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What’s the difference

between Shrine and Temple?


A simple way to distinguish,this is if there is a guard frame, called Torii(鳥居), in the entrance or not. A shrine has a Torii, and a temple doesn’t have it. Tori is a gate, which is composed of two wooden pillars supported by two horizontal wooden bars. You often find the bright red colored Torii, but there are also white colored ones, or ones made of stone.“Yasukuni-Jinja”, “Izumo-Taisya” and “Meiji-Jingu" are well known shrines in Japan. Shrines are generally called”Jinja, but as mentioned above, some shrines are often 
called ,“Taisya” ” Jingu” or “Miya”.Meanwhile, a temple also has a gate but this is different, instead of a Torii gate in a shrine.For example, the statue of Nio(仁王)guardians placed on the right and left side of some temple’s gates. And you can see a statue of Buddha and a five-storied pagoda and a incense burner inside the temple ground. Temples are generally called”Tera” , but same as shrines, some of them are called another way, like “Ji “,“In”,”An” or “Bou” such as “Sensou-Ji” and “Byodo-In”, which are the representative Japanese temples.A shrine is based on Shintoism which is the belief at deities, Japanese gods, inhabit both heaven and earth.This is he indigenous religion.A temple is based on Buddhism,which was brought from China, India and then a statue of Buddha is enshrined.Another difference is that in a shrine, you can’t see an object to depict the gods or sprits(depending on regions, individual elements and items are worshiped), when you pray to worship.They can’t be shown as sacred things. But in Buddhism, you can pray to worship by seeing the principal object of Buddha in a temple.Another difference is that death is avoided as a taboo in Shintoism in the shrine.Therefore, shinto ceremonies and rituals, such as celebration birth, as weddings, the blessing of children, etc, take place in shrines.On the other hand, Buddhism teaches enlightened form, death is not the end of life, and the religion of spiritual matters and temples usually host funerals and graves are pound in temples where you pray for your ancestors.Many Japanese people have accepted both religions or the other religions.
You often feel some power in the serene atmosphere.When you visit a shrine or temple,you can find something with solemn feelings.


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