from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The gateway of a Shinto temple, consisting of two uprights supporting a concave crosspiece with projecting ends and a straight crosspiece beneath it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A form of decorative gateway or portal found in Japan.


Japanese : tori, bird + i- (from iru, to dwell).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine.

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  • It is appropriate that the one evidence of man in the 46 photographs at Klotz is an off-kilter torii in "Landscape 37" 2010; a torii is a ceremonial Japanese gateway that marks the entrance to a sacred space.

    Taking Nature's Refuge

  • In Takeshi Shikama's image the torii is on a slope where it blends in with the trees, shrubs and rocks.

    Taking Nature's Refuge

  • Shinto practice is concerned with maintaining the connection between past and present, and the forces of nature, so the torii isn't out of place.

    Taking Nature's Refuge

  • There, he found a pagoda surrounded by green-painted torii on four sides, and coursed by a glistening stream with fat koi.

    The Fox in the Garden

  • The presence of a torii at the entrance is usually the simplest way to identify Shinto shrines while a small torii icon represents them on Japanese road maps.

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  • On the other side of the bay, beyond the houses, Taro could just make out the other torii gate—the one that announced the shrine of Benten, the Princess of the Hidden Waters, who protected the amas.

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  • He passed the torii gate that led to the shrine of Susanoo, kami of storms and the god in whose hands lay the lives of all fishermen.

    Blood Ninja II

  • The red torii gate in the sign is to dissuade people by suggesting it would be sacreligious to relieve oneself on such a Shinto symbol.

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  • He stood under the soaring steel torii gate that seemed to reflect the spirit of the samurai who died in battle.

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  • I find it helpful to remember the meaning of "torii" through the image of the gate itself, two "T" letters with curved tops.

    May 31, 2013

  • How do I hear the offical pronunciation of a word. It is not in the pronunciation link

    January 23, 2011