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The Torii Tunnel at Kyoto | by Okinawa Soba (Rob)
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The Torii Tunnel at Kyoto

Photo by T. Enami, ca.1898-1900. View number S-732 from Enami's 3-D Catalog.

 

Torii Gates are a ubiquitous fixture all over Japan. If you are a photographer or tourist visiting Japan, trying NOT to take a picture of one of these cultural symbols would be nearly impossible --- almost as hard as a Japanese teeny-bopper trying NOT to say the word "kawaiiiiii !!!" [cute] for a whole hour while walking around Tokyo Disneyland.

 

The careful placement of a Torii Gate in many scenes can often transform an otherwise boring shot into something beautiful. In most cases, Torii are seen alone, or in pairs. Here in Kyoto you can find literal "tunnels of Torii". In such cases, a regular one-eyed, 2-D camera cannot do it justice. It's 3-D or Bust for something like this -- an age old landmark that lends itself perfectly to the stereo camera.

 

There are better T. Enami views showing this, but the merit of this particular shot is that he gives us a view of a Torii under construction (or repair)...six guys painting, digging, mixing, scraping, climbing --- all caught in the act. This is something I have never seen in the huge portfolio of other Torii centered images from the first 100 years of Japanese photography.

  

If you walk through these large Torii, you can see a double-tunnel of more Torii beginning about 50 feet away. Here's a shot of those taken years earlier : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/4655847818/

 

T. Enami always comes through with something different. www.t-enami.org

  

SEE MORE OF ENAMI'S CLASSIC IMAGES IN THIS FLICKr COLLECTION : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/collections/7215761388...

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Uploaded on March 12, 2008