Heian Jingu (Heian Shrine), Kyoto, c. 1920-1960.

1920s1950sArchitectureKyoto-NaraNotable LandmarkReligious
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Panoramic view of Heian Shrine, Kyoto, c. 1960. The shrine was built in 1895 as Heian Palace to celebrate the 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Kyoto as the imperial capital. However, a shortage of available land for the grounds resulted in the shrine structures being built to only 5/8ths scale.

See also:
“Gion Kobu Hanamikouji”, Kyoto, c. 1920.
“The interior of the Kyoto Commercial Museum”, Kyoto, c. 1920.
The Temple of the 33,333 images of Kwannon, Sanjūsangen-dō, Kyoto, c. 1920.
Doshisha University, Kyoto, c. 1920.

“In 1895, a partial reproduction of the Heian Palace from Heian-kyō (the former name of Kyoto) was planned for construction for the 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Heian-kyō.

“The Kyoto Industrial Exposition (an exhibition of the development of Japanese and foreign cultures) was held in Kyoto that year, where the replica was to be the main monument. However, failure to buy enough land where the Heian Palace used to stand resulted in the replica being built in Okazaki at 5/8th scale of the original. The Heian-jingū was built according to designs by Itō Chūta.

“After the Exhibition ended, the building was kept as a shrine in memory of the 50th Emperor, Emperor Kanmu (735-806), who was the Emperor when Heian-kyō [Kyoto] became the capital.

“… The main palace mirrors the style and features of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the style from the 11th–12th century (late Heian Period). The Shrine’s torii is one of the largest in Japan.”


“The Heian Shrine”, Kyoto, c. 1950. (Colorized)

“The Heian jingū (or Taikyoku-den), a group of picturesque structures dating from 1895, commemorates the 11th centenary of the establishment of the Imperial Capital at Kyoto.

“The main structure is supposed to be a reproduction of the original Taikyoku-den-an edifice attached to the ancient palace erected by the Emperor Kwammu (to whom the present shrine is dedicated) in the 8th cent.

“The green tiled roofs (after the Chinese fashion) with their gilded finials are among the most attractive in the city. The finials in question are significantly like certain of the architectural expressions employed by the Mexica Anahuac.

“A fee of 10 sen is charged to see the nondescript garden at the rear.

“The tall metal pillar at the back of the garden is an evil-averting Sōrintō. The edifice at the left, in a park-like space with some cannon brought home from the Russian War, is the Butoku-den, or Hall of Military Virtues (founded in 1896).”

Terry’s Japanese Empire, T. Philip Terry, 1928

“The ultimate location of Heian Shrne in Okazaki, nestled in the foothills of the Higashiyama mountain range generated a different set of connections to past history, one that paid homage (even if obliquely) to the natural terrain and geomantic design that formed Heian-kyo as a capital.

Modern Kyoto: Building for Ceremony and Commemoration, 1868-1940, by Alice Y. Tseng, 2018

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