Color shown is from the deluxe edition of ten, the standard edition is somewhat more green in color.
Shinto is a worship of nature spirits, and many Shinto shrines are entered through a Torii gate. The word "Shinto" was coined in sixth century Japan to differentiate the ancient Japanese traditional religion from a new faith then being brought out of China, Buddhism. "Shinto" is a compound of two Chinese words - Shen, meaning "deity," and Tao, meaning "way."
The Torii at Miyajima ("Shrine Island," south of Hiroshima) is one of the oldest and most revered in Japan. It was built in 1148 AD by Kiyomori, warlord and an early originator of the feudal system in Japan, although earlier temples predate it by at least three hundred years. To avoid offending its goddess, Kiyomori's temple was constructed on pylons over the water, giving the shrine an impressive floating effect at high tide. Since Miyajima was holy ground, no one lived on the island until the middle of the13th Century, and even then inhabitants were tolerated only under restrictions. Shinto is a religion of purity, and anything unclean was prohibited, such as tilling the ground, giving birth, dying or being buried on the island. Even today there are no hospitals or cemeteries on Miyajima. The present Torii was completed in 1875, the twelfth to stand there, earlier Torii having been destroyed by fire or typhoons.
Japan postal authority issued these Torii stamps beginning in 1939 with an engraved version (Scott #271, perforated), followed by a modified design printed by typography as above in 1944 (Scott #340, perforate), and by offset lithography in 1946 (Scott #357, imperforate).
Paper Type: Rives Lightweight, 115 grams/m-2
Paper Size: 10" x 13"
Image Size: 4" x 5"
Edition Size: 50
Inks Used: VanSon Rubber-based
Date cut: 2003-09-27
Shipping: $15.00 with tracking to USA
$37.50 USD Deluxe Edition of XII