attended the Kyoto Art College. After a successful career as a kimono designer, he became a woodblock artist. Here he used traditional themes in more abstract designs.

Nipponprints has a wide range of his prints. Many of these depict famous places in or around Kyoto. Examples are the 1,000 Torii at Kyoto’s Fushima Inari Shrine, Kinkaku-Ji, Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka Shrine. Often these are combined with elements of nature, such as the full moon, bamboo, autumn leaves or cherry blossoms. In all, the innovative style of Teruhide Kato is unmistakable.

An overview of the woodblock prints by Teruhide Kato can be found here.

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